“Many of the foods that we call traditional, like fry bread and mutton stew, are not really traditional,” he said. “Most traditional Navajo foods are corn based but we’ve come to call the unhealthy foods traditional because they are available now and are what we know.”
ICM Food and Clothing Bank Executive Director Renea Gentry and Director of Development Jacquelyn Ahrenberg also attended the caucus meeting. Ahrenberg said that in many communities it is easier to get a prepackaged brownie than it is to find fresh vegetables. She also said that there is a connection between poverty and high obesity rates.
“It is just easier to buy junk food if you are on a fixed income,” she said.
Before the caucus adjourned, members agreed to work together to develop ways to bring awareness to the obesity issues in their communities.
“This is a trend that is having devastating effects on our communities and our children,” Hale said. “It will take more than one discussion to reverse the damage that has been done but the level of commitment within the caucus is high. That will translate into direct action.”