T.R.A.I.L. Diabetes Prevention

On the T.R.A.I.L. to Diabetes Prevention is comprised of a 12 chapter curriculum program that provides youth with a comprehensive understanding of healthy lifestyles in order to prevent type 2 diabetes in Native youth and promote resiliency.

From 1990 to 2009 the incidence of type 2 diabetes in American Indian/Alaska Native youth increased by 110%, according to the Indian Health Service (IHS). Type 2 diabetes has been reported in American Indian youth as young as 4 years of age, and IHS also reports that mortality rates for diabetes are 1.6 times higher for American Indians compared to the U.S. general population.

In 2003, the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), IHS, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA), and Nike, Inc., initiated a prevention program aimed at reducing the onset of type 2 diabetes among Native youth. The program – On the T.R.A.I.L. (Together Raising Awareness for Indian Life) to Diabetes Prevention – is an innovative combination of physical, educational, and nutritional activities.

The program is presented with four themes: About Me, My Health, & Being Part of a Team; Healthy Eating; Making Smart Food Choices and My Healthy Community. Woven throughout the program are self-esteem and prevention activities utilized by BGCA, including contributions from national evidence-based programs such as SMART Moves. Programs draw from tribal traditions and history to learn about nutrition, food choices, media influences and the impact of diabetes.

The program also emphasizes the importance of teamwork and community service. Members apply decision-making and goalsetting skills when completing physical activities and engage in education projects to improve healthy lifestyles in their communities. Club sites implement the SPARK Physical Education and Nike Let Me Play programs to foster Club-wide participation in fun physical activities and games for 60 minutes every day.

The T.R.A.I.L. Resource Center is available to Clubs currently receiving On the T.R.A.I.L. to Diabetes Prevention program funding. If you are currently a funded participating site and need assistance accessing the Resource Center, please email jdavenport@firstpic.org.