Month: November 2022

A Partnership Between Researchers and the Navajo Nation to Study a Junk Food Tax

Blog graphic for A Partnership Between Researchers and the Navajo Nation to Study a Junk Food Tax




Co-Authored By
Regina Eddie, Ph.D., Northern Arizona University School of Nursing
Hendrik “Dirk” de Heer, Ph.D., Department of Health Sciences, Northern Arizona University
Del Yazzie, M.P.H., Navajo Epidemiology Center

Eight years ago, the Navajo Nation enacted the first junk food tax within the United States and the first in any sovereign tribal nation in the world. The Healthy Diné Nation Act (HDNA) of 2014 created a 2% tax on foods and beverages that had little to no nutritional value. A companion piece of legislation removed the usual sales tax (then 5%, now 6%) for healthy foods, including water, nuts, fruits, and vegetables. The revenue from the unhealthy food tax is designated for local wellness projects in the 110 local communities that make up the Navajo Nation.

Because they are sovereign nations, tribal nations are uniquely able to implement policies aimed at improving public health that may be difficult to implement in other places. Through partnerships with researchers at academic institutions, tribal nations can also measure the effects of these policies and share that information widely. Continue reading “A Partnership Between Researchers and the Navajo Nation to Study a Junk Food Tax”


The Dementia Epidemic Among Older Black Americans

Dementia Blog
Dementia Blog

Photo of Drs. Hayward and FarinaCo-authored by

Mark D. Hayward, Ph.D.
University of Texas at Austin

Mateo P. Farina, Ph.D. 
University of Southern California 

November is Alzheimer’s Awareness month. While it is a time to recognize the importance of supporting persons living with dementia, it is also a time to acknowledge the glaring disparities in dementia in our country. One such disparity is the epidemic levels of dementia among older Black Americans compared to White Americans.

The prevalence of dementia among Black Americans aged 65 years and older is about 2.5 times that for White Americans of the same age. In 2012, for example, a nationally representative study reported that 19.3% of older Black people had dementia compared to 7.4% of older White people1. These differences are starker at older ages. For Black persons aged 75 years and older, the prevalence of dementia is 31%, compared to 9% for White persons of that age2. Research reporting race differences in dementia onset—that is, new cases of dementia—document a similar race gap: Black people have about a 2.7 times greater risk of onset compared to White people3. These numbers translate into an extraordinary and disproportionate burden for Black individuals, their families, and their communities. This burden is often compounded by older Black Americans having fewer personal, social, economic, clinical, and community resources compared to White Americans. Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic has increased these inequities, making care more difficult to obtain and placing a greater burden on familial caregivers. Continue reading “The Dementia Epidemic Among Older Black Americans”


Helping Youth from Racial and Ethnic Minority Groups Access Effective ADHD Treatment

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By Lauren Haack, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
University of California, San Francisco

Photo of Dr. Lauren HaackAttention-Deficit, Hyperactivity/Impulsivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common mental health disorders impacting approximately 5% of children across cultures.1 Brain differences related to ADHD influence those affected in several ways.1,2 To begin, new or challenging tasks seem overwhelming, making it hard to map out a plan for completion and self-motivate initiation.3 In addition, individuals with ADHD have a tendency to over-perceive negative feedback and under-perceive positive feedback,2,4 which relates to difficulty regulating emotions.2 Unfortunately, as children with ADHD reach school age, they encounter more difficulties and more opportunities for critical rather than positive feedback from parents, teachers, and peers.2,5 As a result, ineffective patterns of interaction between children with ADHD and others in their lives can become entrenched, contributing to stress, confusion, and even hopelessness.4,5 Continue reading “Helping Youth from Racial and Ethnic Minority Groups Access Effective ADHD Treatment”