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Assessment of dietary adequacy in a remote Inuvialuit population

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Abstract Background: 

Traditional foods are rich sources of essential nutrients, but Inuvialuit in the Northwest Territories (NWT), Canada, have been undergoing a nutrition transition, characterised by an increased consumption of non-nutrient-dense foods. The present study aimed to characterise energy, nutrient and food intakes amongst adult Inuvialuit. Methods: 

The study collected up to three 24-h dietary recalls on nonconsecutive days for each participant in spring/summer of 2008 in one remote community in the NWT. Recall data were analysed for energy and nutrient intake, dietary adequacy, most commonly reported foods, and food contributors to energy and nutrients. Results: 

Participants included 14 men and 50 women (response rate 79%). Median daily energy intake was 9.4 (interquartile range = 5.7) MJ for men and 8.3 (3.6) MJ for women. The majority of adult Inuvialuit did not meet the recommendation for vitamins A [median intake = 344.7 (246.3) μg-RAE in men, 248.9 (213.8) μg-RAE  in women], B6 [0.9 (0.8) mg in men, 1.0 (0.5) mg in women] and E [2.4 (2.1) mg in men, 1.8 (1.0) mg in women], dietary fibre [7.7 (5.7) g in men, 8.7 (4.4) g in women], calcium [779.6 (842.0) mg in men, 610.4 (431.5) mg in women] and total folate [222.6 (57.7) μg in men, 264.6 (127.5) μg in women]. Vitamin D intake was below the recommendation for most women [median intake = 100.0 (119.2) IU]. Traditional foods contributed substantially to protein and iron intake. Juices were the main contributors to energy, carbohydrate and calcium. Conclusions: 

The present study revealed an inadequate consumption of essential nutrients in an Inuvialuit population. If these nutrient deficiencies continue, this population will face an increased burden of chronic diseases and malnutrition.

Keywords: 24-h recalls; Inuvialuit; dietary adequacy; nutrients; traditional foods

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Nutrition Research Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Kannapolis, NC, USA 2: Northwest Territories and Nunavut Public Health Association, Yellowknife, NWT, Canada 3: School of Food and Nutritional Sciences, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland 4: Department of Health and Social Services, Government of the Northwest Territories, Yellowknife, NWT, Canada 5: Department of Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada

Publication date: 2010-10-01

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