August 01, 2010

How Jillian came to the rez

Yavapai-Apache Nation takes lead in fight against diabetesWith insurance premiums on the rise and the demand on YAN's healthcare resources at an all time high, Chairman Thomas Beauty directed his staff to implement a weight loss challenge to the tribe's employees and community members. Executive Assistant Kim Nightpipe took the initiative one step further and sought advice from one of the country's top weight loss promoters.

Nightpipe states, "I couldn't believe they (the national program) contacted the tribe. When I got the phone call that the producers would be sending a team to the tribe to begin working on negotiations, I still couldn't believe it. I don't think it really hit home until the production team actually showed up and got the community members out of their homes and walking."

One family from YAN was chosen to lead in the fight against diabetes. That family, while nervous about appearing nationally and taking the lead internally with the tribe, undertook the challenge and set aside their performance and leadership fears to fight diabetes as an example for Native American communities. This effort resulted in a six-week fitness program designed to implement exercise with nutrition to reduce weight that would otherwise lead to the identified health problems.

As a part of the fitness program, frybread, an intrinsic part of today's Native American dietary cuisine, was tossed out and replaced with healthier foods. Exercise, along with good nutrition, became a part of the family's daily lives. Gradually, the family came to understand that their former lifestyle promoted the diabetic epidemic we now see in Indian Country.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Review of Losing It with Jillian and Jillian Stirs Frybread Furor.

Below:  "A television show has helped the Yavapai-Apache Nation implement a change of lifestyle."

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