Traditional Food Intake is Positively Associated with Diet Quality Among low income, urban Alaska Native Women

Authors: Amanda Walch, PhD, MPH, RDN, Andrea Bersamin, PhD

Publication Year: 2020

Last Updated:

Journal: Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition

Keywords: Nutrition; Population Information; Women's Health

 

Short Abstract: Background: Purpose of Study: The purpose of the study was to understand the relationship between food security, traditional food intake, and diet quality in urban Alaskan Native women. Type of Info: Data Method: Participants were given two 24-hour dietary recalls, a food frequency questionnaire adapted to include traditional Alaskan Native food, and the USDA Adult Food Security Survey. Diet quality was assessed by using the Healthy Eating Index. Sample: 73 urban Alaskan Native women enrolled in the WIC program, that were 18 years or older and who were not pregnant or lactating. Results: 50.6% of participants were food insecure over the last 12 months. Regression analysis indicated that higher diet quality was significantly associated with higher traditional food intake. Overall traditional food intake was low, with an average of 4% of daily calories coming from traditional foods in participants' diets. Diet quality was poor in participants, with an average diet quality score of 48 points out of a possible 100 on the Healthy Eating Index (HEI), anything below 51 points on the HEI is considered poor diet quality. A 10% increase in traditional foods (195kcal/day) had the potential to raise a participant's score on the HEI by 7.3 points. Limitations/Things to Know: This study had a small and non-random sample. Conclusion: Consistent and reliable access to traditional foods through urban programs/policies for low-income Alaska Natives is important to enhancing this population's diet quality and overall health.

 

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Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9307134/

Traditional Food Practices, Attitudes, and Beliefs in Urban Alaska Native Women Receiving WIC Assistance

Authors: Amanda Walch, PhD, MPH, RDN, Philip Loring, PhD, Rhonda Johnson, PhD, Melissa Tholl, BS, RDN, Andrea Bersamin, PhD

Publication Year: 2019

Last Updated: March 2019

Journal: Journal of Nutritional Education Behavior

Keywords: Nutrition; Population Information

 

Short Abstract: Background: Traditional foods play an important cultural role in AI/AN populations and have been associated with psychological and psychosocial health and well-being. Low rates of traditional food intake have been reported to negatively impact food security, diet quality, and overall health. It is unknown to what extent urban Alaskan Native individuals consume traditional foods and the knowledge and attitudes they have about traditional foods. Purpose of Study: To identify practices, attitudes, and beliefs associated with intake of traditional foods among low-income urban Alaska Native women. Type of Info: Data Method: Participants were given two surveys to recall what they ate in the past 24 hours, a “traditional food frequency questionnaire,” and a survey that asked about the participant's beliefs about traditional foods. Surveys were tailored and reviewed to be culturally relevant to an Alaskan Native population. Sample: 71 self-identified adult Alaskan Native women, that were not pregnant or breastfeeding, and were currently participating in the WIC assistance programs in urban centers of Alaska. Results: Traditional foods contributed only 3.7% of the total daily calories for participants. In previous research, people living in traditional rural Alaskan Native communities reported 15-22% of their daily caloric intake being from traditional foods. 63% of participants wanted half or more of their foods to be traditional (not store-bought either) and 64% believed that traditional foods were healthier than store-bought foods. The majority of participants (73%) relied on food sharing networks for access to traditional foods, with 66% of Alaskan Native women on WIC receiving food from friends/family in rural Alaska. 60% of participants agreed that lack of money was a contributing factor for not subsistence fishing/hunting. Limitations/Things to Know: Small sample size. The food intake survey may have overestimated the amount of traditional foods eaten daily, however the reported intake was already very low and any impact would likely be minor. Conclusion: Food sharing networks are an important factor for low-income urban Alaskan Native women to access traditional foods. It may be beneficial for Organizations that work with Alaska Natives to incorporate traditional food practices into their programs, i.e. cooking classes, traditional fishing groups, traditional food gardens/pantries, etc.. Low-income Alaskan Native women that are isolated from rural Alaskan Native communities may also be isolated from traditional food practices. Additionally, SNAP could expand allowances to include the purchase of items necessary for subsistence hunting and fishing.

