ISGP Podcast: Got Junk [Food]?

Native North American populations are suffering from unprecedented rates of long-term chronic disease and poor mental health, largely associated with lifestyle changes and a transition from land-based to processed foods.

For example, Native Americans in the U.S. are 420% more likely to die from diabetes than the general population and obesity is now one of the most serious public health problems facing American Indigenous children, hovering at a rate of 25%.

These problems are almost entirely caused by bad diets – moving from from traditional foods to commodity foods in a relatively short period of time – and lack of exercise.

This rapid nutritional spiral is not a fait accompli, however. Some of the most toxic effects of the Western diet could be so quickly reversed … at least to some extent, that the nutritional transition can be rewound, undoing some of its damage.

These problems and potential policy solutions were discussed the debate of Dr. Colin Samson’ policy position paper, “Reversing the Nutrition Transition among Native North Americans,” Equitable, Sustainable, and Healthy Food Environments, convened by the ISGP in partnership with Simon Fraser University in Vancouver in the spring of 2016. Dr. Samson is a Professor at the Department of Sociology at the University of Essex.

For more podcasts on this topic and others, visit ISGP’s The Forum and please consider sharing this episode with others.