Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity Within American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) Populations

Three-photo collage of man jogging in the city, Native American woman kayaking and three young Native Americans participating in Powwow Sweat dance.

AI/AN Populations Face Public Health Hurdles

CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity (DNPAO) protects the health of Americans at every stage of life by encouraging regular physical activity, good nutrition, and preventing adult and childhood obesity. Some communities, including AI/AN, face more challenges to achieving overall health.

AI/AN communities have innate strengths and resilience rooted in tribal culture and traditional ways of life. However, AI/AN culture and traditions have been severely disrupted by colonialism, loss of land, and policies, such as assimilation, relocation, and tribal termination, resulting in historical trauma that contributes to higher rates of chronic disease and underlying risk factors, such as obesity and commercial tobacco use.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP) partners with AI/AN communities to promote health, prevent disease, and strengthen cultural connections that improve health and promote wellness. For more information, visit CDC’s Division of Nutrition Physical Activity and Obesity.

Manistique Farmers’ Market Succeeds With Fresh Approach

Community health organizers in Manistique, Michigan, population 3,097, face a number of obstacles in their fight against obesity. High poverty levels and unemployment in a rural food desert provide few affordable options for purchasing fresh produce. With the goal to eliminate a rural food desert, the Manistique work group decided to carry fresh food products exclusively. To increase farmer availability, the group also chose Wednesdays over Saturdays to hold the market.

Restoring Health with New Farmers' Market

At least 2,057 members of the Bay Mills Indian Community (BMIC) in northern Michigan can shop and eat healthier thanks to a new farmers’ market

Navajo Families in New Mexico Now Enjoy a Healthy Dose of New Produce Options

Community Outreach and Patient Empowerment (COPE), the Navajo Nation-based site of Partners In Health, started a Fruit and Vegetable Prescription (FVRx) program.