Food use of Dene/Metis and Yukon children

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Nakano, Tomoko ; Fediuk, Karen ; Kassi, Norma ; Kuhnlein, Harriet V. (2005)
  • Publisher: Co-Action Publishing
  • Journal: International Journal of Circumpolar Health (issn: 1797-237X, eissn: 1239-9736)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.3402/ijch.v64i2.17966
  • Subject: arctic children, food use, Indigenous people, market food, traditional food
    mesheuropmc: digestive, oral, and skin physiology

Objective. To describe food use of Dene/Métis and Yukon children with focus on food sources - traditional food (TF) and market food (MF), season, gender and location. Study design. Children of 10 – 12 years of age were interviewed for 24-h recalls (n = 222 interviews) in five communities during two seasons in 2000 – 2001. Methods. Differences in children’s food and nutrient intakes when consuming or not consuming at least one item of TF and across three regions were tested using ANCOVA after rank transformation of raw values. Food use was described and compared by food groups. Results. MF was the major portion of the diet, with TF contributing only an average 4.3% - 4.7% of energy in the two seasons. Most TF was in the form of land animal meats. More than half of the energy intake from MF came from less nutrient dense food items. In spite of low TF intake, children who consumed TF had significantly (P ≤ 0.05) more protein, iron, zinc, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, vitamin E, riboflavin and vitamin B6 than those who did not. Children in the more northern communities consumed significantly (P ≤ 0.05) more TF, protein, iron, copper, vitamin B6 and manganese, and less energy, fat, saturated fat and sodium. Conclusions. Extensive use of less nutrient-dense food by children is a concern, suggesting a need for dietary improvement. Use of more TF should be encouraged, especially for children living in more southern Arctic communities near commercial centers.(Int J Circumpolar Health 2005; 64(2):137-146)Keywords: arctic children, food use, Indigenous people, market food, traditional food
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