- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 12, 2014

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (AP) - The Cherokee Nation is conducting a study examining obesity rates within the tribe.

The study intends to prevent tribal members who are mothers and their babies from gaining an unhealthy amount of weight during pregnancy. About 80 pregnant mothers will be enrolled in the multiyear study that is being conducted jointly with the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

Cherokee Nation Health Research director Sohail Khan says obesity is particularly devastating for Native Americans. Khan says the Cherokee Nation is pursuing all options in trying to fight obesity.

Khan says that if the pilot project is successful, the tribe will pursue a larger grant so they can offer similar services to all expectant mothers who are members of the Cherokee Nation.

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