Dietary Choices and Weight Control Practices Among Cheyenne River Lakota Households
Research Center: American Indian Studies Program, The University of Arizona
Investigator: Phillips, John, and John Finn
Institution: Si Tanka College
John Phillips, M.S.
USDA Tribal College liason
Room 3428-S South Building
1400 Independence Ave.
Washington, D.C. 20250
202-720-5877 fax 202-690-2173
This study describes the prevailing dietary choices and
weight control practices among Cheyenne River
Lakota households. The authors surveyed a random
sample of Cheyenne River Lakota households during
the summer of 1999 using a standardized questionnaire
and in-person interviews. Follow-up interviews on a
random subsample of households helped to verify the
questionnaire and sought further information on
weight control program preferences.
A total of 216 households participated in the survey.
The most frequently consumed high-fat foods included
butter/margarine (35 percent > 5 times per week),
potato and corn chips (29 percent > 5 times per week),
cheese (27 percent > 5 times per week), and hot dogs,
bologna, and luncheon meats (26 percent > 5 times per
week). Few reported consuming fruits (11 percent > 5
times per week), or vegetables (18 percent > 5 times
per week) on a daily basis. Sweetened beverages were
consumed frequently, including regular pop (43 percent
> 5 times per week) and Kool-Aid® or punch (39
percent > 5 times per week).
Most respondents engaged in mild exercise for at least
30 minutes 3 times per week or more (78 percent).
Weight loss or maintenance techniques used frequently
included increasing activity levels (59 percent), eating
more fruits and vegetables (76 percent), eating less
fatty foods (65 percent), eating less sweets (74 percent),
and reducing the amount of total food consumed
(70 percent). Most individuals (64 percent) were
favorable to joining a program that promotes healthy
diet and exercise. Major barriers to exercise included
lack of time (54 percent) and medical reasons or disabilities
(42 percent). Barriers to eating healthful
foods included higher costs (50 percent) and unpopularity
with the family (40 percent). The authors conclude
that nutrition and weight control programs that
address these reported barriers and provide incentives
for increased participation are needed.