1 Health in Greenland, National Institute of Public Health, Det Sundhedsvidenskabelige Fakultet, SDU2 Det Sundhedsvidenskabelige Fakultet, SDU3 Health in Greenland, National Institute of Public Health, Det Sundhedsvidenskabelige Fakultet, SDU
Inuit Health in Transition - the diet of young Inuit in Greenland Charlotte Jeppesen, National Institute of Public Health, Copenhagen, Denmark OBJECTIVE The traditional diet of Inuit living in Greenland consists of marine mammals, reindeer, wild fowls and fish. Within the last 50 years consumption of imported Western foods has increased, as have the prevalence of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. This study aims to investigate whether the contribution of traditional foods to the dietary macronutrient composition differs across gender and age. METHODS Data were collected in a cross-sectional study in West Greenland among 2246 Inuit ≥ 18 years. Food intake was examined by an interviewer-administered food-frequency questionnaire: 23 of 70 items consisted of Greenlandic foods, e.g. seal, whale, reindeer, musk ox, local birds and fish. All analyses (Kruskal-Wallis) were split by sex and age (18-24, 25-34, 35-59, 60+ years). RESULTS Intake of energy, protein, carbohydrate, and fat from traditional foods increased significant with increasing age (p<0.0001). Total carbohydrate intake decreased with increasing age (p<0.0001). The youngest age groups (18-24 and 25-34 years old) had significantly higher intake of refined sugar from candy, cakes and beverages (p<0.0001). Participants age 18-24 also had the highest energy intake from fast food, like burger, pizza, and salted snacks, followed by the age group of 25-34 year old (p<0.0001). CONCLUSION In Greenland, the consumption of traditional foods is influenced both by sex and age. The macronutrients in the diet of young Greenlanders are mainly contributed by imported foods. These findings support the hypothesis that young Inuit are moving toward a westernised diet, which can lead to public health consequences in the future.