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The Aboriginal Eskimo Diet in Modern Perspective

H. H. Draper
American Anthropologist
New Series, Vol. 79, No. 2 (Jun., 1977), pp. 309-316
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the American Anthropological Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/673842
Page Count: 8
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The Aboriginal Eskimo Diet in Modern Perspective
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Abstract

The aboriginal diet of the Arctic Eskimo, which consisted mainly of land and sea mammals and fish, is analyzed with respect to its capacity to provide the nutrients now regarded as essential for nutritional health. It is concluded that, despite its remarkably restricted composition, the native diet is capable of furnishing all the essential nutritional elements when prepared and consumed according to traditional customs. However, its low carbohydrate and high protein content necessitated major metabolic adaptations in energy and nitrogen metabolism. Erosion of the traditional diet culture and life style has been accompanied by a decline in nutritional status.

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