A pilot school-based healthy eating and physical activity intervention improves diet, food knowledge, and self-efficacy for native Canadian children

Brit I. Saksvig, Joel Gittelsohn, Siewart B. Harris, Anthony J G Hanley, Tom W. Valente, Bernard Zinman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The Sandy Lake school-based diabetes prevention program is a culturally appropriate intervention for Ojibway-Cree students in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades. This paper reports the results of the program in changing dietary intake behaviors and related psychosocial factors. Physical activity results are not included. The study was a pretest post-test, single-sample design conducted during the 1998-1999 school year. A total of 122 students completed all 4 measurements (anthropometry, 24-h dietary recall, and 2 questionnaires), at baseline and follow-up. There were significant increases (P <0.0001) in dietary intention, dietary preference, knowledge, and dietary self-efficacy, and in the curriculum knowledge scale between baseline and follow-up. Intervention exposure was significantly associated with being in the highest category for knowledge about foods that were low in dietary fat [Medium Exposure odds ratio (OR): 3.4; P <0.05; High Exposure OR: 6.4; P <0.05], being in the highest category for dietary self-efficacy (Medium Exposure OR: 3.7; P <0.05; High Exposure OR: 3.9; P <0.1), being in the highest category for knowledge about curriculum concepts (Medium Exposure OR: 3.4; P <0.05; High Exposure OR: 9.4: P <0.01), and for having met the age + 5 g dietary fiber intake/d (Medium Exposure OR: 2.9; P <0.1 ; High Exposure OR: 11.0; P <0.01). Exposure to the intervention was not associated with dietary intent or the percentage of energy from dietary fat. This program was associated with improved knowledge and the psychosocial factors related to healthy eating and dietary fiber intake of students in a remote First Nations community.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2392-2398
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2005



  • Canadian Native Children
  • Diabetes
  • Health promotion
  • Native American
  • School-based intervention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Food Science

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