Demographic and cultural correlates of traditional eating among Alaska Native adults at risk for cardiovascular disease. PloS one Sanders, M. A., Oppezzo, M., Skan, J., Benowitz, N. L., Schnellbaecher, M., Prochaska, J. J. 2022; 17 (9): e0275445


This cross-sectional study assessed how traditional eating relates to cultural and community factors. Alaska Native adults from the Norton Sound region were recruited and surveyed between 2015-2018 for a randomized clinical trial of multiple risk behavior change interventions for cardiovascular disease prevention. Participants (n = 291) were 49% female with a mean age of 47 years (SD = 14). A 34-item food frequency questionnaire assessed consumption of foods traditional and nontraditional to the regional Alaska Native diet. A novel measure, termed the "traditional foods index", was computed as weekly servings of culturally traditional food consumption divided by total foods reported. Overall, the sample's traditional foods index averaged 21%±16%, with higher values reported by participants assessed in summer (23%±17%) than winter (19%±15%, p<0.05); by women (22%±16%) than men (19%±16%, p < .05); and by residents of smaller communities (22%±17%) than the comparatively larger community of Nome (17%±14%, p<0.05). The traditional foods index was correlated with age (r = .26, p < .01), as well as the cultural variables of community connectedness (r = .19, p < .01), community standing (r = .15, p < .01), and traditional language comprehension (r = .19, p < .01). In a multivariate regression model, age, community connectedness, and community standing remained significantly associated with traditional diet. These findings may inform the design and evaluation of community-based, culturally-relevant dietary initiatives for heart health.

View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0275445

View details for PubMedID 36178914