Apache Healthy Stores

(in partnership with Dr. Joel Gittelsohn, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health)

Diabetes, obesity and heart disease are severe problems among the White Mountain and San Carlos Apache. Most of these problems are related to a changing lifestyle. Eating a diet that is low in fat and sugar and high in fiber is part of improving lifestyle. The Apache Healthy Stores Program was created to address these problems by working to improve healthy food availability and to promote healthy eating. The development and use of a population-specific food frequency questionnaire was used to develop, implement and evaluate a food store-based nutrition intervention to reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

Goals:
– To improve the availability of healthy foods in local stores.
– To promote the purchase of healthy food alternatives in local stores using health communications approaches.
– To evaluate how successful the program is in increasing knowledge and changing food purchasing, preparation and consumption.

Features:
– One year intervention period: March 2003-March 2004.
– Involved 15 small and large food stores located on the San Carlos and White Mountain Apache reservations.
– Messages developed with approval and participation of tribal leaders.
– After a positive evaluation, in mid-2005 work began to make the AHS intervention sustainable in the community setting.

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