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October 6, 2017 – Chronic illnesses, particularly diabetes, is a longstanding public health concern in many tribal communities in the Southwest. Native Americans are also more likely to be obese than many other groups, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which has been associated with diabetes and pre-diabetes.

Public health experts point to many factors that contribute to high rates of diabetes in Native American tribes. Fresh produce is often not available in remote reservations and many people live in areas that lack gyms, parks, or even sidewalks. Families that rely on staples from the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations have to make the most of commodity boxes that were filled for decades with processed food that were high in salt, fat and calories.

In the latest installment of our series “Re-connecting with a healthy lifestyle,” producer Sarah Gustavus and correspondent Antonia Gonzales examine how some individuals have overcome those challenges and are now sharing information and resources with others in their community.

Radio stories on National Native News:
Native health advocate creates ways to promote wellness
Native comedian says exercise helps him both physically and mentally

This series was produced with support from the USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism and the Dennis A. Hunt Fund for Health Journalism in collaboration with National Native News.