Obesity Epidemic in Indian Country Awareness
The Association of American Indian Physicians (AAIP) created this media campaign to raise awareness of the obesity epidemic in Indian Country. This toolkit, which includes posters and videos campaign materials, is designed to be both informative and humorous. AAIP conducted a focus group with Native youth that resulted in the tone of this campaign. The focus group participants said our message would be better received if the approach made the audience aware of the obesity epidemic in Indian Country, but also created a smile or laugh in the process.
According to the Center for Disease Control, obesity rates in America have tripled in the past 30 years and one in every three children in the United States is obese. Those numbers are even more astronomical for American Indian and Alaska Natives – where our citizens are 1.6 times as likely to be obese. A separate national study of 4-year-olds shows that tribal youth are twice as likely to be obese as their peers.
These are troubling numbers and to bring awareness to the issue, we created a media campaign that we hope will be both something that will be shared via social media, in addition to tribal healthcare facilities. We hope this message is fun and educational but also accessible and reaches tribal citizens on the media outlets they use daily.
There are changes we can make to prevent the chronic diseases and mortality rates associated with obesity. The campaign offers some ideas about creating better access for healthy eating and exercise.
Creating real changes that are systemic, environmental, and policy driven will improve and extend the lives of treasured elders and growing children. We must address the obesity issue head-on and replicate successful programs that build environments conducive to physical activity and increase access to nutritious food.
We hope the toolkit and media campaign, which was conceptualized by Oklahoma-based Buffalo Nickel Creative, is something people will share and that these messages encourage healthier food choices for families at the local level, build physical activity into everyday life and inspire community members to work with tribal leaders to generate policies that promote these ideas.
For more information or to order the AAIP’s anti-obesity media campaign toolkit, visit www.aaip.org or call (405) 946-7072.