Using the Medicine Wheel to Control Type 2 Diabetes

This is the Medicine Wheel, representing the four dietary components of the traditional Northern Plains Indian hunter-gatherer food pattern.

| Sep 26, 2009

The way information is presented to us makes a big difference in whether we are able to integrate that information into our daily lives. Although graphs and numbers may sway some people, putting educational materials into a culturally relevant context can be more effective. A recent study, for example, has found that a dietary program based on the Medicine Wheel Model for Nutrition can change eating patterns among Native Americans, who have the highest rates of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease of all ethnic groups. 

The study, which was led by Kendra K. Kattelmann, PhD, RD, of South Dakota State University, randomly assigned participants from the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation to an education group and a usual care control group.  The education group received six nutrition lessons based on the Medicine Wheel Model for Nutrition, which was modeled after Northern Plains Indian traditional consumption patterns:

  • Protein - 25% of energy
  • Carbohydrates - 45% to 50% of energy
  • Fat - 25% to 30% of energy

After six months, significant weight loss was observed in the education group, as well as a decrease in body mass index (BMI).  The control group, who received the usual educational materials from their healthcare providers, had no significant change in weight or BMI.

In the September 2009 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, Dr. Kattlemann noted that "A diet patterned after the historical hunter-gatherer type diet, or even the early reservation diet (with the higher proportion of energy being supplied from protein), may provide better blood glucose control and lower the circulating insulin levels in Northern Plains Indians with type 2 diabetes. Tribal leaders are interested in preserving the history of their food patterns and embrace the development of educational tools depicting their historical consumption patterns."


Press release from the American Dietetic Association

Click Here To View Or Post Comments

Categories: Blood Glucose, Diabetes, Diabetes, Diets, Food, Insulin, Pre-Diabetes, Research, Type 2 Issues, Weight Loss

Take the Diabetes Health Pump Survey
See What's Inside
Read this FREE issue now
For healthcare professionals only
  • 12th Annual Product Reference Guide
  • Insulin Syringe Chart
  • Insulin Pen Needles Chart
  • Fast-Acting Glucose
  • Sharps Disposal
  • Blood Glucose Meters Chart
  • Insulin Pumps Chart
See the entire table of contents here!

You can view the current or previous issues of Diabetes Health online, in their entirety, anytime you want.
Click Here To View

See if you qualify for our free healthcare professional magazines. Click here to start your application for Pre-Diabetes Health, Diabetes Health Pharmacist and Diabetes Health Professional.

Learn More About the Professional Subscription

Free Diabetes Health e-Newsletter

Top Rated
Print | Email | Share | Comments (2)

You May Also Be Interested In...

Click Here To View Or Post Comments

Comments 2 comments - Sep 26, 2009

©1991-2015 Diabetes Health | Home | Privacy | Press | Advertising | Help | Contact Us | Donate | Sitemap

Diabetes Health Medical Disclaimer

The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained on or available through this website is for general information purposes only. Opinions expressed here are the opinions of writers, contributors, and commentators, and are not necessarily those of Diabetes Health. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website.