The American Indian population has among the highest rates of obesity in the United States. Thus, it is critical to understand factors related to this epidemic (e.g., physical activity, nutrition) among this ethnic minority population. The current study examined factors related to engaging in at least 4 days of physical activity (PA) per week and factors related to consuming at least 5 fruits and vegetables (FV) per day among a sample of American Indians in the Midwest. We used multiple methods to recruit participants for this study, including recruitment at pow wows, focus groups, health fairs, new student orientation for American Indian students, and other venues. A total of 998 American Indians (76% participation rate) completed a survey assessing sociodemographics, physical activity level, fruit and vegetable intake, and perceptions regarding the recommendations for physical activity and fruit and vegetable intake. Factors associated with exercising ≥4 days in the past week (44.77% of the sample) include being younger (P =.002), being male (P<.001), having at least some college education (P =.048), eating ≥5 FV per day, and higher perceived number of days of PA recommended (P<.001). Factors associated with eating ≥5 servings of FV per day (37.01% of the sample) included exercising ≥4 days in the past week (P<.001) and higher perceived number of servings of FV recommended (P<.001). These findings highlight the importance of education in enhancing engagement in positive weight control behaviors and the importance of addressing both physical activity and nutrition among the American Indian population.
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Acknowledgment This research was funded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (R24MD002773; PI: Daley) and the American Lung Association (SB-40588-N; PI: Daley). Dr. Ahluwalia is supported in part by 1P60MD003422 from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities at the NIH.
- American Indian
- Physical activity