Open Access Open Badges Research

Smoking and dietary inadequacy among Inuvialuit women of child bearing age in the Northwest Territories, Canada

Fariba Kolahdooz1, Nonsikelelo Mathe1, Lalage A Katunga2, Lindsay Beck1, Tony Sheehy3, Andre Corriveau4 and Sangita Sharma1*

Author Affiliations

1 Aboriginal & Global Health Research Group, Department of Medicine, University of Alberta, 5-10 University Terrace, 8303 112 Street, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2T4, Canada

2 Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology, Brody School of Medicine, East Carolina University, Greenville, USA

3 School of Food and Nutritional Sciences, University College Cork, Cork, Republic of Ireland

4 Office of the Chief Public Health Officer, Department of Health and Social Services, Government of the Northwest Territories, Yellowknife, Canada

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Nutrition Journal 2013, 12:27  doi:10.1186/1475-2891-12-27

Published: 22 February 2013



The prevalence of smoking in Aboriginal Canadians is higher than non-Aboriginal Canadians, a behavior that also tends to alter dietary patterns. Compared with the general Canadian population, maternal smoking rates are almost twice as high. The aim of this study was to compare dietary adequacy of Inuvialuit women of childbearing age comparing smokers versus non-smokers.

Research methods & procedures

A cross-sectional study, where participants completed a culturally specific quantitative food frequency questionnaire. Non-parametric analysis was used to compare mean nutrient intake, dietary inadequacy and differences in nutrient density among smokers and non-smokers. Multiple logistic regression analyses were performed for key nutrients inadequacy and smoking status. Data was collected from three communities in the Beaufort Delta region of the Northwest Territories, Canada from randomly selected Inuvialuit women of childbearing age (19-44 years).


Of 92 participants, 75% reported being smokers. There were no significant differences in age, BMI, marital status, education, number of people in household working and/or number of self employed, and physical activity between smokers and non-smokers. Non-parametric analysis showed no differences in nutrient intake between smokers and non-smokers. Logistic regression however revealed there was a positive association between smoking and inadequacies of vitamin C (OR = 2.91, 95% CI, 1.17-5.25), iron (OR = 3.16, 95% CI, 1.27-5.90), and zinc (OR = 2.78, 95% CI, 1.12-4.94). A high percentage of women (>60%), regardless of smoking status, did not meet the dietary recommendations for fiber, vitamin D, E and potassium.


This study provides evidence of inadequate dietary intake among Inuvialuit of childbearing age regardless of smoking behavior.

Arctic; Childbearing age; Dietary adequacy; Inuvialuit; Smoking