Modeling diets for quality and cost: examples from Inuit and First Nations in Canada


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Nutrition-related chronic diseases (NRCD) and the underlying obesity are on the rise globally. Indigenous peoples suffer more acutely from the burden of health problems associated with NRCD. Due to factors such as European colonisation, climate change, and concerns about contaminants Indigenous peoples in Canada have transitioned to a diet comprised mostly of processed market foods rather than minimally processed foods procured using traditional pursuits such as hunting, fishing and gathering. NRCD are in part due to the current poor quality of the food supply and often it is beyond the ability of individuals to make the right food choices to maintain good health. Using two datasets, one from First Nations participants living on reserve through the First Nations Food, Nutrition and Environment Study (FNFNES, 2008-2018) and one from Inuit participants from the Inuit Health Survey (2007-2008), we characterized typical dietary patterns of these populations and compared them to the dietary recommendations. We also developed novel methodologies to better characterize diet quality that can also be applied to dietary studies in other populations. Among the First Nations, we used measures of the portion of ultra-processed foods (UPF) in their diet and described the nutrient profile of consumers of the most traditional food. Among the Inuit, we developed a food system model that quantitatively describes the cost, nutrition quality, and contaminant levels of their diet. The model was used to develop different optimal diets and to establish dietary recommendations. These results provide the basis for engaging Indigenous peoples to develop realistic nutrition goals and policy anchored in their food reality.


Malek Batal

The impact of food processing on diet quality: Avenues for diet modelling using data from the First Nations Food Nutrition and Environment Study

Nutrition-related chronic diseases (NRCD) and the underlying obesity are on the rise globally. Indigenous peoples suffer more acutely from the burden of health problems associated with NRCD. Due to factors such as European colonisation, climate change, and concerns about contaminants, First Nations in Canada have transitioned to a diet comprised mostly of processed market foods rather than minimally processed foods procured using traditional pursuits such as hunting, fishing and gathering. NRCDs are in part due to the current poor quality of the food supply and often it is beyond the ability of individuals to make the right food choices to maintain good health. Using a dataset from First Nations participants living on reserve through the First Nations Food, Nutrition and Environment Study (FNFNES, 2008-2018), we characterized typical dietary patterns of these populations and compared them to the dietary recommendations. We used measures of the portion of ultra-processed foods (UPF) in their diet and described the nutrient profile of consumers of the most traditional food. These results provide the basis for engaging Indigenous peoples to develop realistic nutrition and goals and policy anchored in their food reality.


***Original Source: "2017 Annual Conference", Saturday, May 27, 2017

Length: 1:20:10

Type: Video

Last Updated: June 26, 2017

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Modeling diets for quality and cost: examples from Inuit and First Nations in Canada Video
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