Native Village
Youth and Education news
Volume 2   December, 2011

Most Nunavut toddlers lack healthy diet
Condensed by Native Village

Map of Nunavut.

Nunavut: In 2007- 2008, detailed health surveys were conducted in 16 Nunavut communities. The information was gathered as part of an Inuit Health Survey for International Polar Year.

These studies were published in the Journal of Nutrition and the International Journal of Circumpolar Health. Among the results, they show that: 

56% of Nunavut's Pre-K aged children are not receiving adequate nutrition. 

70% of households with a child between ages 3-5  were "food insecure."

Child food insecurity rates were 1000% higher than national figures in Canada.

A group of children play together in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut. A new report suggests that more than half of Inuit preschool-aged children live in households that are not providing proper nutrition.

Food secure
These households had access, at all times throughout the previous year, to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members.

Food insecure
At times during the previous year, these households were uncertain of having, or unable to acquire, enough food to meet the needs of all their members because they had insufficient money for food.

 In these households, adults or children (if present) or both adults and children experienced food insecurity.

Source: Health Canada

"What's happening is that these stressors in the communities are having an impact on nutritional status," said lead author Dr. Grace Egeland from McGill University.  "...and over the long term, we would anticipate it would have implications on health. These are subtle changes in diet that over the long term can have negative consequences."

 Food insecurity is associated with lower education, household income and social assistance.

Egeland said data can be used to help improve the diets of those who are food insecure. Also needed, said one report, is "support systems and dietary interventions for families with young children."


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