The Kahnawake Schools Diabetes Prevention Project: intervention, evaluation, and baseline results of a diabetes primary prevention program with a native community in Canada

Prev Med. 1997 Nov-Dec;26(6):779-90. doi: 10.1006/pmed.1997.0241.


Objectives: Kahnawake Schools Diabetes Prevention Project is a 3-year community-based, primary prevention program for non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus in a Mohawk community near Montreal, Canada. Objectives are to improve healthy eating and encourage more physical activity among elementary school children.

Methods: Intervention incorporates behavior change theory, Native learning styles, the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion, and a health promotion planning model. Evaluation uses a mixed longitudinal and cross-sectional design to measure obesity, fitness, eating habits, and physical activity of elementary school children in the experimental and comparison communities. Intermediate variables are self-efficacy and perceived parental support. Process evaluation provides feedback to the intervention.

Results: During 3 years, 63 distinct interventions that included a Health Education Program reinforced by school events, a new Community Advisory Board, a recreation path, and community-based activities promoting healthy lifestyles were implemented. Baseline consent rates were 87 and 71% in the experimental and comparison schools. As expected, anthropometric data increase with age. Between 9 and 10 years there are increased weight, height, BMI, and skinfold thicknesses; decreased fitness; and increased television watching.

Conclusions: Implementing a Native community-based diabetes prevention program is feasible through participatory research that incorporates Native culture and local expertise.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / ethnology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / prevention & control*
  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Indians, North American*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care
  • Primary Prevention / organization & administration*
  • Program Development
  • Program Evaluation
  • Quebec
  • School Health Services / organization & administration*