Metabolic profile in two physically active Inuit groups consuming either a western or a traditional Inuit diet

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Objectives: To evaluate the effect of regular physical activity on metabolic risk factors and blood pressure in
Inuit with high BMI consuming a western diet (high amount of saturated fatty acids and carbohydrates with a
high glycemic index).
Study design: Cross sectional study, comparing Inuit eating a western diet with Inuit eating a traditional diet.
Methods: Two physically active Greenland Inuit groups consuming different diet, 20 eating a traditional diet
(Qaanaaq) and 15 eating a western diet (TAB), age (mean (range)); 38, (2258) yrs, BMI; 28 (2040) were
subjected to an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), blood sampling, maximal oxygen uptake test, food
interview/collection and monitoring of physical activity.
Results: All Inuit had a normal OGTT. Fasting glucose (mmol/l), HbA1c (%), total cholesterol (mmol/l) and
HDL-C (mmol/l) were for Qaanaaq women: 4.890.2, 5.390.1, 4.9690.42, 1.3490.06, for Qaanaaq men:
4.990.1, 5.790.1, 5.0890.31, 1.2890.09, for TAB women: 5.190.2, 5.390.1, 6.2290.39, 1.8690.13, for
TAB men: 5.190.2, 5.390.1, 6.2390.15, 1.6090.10. No differences were found in systolic or diastolic blood
pressure between the groups. There was a more adverse distribution of small dense LDL-C particles and
higher total cholesterol and HDL-C concentration in the western diet group.
Conclusions: Diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance was not found in the Inuit consuming either the western
or the traditional diet, and this could, at least partly, be due to the high amount of regular daily physical
activity. However, when considering the total cardio vascular risk profile the Inuit consuming a western diet
had a less healthy profile than the Inuit consuming a traditional diet.
Translated title of the contributionMetabolisk profil i to fysisk aktive inuit grupper der spiser enten en vestlig eller en traditionel inuit kost
Original languageEnglish
Article number17342
JournalInternational Journal of Circumpolar Health
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012

ID: 38337019