Publications | Nourishing Native Foods & Health

Aetna Foundation Grant Final Evaluation


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The impact of food environments on the nutrition and overall health of Native communities is in need of more holistic approaches. This report highlights the success of three innovative programs working to effect change in their communities, with the ultimate goal of improving individual food choices and reducing the burden of diet-related illnesses. As shown in the following pages, research has demonstrated that individual food choices are highly impacted by access to healthy foods, which is in turn influenced by the broader food environment. This report uses such research, and its corresponding behavior-change theories, to highlight three key factors: 1) education, 2) culture and tradition, and 3) strengths-based interventions, that contributed to the success of the featured programs. Ultimately, this report recommends that interventions aimed at reducing diet-related illness through impacting individuals’ behaviors must take a more holistic approach.