Food as Medicine: Promoting Native Foods to Fight Diabetes Among American Indians

Potawot is a clinic in California and one of 17 American Indian organizations nationwide that received a $100,000 grant from the CDC’s Native Diabetes Wellness Program. The clinic is using the money to develop a comprehensive Food as Medicine program trying to re-establish the traditional ways American Indians think about food.

FoodCorps - a new national service organization

FoodCorps, a partner to the AmeriCorps service program, aims to fight obesity and diet-related disease through promoting school gardens and farm-to-school programs. FoodCorps’ 50 members begin their year of service this month in food desserts in 10 states across America, including Native American reservations. Reservations often lack access to fresh, wholesome food and have lost connection to healthier traditional diets.,8599,2089995,00.html

US Department of Health and Human Services

The department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of Community Services website includes information on President Obama’s Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI), a collaboration between the Department of Treasury, USDA, and HHS, that aims to bring healthy food to retail and corner stores in underserved areas across the country.  Find information on the HFFI here:

The HHS Office of Minority Health webpage provides data profiles related to diseases and obesity rates of Native American, African American, Hispanic, Asian American, and Pacific Islander populations. The website provides resources, background information on related policies and initiatives and tools, and you can search through data by population or health topic.           



Indian Country Extensions

This website features resources from all tribal extension offices across the country and includes information on nutrition and health, as well as farming and gardening resources specific to tribes, such as the Cherokee Farming and Gardening resource portal found here. Also included on the website are local office publications and news, and a map of all Indian Country Extension Offices.

United States National Library of Medicine

The American Indian Health webpage provides resources about healthy cooking with commodity foods, information on food distribution programs on Indian Reservations, and personal stories about American Indian’s coping with diabetes and making the transition to a healthier lifestyle.  The webpage also provides resources such as tools, reports and media for researchers and health professionals working to increase nutrition for American Indians.


Leadership for Healthy Communities

The Leadership for Healthy Communities Priority Populations website, which specifically focuses on African American, Latino-Hispanic, American Indian, Asia/Pacific Islander and lower income, includes reports, tools, and fact sheets on childhood obesity. The Leadership For Healthy Communities website also includes city, county, state and federal profiles of political leaders across the country that have been proponents of making their community a healthier place.,com_advancedtags/view,tag/id,6/Itemid,78/