Nutrition et santé des Autochtones du Québec : des pistes par l'épidémiologie nutritionnelle dans le cortex cérébral


Michel Lucas

Centre de recherche du Centre hospitalier de l'Université Laval


Domaine : nutrition et métabolisme

Programme chercheurs-boursieurs - Junior 1

Concours 2014-2015

The obesity/diabetes epidemic is a global crisis that threatens the health and economies of all nations. Both significantly affect Aboriginal people. Diet and physical inactivity are major causes of these disorders. Traditionally, nutritional epidemiology examines diseases in relation to a single food or a few foods or nutrients. Although this type of analysis is valuable, it has several limitations. In fact, foods are consumed in combination and their combined effects cannot be predicted from single food analysis. Statistical methods, such as dietary pattern analysis, have emerged to better understand the relationship between global diet and diseases. With this analytical method, people are classified according to their global diet, designated as dietary pattern.

In addition, nutritional transition has been implicated in the rise of obesity/diabetes among Aboriginal people. Nutrition transition is defined by rapid cultural changes associated with reduced reliance on traditional foods and increased consumption of poor nutritional quality market foods. Our research aims to comprehend the role of global diet in obesity/diabetes in the Aboriginal population of Quebec (Inuit of Nunavik, James Bay Cree).

Further analysis will focus on the health benefits of Nunavik Inuit traditional foods. As another aim, we will evaluate the impact of a nutritional intervention that provides Arctic Char (Salmonidae family) to pregnant women to reduce contaminants exposure of the foetus and to improve the nutritional status of pregnant women. Further researches will also focus on wild berries (blueberries varieties) that are widely consumed by Nunavik Inuit. We will examine their effects in diabetes.