Emerging Opportunities for Registered Dietitian Nutritionists to Help Raise a Healthier Generation of Native American Youth

  • Sheila Fleischhacker
    Address correspondence to: Sheila Fleischhacker, PhD, JD, Office of Nutrition Research, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Two Democracy Plaza, Room 635, 6707 Democracy Blvd, MSC 5461, Bethesda, MD 20892-5461.
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Published:December 08, 2015DOI:
      American Indian children are experiencing alarming signs of nutrition-related chronic diseases, such as overweight/obesity, hypertension, and acanthosis nigricans—a skin condition characterized by areas of dark, velvety discoloration in body folds and creases.
      • Hearst M.
      • Nelson Laska M.
      • Himes J.
      • et al.
      The co-occurrence of obesity, elevated blood presure and acanthosis nigricans among American Indian school-children: Identifying individual hertiage and environment-level correlates.
      Children who develop acanthosis nigricans are at higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes. This commentary aims to increase awareness of emerging opportunities for registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) to help raise a healthier generation of American Indian and Alaskan Native children and adolescents (“youth,” for short). RDNs working for, with, or near tribal communities or as educators, preceptors, or mentors who develop the next generation of RDNs have tremendous potential to shape the public health landscape to advance American Indian and Alaskan Native health.


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      S. Fleischhacker is senior public health and science policy advisor, Office of Nutrition Research, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Bethesda, MD.

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      • Tribal Epidemiology Centers and Native American Health
        Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and DieteticsVol. 116Issue 5
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          We are writing in support of the article, “Emerging Opportunities for Registered Dietitian Nutritionists to Help Raise a Healthier Generation of Native American Youth”.1 The Tribal Epidemiology Center Consortium (TEC-C) provides information that can add to the publication, as well as suggest additional opportunities for registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs).
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