Exploring Nunavut Public Health System's Readiness to Implement Obesity Prevention Policies and Programs in the Canadian Arctic

Victor O. Akande*, Robert A. C. Ruiter, Stef P. J. Kremers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background. Rapid changes in the food and built environments in the Canadian Arctic have contributed to a dramatic increase in the prevalence rates of obesity. The objective of this study was to explore the determinants of Nunavut public health system's commitment to implement obesity prevention policies and programs in the territory to reduce the burden of obesity-related diseases. Methods. In total, 93 program managers, program officers, and policy analysts who are responsible for program and policy development and implementation within the Nunavut Department of Health (NDH) were asked to complete the validated Organizational Readiness for Implementing Change (ORIC) questionnaire. Organization-level readiness (commitment) was determined based on aggregated individual-level data using bivariate correlations and multivariate linear regression analyses. Results. Of the 93 questionnaires that were distributed only 67 (72%) were returned fully completed. Organization-level commitment to implement obesity prevention policies and programs was low. Only 2.9% of respondents strongly agreed that NDH was committed to implementing obesity prevention policies and programs. The study showed a strong positive correlation between NDH's commitment and perceived value (r = .73), perceived efficacy (r = .50), and resource availability (r = .25). There was no correlation between commitment and knowledge. In the multivariate linear regression model, perceived value was the only significant predictor of NDH's commitment to implement obesity prevention policies and programs ( = 0.66). Conclusions. Successful adoption and implementation of obesity prevention policies and programs in the Canadian Arctic largely depend on the perception of value and benefits of and belief in the change efforts among employees of the Nunavut Department of Health. Convincing policy makers of the value of preventive policies and programs is an important and necessary first step towards decreasing the prevalence of obesity in the Inuit population.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1584956
Number of pages7
JournalBioMed Research International
Publication statusPublished - 9 May 2019



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