RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Assessment of dietary intake among Inuvialuit in Arctic Canada using a locally developed quantitative food frequency questionnaire.

OBJECTIVE: Inuvialuit in Arctic Canada are experiencing a nutritional and lifestyle transition, characterized by a declining consumption of traditional foods, increased consumption of non-nutrient-dense store-bought foods (NNDF), and reduced levels of physical activity with a concurrent rise in chronic diseases. The aim of the present study was to determine dietary intake of Inuvialuit adults in the Northwest Territories, Canada, using a culturally specific, validated quantitative food frequency questionnaire (QFFQ).

METHODS: A cross-sectional dietary survey of 213 randomly selected adults (≥19 years) was conducted in 3 remote communities in the Northwest Territories. Nonparametric analysis was used to compare mean nutrient intake, dietary inadequacy, and differences in nutrient density among men and women. Data were also analyzed to determine the top food groups contributing to energy and selected nutrients.

RESULTS: With response rates of 65% to 85%, 43 men (mean age 43.2 ± 12.8) and 170 women (mean age 44.7 ± 13.9) completed the QFFQ. Mean daily energy intakes for men were 3478 ± 1474 kcal and for women they were 3299 ± 1653 kcal. For both sexes, protein, carbohydrates, and fat provided approximately 16%, 47%, and 28% of energy intake, respectively. NNDFs were the top contributors to energy (39%), fat (40%), carbohydrate (54%), sugar (74%), and sodium (23%) intake. Total traditional foods from the land, sea, and sky such as polar bear and wild birds contributed 11% of energy and 41% of protein intake. Most participants' daily intakes were below recommended levels for dietary fiber; vitamins A, E, and D; potassium; and magnesium. Mean daily energy, saturated fat, and sodium intakes exceeded recommendations.

CONCLUSIONS: We identified nutrient inadequacies and characterized food consumption among Inuvialuit. These data support nutritional interventions that encourage consumption of traditional foods. The cultural and ethnic differences in Canadian Arctic populations require specific tailoring of public health interventions and policy using population specific tools to meet local needs.

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