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Can Med Assoc J. 1970 Nov 7;103(10):1059-68.

Pre- and post-natal growth acceleration and increased sugar consumption in Canadian Eskimos.


A striking increase in birth weights and height measurements in children of Canadian Eskimos was observed in recent years.The growth acceleration seen to varying degrees in different Eskimo groups appears most closely to parallel the increase in the per capita annual sugar consumption which has more than quadrupled during the last decade in some trading areas of the Canadian Central and Eastern Arctic, while the per capita consumption of protein derived from animal sources shows a reverse relationship.Canadian Eskimos do, therefore, contrary to what is stated in earlier publications, conform to the general secular growth acceleration patterns observed in all populations coming under the influence of modern civilization. They do not, however, conform to the commonly held explanation for this acceleration, namely increased consumption of high-quality proteins, since their traditionally extremely high consumption of meat and fish decreased markedly during the same period.Our observations confirm the relation of growth acceleration and consumption of sugar first established by the Swiss pediatrician, Eugen Ziegler. A hypothesis first advanced by Ziegler is elaborated to link this growth acceleration, in particular the extraordinary increase in birth weight, to "pseudo-diabetic" oral glucose tolerance patterns described previously by the author in a large proportion of Eskimos.

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