An ecological approach to understanding and improving the nutrition and health of Cree children- Summary Report

Thu, 08/14/2014 - 14:50 -- Tracy Wysote
TitleAn ecological approach to understanding and improving the nutrition and health of Cree children- Summary Report
Publication TypeResearch
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsWillows ND
KeywordsObesity, physical activity
Abstract

Rationale for the Current Research Project The high prevalence of diabetes in the adult Cree population, and the findings from The Emiyuu Ayayaachiit Awaash Project that many children had excess body weight, insufficient physical activity, low fitness, diets of poor quality, and disliked their physical appearance reinforced the case for increased efforts at improving children's nutrition, activity levels and fitness while being sensitive to protecting children’s self-esteem in relation to their appearance. It was important that interventions aimed at preventing childhood obesity be culturally appropriate. An ecological approach to understanding and improving the nutrition and health of Cree children was conducted in the Cree Nation of Mistissini to strengthen and add to information obtained in the formative assessment of children’s health. Using an ecological approach, the multiple levels of influence that may contribute to childhood obesity were documented using both qualitative and quantitative methodologies. The main activities that were carried out beginning in 2010 included (1) documenting parents' food choices for their children and their perceptions of their child’s weight status (2) documenting children's food preferences and usual and preferred physical activities, and (3) using the ANGELO (Analysis Grid of Environments Linked to Obesity) framework to conduct a community workshop to democratically develop and prioritize interventions to promote healthy eating and physical activity among children. The intention of these activities was to understand the most appropriate ecological levels for interventions to prevent childhood obesity in the Cree Nation of Mistissini, and to improve the evidence base for the development of effective, promising and culturally appropriate interventions.

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