A foundation backed by professional golfer Notah Begay III has identified New Mexico as “ground zero” for finding better ways to address obesity and diabetes in Native American children.
In a report released Monday, Begay’s foundation pointed to New Mexico’s large Native American population and what it describes as dramatic health and educational disparities.
The foundation has spent the past year discussing with tribal leaders, health experts and others the challenges of dealing with obesity and diabetes. More than 250 stakeholders participated in the discussions.
The result is a set of recommendations that call for everything from awareness campaigns and more research to the strengthening of programs that promote language and traditional cultural values.
The foundation’s work was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and PNM Resources Inc.