The low mortality from cardiovascular disease in Greenland Eskimos has been attributed to their consumption of diets rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are found in fish and marine mammal lipids. Whereas the fatty acid composition of several fish species has been documented, information is more limited on the mammals which feature significantly in the diets of many Arctic populations. This study investigated the fatty acid composition of commonly eaten marine mammals, as well as the polar bear and caribou. The tissue fatty acid composition was species-dependent, probably reflecting to some degree differences in feeding habits. The marine mammals and the amphibious polar bear, but not the caribou, contained substantial quantities of long chain omega-3 fatty acids. These studies further document the transfer of omega-3 fatty acids through the food chain to man and suggest that marine mammal and polar bear lipids are significant sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
To describe and compare dietary intake and prevalence of overweight in a sample of adults in 2 Ojibwe communities in Mille Lacs, Minn, and Lac Courte Oreilles, Wis.
Cross-sectional survey based on interviews that included a 24-hour recall, food frequency questionnaire, and a sociocultural questionnaire.
One hundred four adult Band (tribe) members were selected randomly from current housing lists; pregnant and lactating women were excluded.
Nonparametric Wilcoxon rank sum tests were used to determine differences in absolute nutrient intakes where normality could not be assumed. Two-tailed t tests were conducted to test for differences between nutrient densities. A significance level of alpha = .05 was used; procedurewise adjustments were made using the Bonferroni method when adjusting for multiple comparisons.
The importance of the traditional food system was evident: at least 50% of respondents engaged in hunting and fishing practices. Prevalence of overweight was 47%. Mean nutrient intakes were below the Recommended Dietary Allowance for women for vitamin A, folate, calcium, iron, and zinc and for men for vitamin A and calcium, despite energy intakes that met the Recommended Dietary Allowance. Nutrient densities were lower than those in the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey for women for carbohydrate, vitamin C, folate, calcium, and dietary fiber and for men for folate and dietary fiber. Fat contributed 37% (for men) and 40% (for women) of energy intake.
Areas of focus for culturally relevant education programs (eg, promotion of traditional foods that provide nutrients of low intake status and low-fat traditional food preparation methods) and research needs are suggested to reduce risks for nutrition-related chronic disease among Native Americans.
Chronic metal toxicity is a concern in the Canadian Arctic because of the findings of high metal levels in wildlife animals and the fact that traditional food constitutes a major component of the diet of indigenous peoples. We examined exposure to trace metals through traditional food resources for Inuit living in the community of Qikiqtarjuaq on Baffin Island in the eastern Arctic. Mercury, cadmium, and lead were determined in local food resources as normally prepared and eaten. Elevated concentrations of mercury ( > 50 micrograms/100 g) were found in ringed seal liver, narwhal mattak, beluga meat, and beluga mattak, and relatively high concentrations of cadmium and lead ( > 100 micrograms/100 g) were found in ringed seal liver, mussels, and kelp. Quantified dietary recalls taken seasonally reflected normal consumption patterns of these food resources by adult men and women ( > 20 years old) and children (3-12 years old). Based on traditional food consumption, the average daily intake levels of total mercury for both adults (65 micrograms for women and 97 micrograms for men) and children (38 micrograms) were higher than the Canadian average value (16 micrograms). The average weekly intake of mercury for all age groups exceeded the intake guidelines (5.0 micrograms/kg/day) established by the Joint Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization Expert Committee on Food Additives and Contaminants. The primary foods that contributed to metal intake for the Baffin Inuit were ringed seal meat, caribou meat, and kelp. We review the superior nutritional benefits and potential health risks of traditional food items and implications for monitoring metal contents of food, clinical symptoms, and food use.
Organochlorines and heavy metals have bioaccumulated in Arctic wildlife, which is an important food source for the Inuit. In this study, we have developed a statistical model to describe the population distribution of contaminant exposure and the usual intake of the high-end contaminant consumers. Monte Carlo methods are used to account for variations due to seasonal dietary pattern and contaminant concentrations. Distribution of the dietary intake of the contaminants of most concern-mercury, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), chlordane, and toxaphenes-are described. Over 50% of the residents had dietary exposure levels exceeding the tolerable daily intake or provisional tolerable daily intake for Hg, toxaphene, and chlordane (83, 91, and 71% for men and 73, 85, and 56% for women, respectively). The high-end consumers (i.e. the 95th centile) have intake levels 6 times higher than the provisional tolerable weekly intake of Hg, and over 20 times the tolerable daily intake of chlordane and toxaphene. Assessment of health risks of the relative high contaminant exposure in this community must also consider the nutritional, economical, cultural, and social importance of these traditional foods. A comprehensive risk management scheme has yet to be developed.
Exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls and organochlorine pesticides through traditional food resources was examined for Arctic Indigenous women living in two cultural and environmental areas of the Canadian Arctic--one community representing Baffin Island Inuit in eastern Arctic and two communities representing Sahtú Dene/Métis in western Arctic. Polychlorinated biphenyls, toxaphene, chlorobenzenes, hexachlorocyclohexanes, dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, chlordane-related compounds and dieldrin were determined in local food resources as normally prepared and eaten. Quantified dietary recalls taken seasonally reflected normal consumption patterns of these food resources by women in three age groups: 20-40 y, 41-60 y and > or = 61 y. There was wide variation of intake of all organochlorine contaminants in both areas and among age groups for the Sahtú. Fifty percent of the intake recalls collected from the Baffin Inuit exceeded the acceptable daily intake for chlordane-related compounds and toxaphene, and a substantial percentage of the intake records for dieldrin and polychlorinated biphenyls exceeded the acceptable or tolerable daily intake levels. Primary contributing foods to organochlorine contaminants intake for the Baffin Inuit were meat and blubber of ringed seal, blubber of walrus and mattak and blubber of narwal. Important foods contributing organochlorine contaminant to the Sahtú Dene/Métis were caribou, whitefish, inconnu, trout and duck. The superior nutritional benefits and potential health risks of traditional food items are reviewed, as are implications for monitoring organochlorine contaminant contents of food, clinical symptoms and food use.
A variety of community and external pressures on Indigenous Peoples are leading to increased use of food that is available through industrialization and market economics; food in traditional food systems derived from local, natural environments is declining in use. This report focusses on dietary intake of Arctic men. While nutrient density of Arctic traditional food systems is superior to that of the composite of market food consumed in the North, the percentage of men's daily energy derived from market food is more than double that from traditional food in some communities. Older members of communities consume more traditional food than younger members; men consume more traditional food than do women. In addition to providing excellent nutrition and opportunities for physical exercise. Indigenous Peoples identify many sociocultural benefits to the harvest and use of traditional food. Evaluation of environmental accumulation of organochlorines in wildlife animal food species shows that risk of organochlorine consumption is higher in food systems containing sea mammals, and that tolerance levels for some organochlorines may be exceeded.
The continued expansion of food assistance programs makes it important to examine the sociodemographic characteristics and nutritional profiles of people relying on this service. The authors undertook such a study in a large urban centre.
A total of 490 food bank users were randomly selected from a stratified random sample of 57 urban food banks in Montreal. A questionnaire and a dietary recall interview were given by a dietitian-interviewer to determine socioeconomic, demographic and cultural characteristics and macronutrient intake. These data were compared with national and provincial data.
The mean age of the participants (256 men and 234 women) was 41 years; 204 (41.6%) were living alone and most (409 [83.5%]) were receiving social assistance benefits. These food bank users were well educated (190 [38.8%] had completed technical school or had a college or university education), and the sample included few elderly or disabled people. The median body mass index was greater than 24, which indicated that energy intake, although below recommended levels, was not a chronic problem. The people using the food banks had a monthly shortfall in their food budget of between $43 and $46.
Food banks are used regularly, primarily by young healthy adults. They are though of as a necessary community resource.
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OBJECTIVE: To compare the effect of food source (traditional or market), season (six seasons), and age (five age groups) on dietary nutrient patterns of Inuit living in Baffin Island, Canada. DESIGN: Twenty-four-hour recall interviews of all residents who had lived > or = 3 years in this one community in each of six seasons. Foods that were recalled were divided by source. SETTING/SUBJECTS: The study took place in the Inuit community of Qikiqtarjuaq, which harvests the highest quantity of wildlife per capita of all Baffin communities. Three hundred sixty-six residents contributed a total of 1,410 recalls: 401 from nonpregnant, nonlactating adult women, 74 from pregnant women, 301 from adult men, 451 from children aged 3 to 12 years, and 183 from teenagers aged 13 to 19 years. Participation was voluntary and averaged 65% to 75% of residents. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Energy, total dry weight of food, and dietary nutrients (ie, carbohydrate, protein, total fat, saturated fat, polyunsaturated fat, vitamin A, iron, copper, zinc, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and sodium) were measured by food source, season, and age. Nutrient density (nutrient per 1,000 kcal) was calculated in traditional and market food sources. Selected nutrients were computed in total diets, and compared with Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs). STATISTICAL ANALYSES PERFORMED: Tests for normality of the distribution of nutrient intakes (ie, Shapiro-Wilk statistic) were performed followed by nonparametric analyses (ie, Wilcoxon paired-sample t test, Kruskal-Wallis analysis of variance, and adjustment for Bonferroni inequalities resulting from multiple comparisons). RESULTS: Most nutrient intakes were significantly different by food source (P