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Type 2 diabetes & traditional foods -- American Indian and Alaska Native adults

Dear Colleagues:

Type 2 diabetes is a growing concern around the world. American Indian and Alaska Native adults are twice as likely to have diagnosed diabetes as non-Hispanic whites. In addition, Native American youth aged 10 to 19 years are developing type 2 diabetes at higher rates than youth in other racial and ethnic groups of this age.  Healthy eating is one part of turning the picture around for all of us but many basic nutrition units don't use traditional foods.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Native Diabetes Wellness Program (NDWP) has three publications that highlight traditional foods programs in culturally and geographically diverse American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities.  They include

I'm wondering if others have healthy eating materials that are or could be shaped to address diabetes and good nutrition for other traditions.

Cynthia Zafft

Health Literacy Moderator


Leecy's picture
One hundred

Cynthia, thank you.  I know that here in the Four Corners Region, diabetes is prevalent. I can imagine that the topic could be used to create very engaging readings (at low levels), discussions, and writing and other projects (posters, presentations, collages, on and on). I wonder if anyone out there has developed this or similar health topics as themes in adult ed. Anyone? Leecy

Paul Rogers's picture
One hundred

Leecy, yes, I think that health should be part of the lessons in any adult EFL class, right after parts of the body. It may get a little controversial, but ....I once asked people to tell me in English their recipe for Salsa ...and! There were a few disagreements!!!

Many times we learn by the "power of suggestion", it takes time to change habits. Diet is very important and often in a class there will be people who know very well how important this is, and they can "lead the discussion".

The results will only be positive.


Leecy's picture
One hundred

Right on, Paul. Leecy