St. Louis, MO, September 9, 2009 American Indian populations experience significant nutrition-related health disparities compared to other racial and ethnic groups within the US. American Indian adults have the highest age-adjusted rates for cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity of any racial or ethnic group. Age-adjusted rates of diabetes among Native people vary from 14% to 72%, which are 2.4 to more than 6 times the rate of the general US population. In a study published in the September 2009 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, researchers from the South Dakota State University, Brookings, report that a culturally-sensitive educational program based on the Medicine Wheel Model for Nutrition shows promise in changing dietary patterns in an American Indian population and impacting glycemic control.
During a 6-month period from January 2005 through December 2005, participants from the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation were randomized to an education intervention or to a usual care control group. The education group received six nutrition lessons based on the Medicine Wheel Model for Nutrition, a diet patterned after the traditional consumption of macronutrients for Northern Plains Indians: protein (25% of energy), moderate in carbohydrate (45% to 50% of energy) and low in fat (25% to 30% of energy). The usual care group received the usual dietary education from their personal providers.
The education group experienced a significant weight loss and decrease in body mass index (BMI) from baseline to completion. The usual care group had no change in weight or BMI. There were no between group differences due to intervention in energy, carbohydrate, protein and fat intake and physical activity.
Writing in the article, Kendra K. Kattelmann, PhD, RD, Professor and Director, Didactic Program in Dietetics, Nutrition, Food Science and Hospitality Department, South Dakota State University, Brookings, states
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