Hunger among Inuit families is so prevalent in the Arctic that it could be why almost half their children are shorter than average, new research suggests. A paper published in the Journal of the Canadian Public Health Association says the height discrepancy implies that food insecurity is a long-running problem — not just something that happens occasionally. ”The observed association between food insecurity and linear growth suggests that the diet quality and quantity of children from food-insecure households had been compromised for a long time,” the paper says.
…A McGill University study found in 2010 that 41 per cent of Nunavut children between three and five lived in homes where they either had no food for an entire day or where their parents couldn’t afford to feed them at least part of the time. Two-thirds of the parents said there were times when they ran out of food and couldn’t afford to buy more. In a 2012 study, Statistics Canada found that 22 per cent of Inuit reported going hungry during the previous year because they couldn’t afford food. Nunavut’s territorial nutritionist has found nearly three-quarters of Inuit preschoolers live in food-insecure homes. Half of youths 11 to 15 years old sometimes go to bed hungry.
…"Food-insecure children were significantly shorter in stature, by an average of two centimetres, than their food-secure counterparts," the report says. "For children of this age group, this is close to half a year’s growth." They also found children from hungry families tended to be more anemic. ”The results of this study raise concerns about the long-term implications of food insecurity for Nunavik,” the report concludes.