Dietary intakes vary with age among Eskimo adults of Northwest Alaska in the GOCADAN study, 2000-2003
Dietary factors influence the development of cardiovascular disease (CVD). The diet of Alaskan Eskimos differs from that of other populations. We surveyed Eskimo adults in Northwest Alaska to document their usual dietary intakes, differences based on gender and age, and sources of selected nutrients, and to generate appropriate dietary advice to reduce CVD. Interviewers surveyed 850 men and women 17-92 y old, using a quantitative food-frequency instrument. We observed many significant (chi(2) analysis P < 0.05) differences in nutrient intakes among 3 age-groups. Energy intake from carbohydrate was negatively related to participant age-group (P < or = 0.01). Energy intake from all fats (P < 0.001) and polyunsaturated fat (P < or = 0.01) was positively related to age-group among both men and women in contrast to other studies in which age differences were either not observed or decreased with age. Native foods were major sources of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, including 56% of (n-3) fatty acids primarily from seal oil and salmon. However, Native foods contributed significantly less to the diets of young adults than to those of elders, especially among women. Store-bought foods were the main sources of energy, carbohydrate, fat, saturated fat, and fiber for all adults. Based on their nutrient density and potential to inhibit CVD, continued consumption of traditional foods is recommended. Variations in intake by age may portend changing eating patterns that will influence CVD as participants age. These data will contribute to understanding dietary risk factors for cardiovascular disease in this population.