Gardening for Health: Patterns of Gardening and Fruit and Vegetable Consumption on the Navajo Nation
Woo, Lisa Nancy
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The Navajo Nation represents a significant proportion of the American Indian/Alaskan Native population that is disproportionately affected by diet-related chronic diseases. Emerging evidence suggests that community gardening can improve health through increased access to, and consumption of, fruits and vegetables. The purpose of this study was to assess the patterns of gardening and fruit and vegetable consumption among residents in two communities on the Navajo Nation, using survey data from participants in a pilot community garden health intervention (N=106). We found that on average participants gardened 7.3 times per month and consumed 2.4 fruits and vegetables per day. Most participants reported low levels of self-efficacy (77%) and behavioral capability (83%) related to gardening. Lack of time (N=51) and financial barriers (N=50) were the two greatest barriers identified by respondents. There was a positive association between fruit and vegetable consumption and gardening frequency. Further evaluation and research is needed better understand how gardening can increase healthy eating among residents of the Navajo Nation.
- Nutritional sciences