A Scoping Review of the Use of Indigenous Food Sovereignty Principles for Intervention and Future Directions

Curr Dev Nutr. 2021 Jul 1;5(7):nzab093. doi: 10.1093/cdn/nzab093. eCollection 2021 Jul.


Indigenous food sovereignty (IFS) represents a community-led movement with potential to reduce health inequities, but no scoping review of the impact of taking an IFS approach on intervention research has been conducted. This review sought to: 1) describe intervention studies that employ IFS principles, and 2) describe the impact of studies using IFS principles on food access, eating patterns, diet quality, physical activity, and health. Through a literature review, 4 IFS principles were identified: 1) community ownership, 2) inclusion of traditional food knowledge, 3) inclusion and promotion of cultural foods, and 4) environmental/intervention sustainability. Twenty intervention studies published between January 1, 2000 and February 5, 2020 were included. Most of the studies that scored high in IFS principles saw a positive impact on diet. This review found evidence supporting the value of IFS principles in the development, implementation, and evaluation of health interventions for Indigenous communities.

Keywords: Native American; cultural food system; diabetes; food access; indigenous food sovereignty; indigenous food systems; indigenous peoples; interventions; obesity; traditional knowledge.