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Obesity and American Indians/Alaskan Natives (2007)

Obesity and American Indians/Alaskan Natives (2007)

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Published by Valerie
The prevalence of obesity in American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) populations has increased dramatically over the past 30 years. Although AIs are not a homogeneous group, all tribes throughout the U.S. have suffered adverse effects from the high prevalence of obesity (Story et al, 2000)). Overall, studies demonstrate that obesity begins early for AI/AN children and also is a significant problem for the adult population (IHS, 2001). Many chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, and breathing problems are associated with the increasing prevalence of obesity in AIs (DHHS, 2001, Story et al, 1999).

The purpose of this study is to provide information that will help to understand the high rates of obesity among the AI/ANs, the nature of a variety of preventive interventions and their efficacy, and directions for future research that may involve research collaborations among government agencies and other organizations.

The report is organized into four major sections: 1) a literature review that synthesizes research findings pertaining to the prevalence of obesity and examines what is known about the major determinants and consequences of obesity as well as the nature and findings of various types of clinical and community-based interventions; 2) activities of selected federal agencies in the area of obesity and AI/ANs; 3) summary of a site visit to the Gila River Indian Community; and 4) directions for future research.

(Note) The report provides a comprehensive summary of contributing factors, including unresolved historical trauma and grief/loss, as well as a variety of current socio-economic factors.
The prevalence of obesity in American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) populations has increased dramatically over the past 30 years. Although AIs are not a homogeneous group, all tribes throughout the U.S. have suffered adverse effects from the high prevalence of obesity (Story et al, 2000)). Overall, studies demonstrate that obesity begins early for AI/AN children and also is a significant problem for the adult population (IHS, 2001). Many chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, and breathing problems are associated with the increasing prevalence of obesity in AIs (DHHS, 2001, Story et al, 1999).

The purpose of this study is to provide information that will help to understand the high rates of obesity among the AI/ANs, the nature of a variety of preventive interventions and their efficacy, and directions for future research that may involve research collaborations among government agencies and other organizations.

The report is organized into four major sections: 1) a literature review that synthesizes research findings pertaining to the prevalence of obesity and examines what is known about the major determinants and consequences of obesity as well as the nature and findings of various types of clinical and community-based interventions; 2) activities of selected federal agencies in the area of obesity and AI/ANs; 3) summary of a site visit to the Gila River Indian Community; and 4) directions for future research.

(Note) The report provides a comprehensive summary of contributing factors, including unresolved historical trauma and grief/loss, as well as a variety of current socio-economic factors.

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Published by: Valerie on Jan 16, 2009
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05/10/2014

 
 Obesity and American Indians/Alaska Natives
Prepared for:U.S. Department of Health and Human ServicesOffice of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation200 Independence Avenue S.W.Washington D.C. 20201Prepared by:Peggy Halpern, Ph.D.U.S. Department of Health and Human ServicesOffice of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation200 Independence Avenue S.W.Washington D.C. 20201April, 2007This report was produced under the direction of Jerry Regier, Principal Deputy/Assistant Secretaryfor Planning and Evaluation. This report is availableonline at:http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/07/AI-AN-obesity 
 
 
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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
The author, Peggy Halpern of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation(ASPE), would like to acknowledge the assistance of many individuals who contributed to thisreport. Key informants from various government agencies gave generously of their time and provided a wealth of information about their current activities. These informants are listed in thereference section at the end of each agency’s write-up.Contributing agencies from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services include theIndian Health Service; the National Institutes of Health including the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) and the National Heart and Lung andBlood Institute (NHLB); Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); and the Office onWomen’s Health. In addition the U.S. Department of Agriculture contributed.Special thanks to Candace Jones and Dealva Honahnie who facilitated the author’s site visit tothe Gila River Indian Community and to Loren Ellery and Carol Schurz from Gila River 
 
whoorganized and facilitated the site visit. Key informants from the Tribe, the Health Corporation,and NIDDK’s Phoenix Branch are listed in the reference section of the Gila River write-up.Thanks to staff from ASPE who contributed to the development and review of this report. CantaPian, director, Division of Economic Support for Families in ASPE supported the idea for andimplementation of this project from the very beginning as did Barbara Broman, Deputy to theDeputy Assistant Secretary for Human Services Policy and Jerry Regier, Principal DeputyASPE. The author collaborated with staff from ASPE’s Office of Health Policy including TomHertz, Wilma Tilson, and Sue Clain who provided expertise and valuable feedback. Finally,special thanks to Jana Liebermann, librarian at ASPE’s Policy Information Center, who providedinvaluable assistance in obtaining research articles pertaining to obesity and AI/ANs throughoutthis project.iii

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