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

  • Author / Creator
    Pigford, Ashlee-Ann
  • 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.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
    • Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Willows, Noreen D. (Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science)
    • Ball, Geoff D.C. (Pediatrics)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Farmer, Anna (Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science)