Youth participant plays a Nintendo Wii game at the Family Fun Night event
By ROSELYNN WAHTOMY
FORT HALL – Diabetes Prevention Family Fun Night was on Thursday, November 30 at the Shoshone-Bannock Hotel.
Participants were staying active while having fun with games and health related activities. Departments with booths in attendance were Early Childhood Program, Social Services, Counseling & Family Services, Fort Hall Health Representatives, Fort Hall Fire Department & EMS, Community Health Nursing, Victims Assistance Program, Diabetes Project and Health Education.
“We wanted to have a fun event that got people moving and having a good time, because diabetes prevention isn’t about just going to doctors appointments, although that’s important. It’s about moving around and having fun and it’s really good to do that as a family, because it teaches our youth really good behaviors,” said Sunny Stone, Diabetes Manager.
According to Stone, in Fort Hall diabetes prevalence is about 14 to 15 percent of the population have been diagnosed with diabetes. This number is relatively high, higher than the national average, but not as high as some other reservations. Some of the southern tribes have up to 50 percent prevalence.
Stone has also observed on the reservation there is a high presence of obesity in the community, which very much works towards a cause of diabetes, as well as family history and some other components.
“Even if you get diabetes it’s not something that has to be a bad thing. We can make lots of lifestyle changes and medication management that can actually help the people with diabetes live very normal and healthy lives and not have to have those complications that everybody fears about that are scary,” said Stone.
In recognition of November being Native American Heritage Month, Louise Dixey from the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes Language & Culture Preservation Department gave a presentation on “Celebrating Our Ancestors and Leaders of Tomorrow.” Stone said they combined the two events so everyone could come to one event and be together as a community.
A healthy meal of buffalo stew Bannock bread and yogurt parfaits was served with coffee and water. Stone explained the intention was not to add 50 calories with beverages and to serve healthy meat that has lower saturated fat.