 

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Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8731265/

The Never-Ending Maze: Continued Failure to Protect Indigenous Women from Sexual Violence in the USA

Authors: Amnesty International

Publication Year: 2022

Last Updated: May 17, 2022

Journal: Amnesty International

Keywords: Women's Health

 

Short Abstract: More than half of all American Indian and Alaska Native women have experienced sexual violence in their lifetime; one in three have experienced rape. Since Amnesty International first reported on this issue in 2007, rates of violence against Indigenous women have not significantly changed, and the US government continues to fail to adequately prevent and respond to such violence. This is the Executive Summary of the report [available at https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/amr51/5484/2022/en/] which details some of the factors that contribute the high rates of sexual violence against Indigenous women, and the barriers to justice that they continue to face.

 

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Source: https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/amr51/5571/2022/en/

Racialization as a Barrier to Achieving Health Equity for Native Americans

Authors: Vikas Gampa, MD, Kenneth Bernard, MD, MBA, and Michael J. Oldani, PhD, MS

Publication Year: 2020

Last Updated: October 2020

Journal: AMA Journal of Ethics

Keywords: Race

 

Short Abstract: The concept of race has long been known to be complex. Especially within the American Indian/Alaskan Native populations. The concept of race itself has very European roots, and has had long lasting negative effects on the AI/AN population. Using this metric in medicine has proved to be rather controversial especially in terms of the AI/AN community, which is why this particular article highlights the concerns around using this method.

 

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Source: https://journalofethics.ama-assn.org/article/racialization-barrier-achieving-health-equity-native-americans/2020-10

NB3 Foundation’s “Keeping Track: A Toolkit for Indigenous Youth Program Evaluation

Authors: NB3 Foundation

Publication Year: 2022

Last Updated:

Journal: NB3 Foundation

Keywords: Development; Health Disparities; Minority Groups; Race

 

Short Abstract: The NB3 Foundation have recently released a "Keeping Track: A Toolkit for Indigenous Youth Program Evaluation." This toolkit has been created for the purpose of creating an evaluation process which is inclusive of the indigenous community, and includes data that benefits the indigenous community in particular.

 

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Source: https://nb3foundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/KeepingTrackEvaluationToolkit-1.pdf

Medicaid’s Role in Health Care for American Indians and Alaska Natives

Authors: Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission

Publication Year: 2021

Last Updated: February 2021

Journal: MACPAC IssueBrief

Keywords: Health Care Access; Medicaid

 

Short Abstract: This brief provides an overview of the relationship between the federal government and AIAN people in the United States and provides a snapshot of the AIAN people in terms of demographics, economic and health disparities, and access to health coverage and care. It then describes the structure of the IHS, including eligibility criteria, delivery system, and financing sources. It goes on to detail the special Medicaid rules and protections that apply to AIAN beneficiaries and Indian health providers. Finally, it discusses some of the key policy issues affecting Medicaid’s relationship with the IHS and in serving the AIAN population.

 

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Source: https://www.macpac.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Medicaids-Role-in-Health-Care-for-American-Indians-and-Alaska-Natives.pdf

Use Of Text Messaging And Facebook Groups To Support The Healthy Children, Strong Families 2 Healthy Lifestyle Intervention For American Indian Families

Authors: Megan E Curtis, Sarah E Clingan, Huiying Guo, Yuhui Zhu, Larissa J Mooney, Yih-Ing Hser

Publication Year: 2021

Last Updated: May 2021

Journal: Current Developments in Nutrition

Keywords: American Indian; Health Promotion; Obesity Prevention; Facebook; Text Messaging; Social Media; Family-Based Intervention; Access to Care; Technology; Communication

 

