Healthy Foods North (HFN) is a community-based, multi-institutional, nutritional and lifestyle intervention program that began in the Beaufort Delta region of the NWT and in the Kitikmeot Region of Nunavut in 2006.
The primary aim of this multi-year program was to increase healthy food consumption by improving the availability of healthy foods and by offering nutrition education to prevent risk factors for chronic disease such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and certain cancers.
Overall, the project goals were to:
- Encourage more traditional foods to be eaten among youngsters
- Provide community members training and leadership development in running the program
- Provide nutrition and lifestyle education that was accessible to all community members
- Increase physical activity through traditional activitiesand community-based programs
- Reduce the amount of high fat and high sugar foods people are eating
- Increase the amount fruit and vegetables that people are eating
- Inform governments and other organizations about what needs to be done to improve the nutritional environment in the North
In the Inuvialuit Settlement Region, researchers trained local data collectors from two intervention communities. The data collectors then gathered 101 24-hour dietary recalls (i.e. food journals) from Inuvialuit men and women over 19 years of age. These data were used to create a population-specific quantitative food frequency questionnaire. Finally, key stakeholders (e.g. elders, community leaders, health staff, and store staff) were interviewed regarding nutrition and food-related issues. This formative work ensured that the Healthy Foods North program addressed issues that were most important and relevant to the communities.
Information regarding the formative research and baseline data obtained can be accessed at:
For more information, please contact:
Dr. Sangita Sharma