Type II Diabetes is the most prevalent disease among Zunis. Serious related complications are seen frequently in the Zuni population. In 1983, personnel at the Zuni Service Unit initiated a community-based exercise program designed to help control Type II diabetes. The effects of this program were studied, beginning in 1987, by comparison of medical records between participants and non-participants. This study demonstrated that participation in this type of a program can facilitate weight loss and decreased the need for insulin or oral hypoglycemic agents. Two new related studies offer strong evidence that physical activity may actually help prevent Type II diabetes in both men and women. The IHS funded the Zuni Model Diabetes Program, the critical elements of which are detailed in this report. The success of the model depends on an ideal that is expressed by the acronym AIMS: Awareness, Information, Motivation, and Skills. The idea is that community support of exercise programs is essential to successful implementation. The report concludes that if community residents are convinced that healthy lifestyles can become an integral part of American Indian and Alaskan Native culture, successful implementation of programs like this one is possible..
Indian Health Service, Staff Office of Planning, Evaluation and Research, Rockville, MD 20857.
Evaluation of the Zuni diabetes project and the Zuni wellness program: final report. Indian Health Service, Staff Office of Planning, Evaluation and Research, Rockville, MD 20857. 1992