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Am J Clin Nutr. 1992 May;55(5):1024-32.

The diet of Alaska Native adults: 1987-1988.

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Nutrition Services, Alaska Area Native Health Service, Anchroage 99501.


Although in the past, rates of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes were lower in Alaska Natives than in US whites, these diseases are now increasing. The rate of iron-deficiency anemia for Alaska Natives continues to be higher than that in the general population. To understand the role of diet in these chronic diseases, seasonal dietary intakes of 351 Alaska Native adults from 11 communities were assessed during 1987-1988. Alaska Natives consumed more energy (19%), protein (39%), fat (21%), carbohydrate (13%), iron (25%), vitamin A (53%), and vitamin C (31%), but less calcium (19%) than did the general US adult population [National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey II (NHANES II)]; Alaska Natives consumed six times more fish but less fruits and vegetables. Results suggest that energy and protein intakes decreased in the last 30 y but the proportion of energy from fat (37%) remained unchanged. High fish consumption and large seasonal dietary variations persisted, which may protect against chronic diseases. However, excess energy and fat and low calcium, fruit, and vegetable intakes may be contributing to recent increases in chronic diseases. Dietary guidelines are proposed.

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