Primary objectives were to describe beliefs about diet and health, weight perceptions, and weight loss practices among Lakota Indian adults. In-person interviews were conducted with a total of 219 adults from two reservations in South Dakota. Overall, 55.5% of the sample was overweight. When asked how they perceived their body weight, 6% felt they were "too thin," 43.4% thought they were "about right," and 50.2% felt they were "too fat." When asked what they were doing about their weight, 74% said they were either trying to lose weight or trying to keep from gaining more weight. Reducing the amount of food eaten (90%), eating more fruits and vegetables (86%), increasing physical activity (84%), and skipping meals (82%) were reported to have been used by most ot those who had dieted. Of those who felt they needed to lose weight, 78% said they would join a weight loss program if one were offered. Findings indicate that most Lakota adults are concerned about obesity and are attempting to either lose excess weight or avoid gaining weight. Intervention efforts for this population should focus on providing individuals with guidance on effective strategies for weight loss or obesity prevention. Weight loss programs should include features identified as important by survey participants, such as information on how to fit a healthful diet and exercise into daily life.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Research was supported by the Nat~onaIl nst~tuteo f D~abetesa nd Digestlve and Kid- ney Diseases (NIDDK) Grant IP30-DK50456 to Allen S. Levine. Address for correspondence: Lisa Harnack, R.D. Dr.P.H., Division of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Un~vers~toyf Minnesota, 1300 South Second Street, Suite 300, Minneapolis, MN 55454-1015;Tel: (612) 626.9398; Fax: (612) 624-9328; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 01999 SOCIETY FOR NUTRITION EDUCATION