Date of Award

10-5-2017

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.H.K.

Department

Kinesiology

First Advisor

Woodruff, Sarah

Keywords

Children, Community, Indigenous, Northern Fruit and Vegetable, Physical Activity, Sedentary Behaviour

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine fruit and vegetable intake, physical activity (PA), and sedentary behaviour within Indigenous and Non-Indigenous students in grades 5-8 from northern Ontario, Canada. Students (N=872) from 34 schools within the catchment area of Porcupine Health Unit completed the Northern Fruit and Vegetable Program Evaluation survey in May, 2016. The odds of participants having a higher fruit and vegetable intake was lower among (1) those living in remote locations compared to urban locations (OR = -1.299 (95% CI: - 2.336, -0.240), p <0.05) and (2) Indigenous, compared to White, participants (OR = -.674 (95% CI: -1.336, -.0120), p = 0.05); in addition to no associations among ethnicity, location and PA/sedentary behaviour. Among Indigenous participants, those living in remote locations consumed statistically significant less fruit and vegetables (compared to urban and rural; F(2, 128) = 3.780, p = 0.025), and were less physically active (compared to urban and rural; F(2, 121) = 4.724, p = 0.011). There were no statistical differences observed by school location and meeting the sedentary behaviour guidelines for Indigenous populations. Although there were some statistically significant findings pertaining to fruit and vegetable intake among students in northern communities in Ontario, the health behaviours of all participants within this study were concerning. In the future, health interventions are needed to address low fruit and vegetable intake, PA, and sedentary behaviours of children and adolescents. Support through funding opportunities (pertaining to increasing the amount of fruit and vegetables provided to schools) is needed, and it is necessary to advocate for more PA and sedentary behaviour education.

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