Short Abstract: Background: American Indian (AI) families experience a disproportionately high prevalence of obesity compared to the general US population. Nearly 30% of AI children are obese, but few obesity interventions have been developed to target AI families. Purpose of Study: This study aimed to assess the use and reception of social media and texting technology for sharing health promotion messages to AI/AN parents/guardians as an obesity prevention intervention method for Healthy Children, Strong Families 2. Method: Adult/child dyads were randomized to a control group or the intervention group after being stratified by child weight status. Adults in the intervention group were sent health promotion tips through post mail, text messages, and an optional Facebook group. The families reported feedback a year after the intervention started on their attitudes towards the messages received. Researchers also used Facebook analytics to describe participant interaction with Facebook posts. Sample: AI adults with cell phones in urban and rural settings care for AI children between the ages of 2-5 that are at risk for obesity. Dyads recruited from 4 rural sites; n=240 adult/child pairs and from 1 urban site; n=210 adult/child pairs. Type of Info: Intervention; Intervention reception Results: Text messages and Facebook groups were reported overall to be helpful. Tangible content in messages/posts were reported to be the most helpful, ie ideas for recipes and activities. Urban participants found text messages significantly more helpful than their rural counterparts though. 67.8% of participants joined the Facebook groups, and participants reported higher satisfaction with posts on Facebook compared to text messaging. Urban participants were more likely to engage with Facebook posts compared to rural participants according to Facebook analytical data. 31.7% of participants reported changing their phone number during the intervention trial period. Limitations/Things to Note: Health behaviors in children were not analyzed or tracked. Reception of messages was positive, but that does not indicate whether health behaviors were changed and/or influenced by the communications. Conclusion: Delivery of health promotion interventions for AI children via social media is supported to be found helpful by their AI caregivers. Social media may be an area to target in the future for similar programs, as social media accounts generally remain constant over time, while phone numbers are often changed. This intervention delivery method may be of notable help to the urban AI population.

 

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Source: https://academic.oup.com/cdn/article/5/Supplement_4/32/6276718

In-Hospital Mortality Disparities Among American Indian and Alaska Native, Black, and White Patients with COVID-19

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Report to Congress on Leveraging Federal Programs to Prevent and Control Diabetes and Its Complications

Authors: National Clinical Care Commission 

Publication Year: 2021 

Last Updated: 2021 

Journal: Health.gov 

Keywords: Diabetes 

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The National Clinical Care Commission, a federal advisory committee established by the National Clinical Care Commission Act of 2017 – PDF, recently released its final report outlining recommendations to improve diabetes awareness, prevention, and treatment. The report called for additional federal efforts to improve access to health care, address social determinants of health, and improve trans-agency collaboration.

Specifically, NCCC recommends supporting funding for SDPI, including Funding for the Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI) in five-year increments so that evidenced-based tribal diabetes prevention programs have the resources to (1) sustain the effort to combat diabetes and its complications; (2) develop additional culturally appropriate, high-impact diabetes prevention interventions; and (3) evaluate outcomes. • An increase in SDPI funding to address inflation costs, which have consumed more than 34% of the program’s resources since 2004, the last year Congress increased funding for the Special Diabetes Program. In the future, annual increases in funding should, at a minimum, address the costs of inflation.

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Psychological and Social Support Associations with Mortality and Cardiovascular Disease in Middle-Aged American Indians: the Strong Heart Study

Authors: Astrid Suchy-Dicey, Harry Eyituoyo, Marcia O’Leary, Shelley A. Cole, Aminata Traore, Steve Verney, Barbara Howard, Spero Manson, Dedra Buchwald & Paul Whitney  

Publication Year: 2022 

Last Updated: 2022 

Journal: Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology  

Keywords: Aging; Minority Groups 

Abstract: Researchers at the University of Washington in conjunction with The Strong Heart Family Study, examine the effect that social support and community have on cardiovascular and mortality disparities in older/middle-aged American Indians. Topics studied include; stress, anger, cynicism, trauma, depression, quality of life, and social support.

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