The Waianae Diet Program: a culturally sensitive, community-based obesity and clinical intervention program for the Native Hawaiian population

Hawaii Med J. 1994 May;53(5):136-41, 147.


The Waianae Diet Program (WDP) is a community-based program designed at the Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center in response to the high rates of obesity and chronic disease among Native Hawaiians. Its foundation is a 3-week program of traditional Hawaiian diet and cultural teachings. It employs 8 innovations in clinical nutrition and health promotion theory: 1. Non-calorie restricted weight loss protocol, 2. Dietary clinical intervention, 3. Cultural sensitivity, 4. Transition diet, 5. Whole-person approach, 6. Group ohana (family) support, 7. Community intervention, and 8. Role modeling. It has demonstrated significant weight loss with no calorie restriction, improvement in blood pressure, serum glucose, and serum lipids. It appears to have wide acceptance in the Hawaiian community. More studies are warranted to determine the long-term effect of this program.

MeSH terms

  • Community Health Services*
  • Culture*
  • Diet*
  • Hawaii
  • Health Promotion*
  • Humans
  • Obesity / ethnology
  • Obesity / prevention & control