Inuit in Arctic regions are experiencing a rapid diet and lifestyle transition. There are limited data on food consumption patterns among this unique population, raising concerns about assessing the risk for the development of diet-related chronic diseases.
To assess the current frequency of consumption of foods and beverages among Inuit in Nunavut, Arctic Canada.
A cross-sectional dietary study was conducted among randomly selected Inuit adults from three communities in Nunavut using a validated quantitative food frequency questionnaire. The participants were 175 women and 36 men with median (IQR) ages of 41.0 (32.5-48.5) and 40.1 (30.0-50.0) years, respectively. The mean and median frequencies of consumption over a 30-day period were computed for 147 individual food items and grouped as foods or beverages.
The 30 most frequently consumed foods were identified. Non-nutrient-dense foods (i.e., high-fat and high-sugar foods) were the most frequently consumed food group (median intake, 3.4 times/day), followed by grains (2.0 times/day) and traditional meats (1.7 times/day). The frequency of consumption of fruits (0.7 times/day) and vegetables (0.4 times/day) was low. The median values for the three most frequently consumed food items were sugar or honey (once/day), butter (0.71 times/day), and Coffee-mate (0.71 times/day). Apart from water, coffee, and tea, the most frequently consumed beverages were sweetened juices (0.71 times/day) and regular pop (soft drinks) (0.36 times/day). This study showed that non-nutrient-dense foods are consumed most frequently in these Inuit communities.
The results have implications for dietary quality and provide useful information on current dietary practices to guide nutritional intervention programs.
Little is understood about the economic factors that have influenced the nutrition transition from traditional to store-bought foods that are typically high in fat and sugar amongst people living in the Canadian Arctic. This study aims to determine the pattern of household food expenditure in the Canadian Arctic.
Local food prices were collected over 12 months in six communities in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories. Dietary intake data were collected from 441 adults using a validated quantitative food frequency questionnaire. Money spent on six food groups was calculated along with the cost of energy and selected nutrients per person.
Participants spent approximately 10% of total food expenditure on each of the food groups of fruit/vegetables, grains and potatoes, and dairy, 17% on traditional meats (e.g. caribou, goose, char, and seal liver), and 20% on non-traditional meats (e.g. beef, pork, chicken, fish, and processed meats). Non-nutrient-dense foods (NNDF) accounted for 34% of food expenditure. Younger participants (
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To determine the portion sizes of traditional and non-traditional foods being consumed by Inuit adults in three remote communities in Nunavut, Canada.
A cross-sectional study was carried out between June and October, 2008. Trained field workers collected dietary data using a culturally appropriate, validated quantitative food frequency questionnaire (QFFQ) developed specifically for the study population.
Caribou, muktuk (whale blubber and skin) and Arctic char (salmon family), were the most commonly consumed traditional foods; mean portion sizes for traditional foods ranged from 10 g for fermented seal fat to 424 g for fried caribou. Fried bannock and white bread were consumed by >85% of participants; mean portion sizes for these foods were 189 g and 70 g, respectively. Sugar-sweetened beverages and energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods were also widely consumed. Mean portion sizes for regular pop and sweetened juices with added sugar were 663 g and 572 g, respectively. Mean portion sizes for potato chips, pilot biscuits, cakes, chocolate and cookies were 59 g, 59 g, 106 g, 59 g, and 46 g, respectively.
The present study provides further evidence of the nutrition transition that is occurring among Inuit in the Canadian Arctic. It also highlights a number of foods and beverages that could be targeted in future nutritional intervention programs aimed at obesity and diet-related chronic disease prevention in these and other Inuit communities.
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To compare dietary intake and quality among adult Inuit by smoking status.
A cross-sectional study using data from a validated quantitative FFQ.
Three isolated communities in Nunavut, Canada.
Adult Inuit (n 208), aged between 19 and 79 years, from randomly selected households.
Average energy intake did not differ between male smokers (n 22) and non-smokers (n 14; 16 235 kJ and 13 503 kJ; P = 0·18), but was higher among female smokers (n 126) compared with non-smokers (n 46; 12 704 kJ and 8552 kJ; P