171546 Navajo/Tribal Gardening and Health Promotion

Tuesday, October 28, 2008: 2:40 PM

Kathleen Huttlinger, PhD, RN , School of Nursing, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM
Susan C. Forster-Cox, PhD, MPH, CHES , Dept. of Health Science, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM
Kevin Lombard, PhD , NMSU Agricultural Science Center, New Mexico State University, Farmington, NM
Alvin Rafelito, MS , New Mexico State University, Pinehill, NM
Community and individual gardens are rapidly becoming an effective mechanism to involve and improve physical activity and overall health in Native Americans but little research has been conducted to demonstrate the health benefits of gardening (Armstrong, 2000; Lombard, et.al. 2006). A study to examine the relationship between obesity, food intake, exercise and general and participation in gardening activities was carried out on the Alamo Reservation in North-Central New Mexico. The specific intent was to determine if people who actively participated in gardening activities were less obese, ate healthier and more nutritious foods, and participated in exercise more than those who did not participate in gardening activities. A two-group design, composed of 30 gardeners and 30 non-gardeners, was employed to address the research question: Do individuals who participate in gardening activities demonstrate fewer characteristics of obesity, participate in more exercise and consume fewer unhealthy foods? Comparisons on the independent variables (dietary intake/healthy foods, BMI & hip/waist measurements[obesity], & exercise) were made on the dependent variable: participation in gardening. Although statistical significance was not established, preliminary evidence suggests a strong need for organizational structure and access to home and community gardens for tribal people.

Learning Objectives:
1. Articulate the process used for measuring the linkage between gardening, physical activity, and health status. 2. Discuss the economic, physical and social relevance of gardening projects, as it relates to health promotion.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Principal Investigator on this sutdy.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.