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Int J Circumpolar Health. 2011 Apr;70(2):166-77. Epub 2011 Apr 28.

Obesity risks: towards an emerging Inuit pattern.

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School of Dietetics and Human Nutrition and Centre for Indigenous Peoples' Nutrition and Environment (CINE), McGill University, Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, Canada.



The aim of this study was to provide analytical overviews of anthropometric measurements and their relationships with type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors within the Inuit population, given that few studies have focused on this issue. Study design. Cross-sectional study.


Anthropometric and biological data were obtained from 867 Inuit participants from Nunavik (≥18 years).


Obesity prevalence for men and women, respectively, was 25.1% and 31.3% according to body mass index (BMI: >30 kg/m2); 20.2% and 55.3% according to waist circumference (WC: >102 cm for men and >88 cm for women); 22.4% and 22.5% according to body fat percentage (%BF: ≥30 in men and ≥40 in women). There was substantial agreement between anthropometric obesity measurements, except for the waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) which showed the lowest agreement with the other measurements. All risk factors were significantly associated with anthropometry. The prevalence of abnormal values for risk factors increased across quartiles of BMI and WC. Among obese participants, as defined by the WC cutoff, 22% had metabolic syndrome based on the National Cholesterol Education Program in the Adult Treatment Panel III (NCEP-ATPIII) definition and 64.8% of them were also insulin resistant.


Obesity rates among Inuit are high, especially among women. Inuit women display especially high rates of abdominal obesity. Further longitudinal work is needed to evaluate the effects of central and global obesity among Inuit.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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