Department

Division of Social Work

First Advisor

Dr. Kathleen McKinney

Description

America’s youth are experiencing an epidemic. Since 1964, childhood obesity rates have increased from 5 percent to an average of 20 percent. Hispanic and black children experience higher rates than non - Hispanic whites, but American Indian children have some of the highest. With rates of 30% to 78% o f Native American children (depending on the tribe) are reported as being overweight and obese (Cu nningham - Sabo, 2003). Obesity is the precursor to so many ailments – heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and even cancer have been linked to it. The food environment surrounding the Native American population is a complex one - the fact is that in this population, it is not uncommon for children to go hungry thanks to the poverty they experience (Miller, 1998). Why then should they also exper ience elevated obesity rates? The causes of obesity and its effects on the Native Americans should be explored in order to allow for educated intervention regarding this threat to health. The current study plans to explore Native American adolescent heal th using the National Longitudinal Study data set.

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Effects of Diet and Nutrition in the Lives of Native American Schoolchildren on the Wind River Reservation of Wyoming

America’s youth are experiencing an epidemic. Since 1964, childhood obesity rates have increased from 5 percent to an average of 20 percent. Hispanic and black children experience higher rates than non - Hispanic whites, but American Indian children have some of the highest. With rates of 30% to 78% o f Native American children (depending on the tribe) are reported as being overweight and obese (Cu nningham - Sabo, 2003). Obesity is the precursor to so many ailments – heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and even cancer have been linked to it. The food environment surrounding the Native American population is a complex one - the fact is that in this population, it is not uncommon for children to go hungry thanks to the poverty they experience (Miller, 1998). Why then should they also exper ience elevated obesity rates? The causes of obesity and its effects on the Native Americans should be explored in order to allow for educated intervention regarding this threat to health. The current study plans to explore Native American adolescent heal th using the National Longitudinal Study data set.