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Obesity, physical activity and lifestyle perceptions in Alberta First Nations children Open Access


Other title
Childhood obesity
Physical activity
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Pigford, Ashlee-Ann
Supervisor and department
Ball, Geoff D.C. (Pediatrics)
Willows, Noreen D. (Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science)
Examining committee member and department
Farmer, Anna (Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science)
Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science

Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
In Canada, obesity and associated chronic diseases disproportionately affect First Nations children. The objectives of this research were to assess obesity, physical activity, and perceptions of lifestyle behaviors in Cree First Nations children (5-12 years) in one Alberta reserve community. Levels of obesity (20.0%), abdominal obesity (49.5%), and physical inactivity (64.0%) were high. Most overweight and obese children were also abdominally obese (88.0%). Focus groups interviews indicated that cultural/traditional knowledge was overarching and integral to children’s understandings of health, food, and activity. Discussions revealed that family members were children’s main source of health knowledge. Explanations of the meaning of health included healthy foods and activities, respectful relationships with nature, and the absence of chronic conditions. Children preferred foods and activities they considered to be healthy. Our findings indicate the need to develop local strategies that integrate cultural/traditional practices and ensure family participation to promote healthy weights in First Nations children.
License granted by Ashlee-Ann Pigford ( on 2010-07-01T02:55:29Z (GMT): Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of the above terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis, and except as herein provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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