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Tackling the question of micronutrients intake as one of the main levers in terms of Inuit food security

Herrmann, Thora M.a; Lamalice, Anniea; Coxam, Véroniqueb,c

Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care: January 2020 - Volume 23 - Issue 1 - p 59–63
doi: 10.1097/MCO.0000000000000613
SPECIAL COMMENTARY
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Purpose of review The Inuit population living in North Canada is facing a drastic change in lifestyle, which has brought about a dramatic nutrition transition characterized by a decrease in the traditional foods consumption and an increasing reliance on processed, store-bought foods. This rapid dietary shift leads to a significant public health concern, as wild-harvested country foods are rich in many micronutrients including vitamins, trace elements and minerals while the most frequently eaten Western foods mainly provide energy, fat, carbohydrates and sodium. This review addresses the emerging strategies to tackle food insecurity in this population.

Recent findings Recent studies indicate that diets with a higher fraction of traditional foods (and a lower fraction of ultra-processed foods) exhibit a better Healthy Eating Index. This provides a basis to develop new dietary policies anchored in contemporary food realities.

Summary In Northern remote communities, improving food security requires holistic approaches. A mixed strategy that targets the revitalization of traditional foods systems and local food production initiatives seems the most promising strategy, to meet the dietary needs in terms of micronutrients, with respect to the cultural identity of local populations.

aDepartment of Geography, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Quebec, Canada

bINRA, UMR 1019, UNH, CRNH Auvergne

cClermont Université, Université d’Auvergne, Unité de Nutrition Humaine, Clermont-Ferrand, France

Correspondence to Thora M. Herrmann, Department of Geography, Université de Montréal, CP6128 Succursale Centre-Ville, Montréal, Quebec, Canada. Tel: +1 514 343 8044; e-mail: thora.martina.herrmann@umontreal.ca

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