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Prev Med. 1997 Nov-Dec;26(6):779-90.

The Kahnawake Schools Diabetes Prevention Project: intervention, evaluation, and baseline results of a diabetes primary prevention program with a native community in Canada.

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Kateri Memorial Hospital Center, Kahnawake, Quebec, Canada.



Kahnawake Schools Diabetes Prevention Project is a 3-year community-based, primary prevention program for non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus in a Mohawk community near Montreal, Canada. Objectives are to improve healthy eating and encourage more physical activity among elementary school children.


Intervention incorporates behavior change theory, Native learning styles, the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion, and a health promotion planning model. Evaluation uses a mixed longitudinal and cross-sectional design to measure obesity, fitness, eating habits, and physical activity of elementary school children in the experimental and comparison communities. Intermediate variables are self-efficacy and perceived parental support. Process evaluation provides feedback to the intervention.


During 3 years, 63 distinct interventions that included a Health Education Program reinforced by school events, a new Community Advisory Board, a recreation path, and community-based activities promoting healthy lifestyles were implemented. Baseline consent rates were 87 and 71% in the experimental and comparison schools. As expected, anthropometric data increase with age. Between 9 and 10 years there are increased weight, height, BMI, and skinfold thicknesses; decreased fitness; and increased television watching.


Implementing a Native community-based diabetes prevention program is feasible through participatory research that incorporates Native culture and local expertise.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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