“Backyard Aquaponics: Promoting Healthy Eating among Native Hawaiian Families” will focus on testing a 3-month culturally grounded family-based backyard aquaponics intervention with Native Hawaiian families living in Waimānalo.
The study innovatively merges the modern technology of aquaponics with traditional Native Hawaiian practices to create a “mini ahupuaʻa” system in families’ backyards to provide constant access to fresh fruits, vegetables, and fish.
Through six hands-on community workshops, family members from keiki to kupuna will collectively learn how to build and maintain their aquaponics systems and to create nutritious meals and lāʻau (medicine) with their produce.
Dr. Jane Chung-Do will be working with Ilima Ho-Lastimosa, MSW, and Dr. Ted Radovich from UHM College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) as well as Dr. Phoebe Hwang from UH Office of Public Health Studies to examine the cultural relevance of this intervention and identify changes in eating habits and obesity risks, cultural identity, family cohesion, and community connectedness. Dr. Keawe Kaholokula and Dr. Michael Spencer are serving as mentors on this study.