A Community-Based, Environmental Chronic Disease Prevention Intervention to Improve Healthy Eating Psychosocial Factors and Behaviors in Indigenous Populations in the Canadian Arctic

Erin L. Mead, Joel Gittelsohn, Cindy Roache, André Corriveau, Sangita Sharma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Diet-related chronic diseases are highly prevalent among indigenous populations in the Canadian Arctic. A community-based, multi-institutional nutritional and lifestyle intervention-Healthy Foods North-was implemented to improve food-related psychosocial factors and behaviors among Inuit and Inuvialuit in four intervention communities (with two comparison communities) in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories, Canada, in 2008. The 12-month program was developed from theory (social cognitive theory and social ecological models), formative research, and a community participatory process. It included an environmental component to increase healthy food availability in local stores and activities consisting of community-wide and point-of-purchase interactive educational taste tests and cooking demonstrations, media (e.g., radio ads, posters, shelf labels), and events held in multiple venues, including recreation centers and schools. The intervention was evaluated using pre- and postassessments with 246 adults from intervention and 133 from comparison communities (311 women, 68 men; mean age 42.4 years; 78.3% retention rate). Outcomes included psychosocial constructs (healthy eating knowledge, self-efficacy, and behavioral intentions), frequency of healthy and unhealthy food acquisition, healthiness of commonly used food preparation methods, and body mass index (kg/m2). After adjustment for demographic, socioeconomic status, and body mass index variables, respondents living in intervention communities showed significant improvements in food-related self-efficacy (β = 0.15, p =.003) and intentions (β = 0.16, p =.001) compared with comparison communities. More improvements from the intervention were seen in overweight, obese, and high socioeconomic status respondents. A community-based, multilevel intervention is an effective strategy to improve psychosocial factors for healthy nutritional behavior change to reduce chronic disease in indigenous Arctic populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)592-602
Number of pages11
JournalHealth Education and Behavior
Volume40
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2013

Keywords

  • Inuit
  • chronic disease
  • dietary behaviors
  • nutrition intervention
  • obesity
  • psychosocial factors
  • social cognitive theory
  • social ecological models

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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