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date: 23 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter considers the consequences of change, from a largely flesh based diet to one that includes flour and sugar, among North American Subarctic populations. It notes the problems associated with assessing dietary change among the indigenous inhabitants of this area, and what is known about their foods. It reviews frequently used methods of dietary intake assessment. Survey findings on total energy intakes and the macronutrient composition of indigenous diets are presented. Lastly, evidence regarding the impact of dietary change on the health of Subarctic peoples is summarized. Special consideration is given to chronic diseases, especially type 2 diabetes, and future health risks, given the rapidity of dietary acculturation in the Subarctic. It has proven difficult to demonstrate that dietary change has a direct causal role in the onset of chronic diseases, even though the transition from pre-contact to modern diets is recent, in some instances just a few decades ago.

Keywords: diet, North American diet, dietary change, chronic disease, diabetes

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