Inuit food shortage worst in developed world

A man photographs a giant inukshuk as the moon rises above it in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut August 21,...

A man photographs a giant inukshuk as the moon rises above it in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut August 21, 2013. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:53 PM ET

With Inuit children in Canada's North skipping meals and sometimes going whole days without eating, a new report shows Nunavut has the highest rate of food insecurity of any indigenous population in any developed country.

The Canadian Council of Academies report defines food insecurity as an "outcome of inadequate or uncertain access to an acceptable amount and quality of healthy food."

Aboriginal households in Canada have double the rate of food insecurity than non-aboriginal households, at 27% and 12%, respectively.

Some 70% of Inuit children aged three to five live in food insecure households and 25% are "severely" food insecure. Of those, 76% have skipped meals and 60% have gone an entire day without eating.

"Consideration must be given to the many factors that influence life in the North, such as environmental change, culture, governance, and economies," said Harriet Kuhnlein, chair of panel that prepared the report.

Poverty, population growth, environmental devastation, high food prices and remoteness were all cited as factors.


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