Obesity and Native Americans
Here are concrete suggestions:
- Being overweight or obese increases a Native
American's risk of heart disease, type 2
diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, breathing problems, arthritis,
gallbladder disease, sleep apnea (breathing problems while sleeping), and
some cancers, like renal cell cancer.
- Obesity is measured with a Body Mass Index (BMI). BMI shows the relationship of weight to height.
- Women with a BMI of 25 to 29.9 are considered overweight, while
women with a BMI of 30 or more are considered obese.
- All adults (aged 18
years or older) who have a BMI of 25 or more are considered at risk for
premature death and disability from being overweight or obese.
- These health
risks increase as the BMI rises. Your health care provider can help you
figure out your body mass or go to www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/bmi/calc-bmi.htm.
Not only are health care providers concerned about how much fat a person
has, but also where the fat is located on the body. Women with a
"pear" shape tend to store fat in their hips and buttocks. Women
with an "apple" shape store fat around their waists.
- For most
women, carrying extra weight around their waists or middle (with a waist
larger than 35 inches) raises health risks (like heart disease, diabetes, or
cancer) more than carrying extra weight around their hips or thighs.
- In one
specific population in Arizona, a study found that 80% of American Indians
- If you are overweight or obese, losing weight can lower
your risk for many diseases. And physical activity is an important part of
weight loss treatment. Try to be active (30 minutes most days of the week is
best) and eat better to help prevent and treat obesity.
- Overweight and obesity result from an energy
imbalance. This involves eating too many calories and not getting enough
- Body weight is the result of genes,
metabolism, behavior, environment, culture, and socioeconomic status.
- Behavior and environment play a large role
causing people to be overweight and obese. These are the greatest areas for
prevention and treatment actions.
- Address obesity at every doctor visit.
- Exercise, exercise, exercise!!!
- Reduce calorie intake
- Ask for a referral for dietician consultations.
Do improve nutrition and be more active.
Do use obesity medications. They are
largely safe and effective, and the alternative of further weight gain
is not desirable or healthy.
Find culturally and
linguistically appropriate care.
Impact on Energy Balance
- Ensure that the school breakfast and
lunch programs meet nutrition standards
- Provide food options that are low in
fat, calories, and added sugars
- Provide all children, from
prekindergarten through grade 12, with quality daily physical
- Decreases excessive calorie consumption
- Increases daily physical activity
- Create more opportunities for physical
activity at work sites
- Increases daily physical activity
Increases calories used
- Promote healthier choices including at
least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day, and reasonable
- Encourage the food industry to provide
reasonable food and beverage portion sizes
- Encourage food outlets to increase the
availability of low-calorie, nutritious food items
- Create opportunities for physical
activity in communities
- Decreases in excessive calorie
- Increases leisure time physical activity
Obesity is a
treatable disease. Modify your behavior now, and Treat Obesity!
Source: American Journal of Medicine
and Center for Disease Control
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