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5 . 2020

Traditional nutrition and demography in the Arctic zone of Western Siberia


High requirements for macro- and micronutrients of the organism of a pregnant woman living in the Far North are associated with the influence of extreme factors of high latitudes, and the needs of the mother and the growing fetus. Only the products of the unique food culture of the Arctic people - the Nenets, make it possible to meet the emerging needs. The aim of the work was to study the impact of traditional nutrition on the reproductive health of Nenets women living in the Arctic zone of Western Siberia.

Material and methods. 619 indigenous inhabitants (Nenets) of the Yamal, Nadym and Taz districts of the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Okrug at the age of 18-65 years were examined. The influence of the type of nutrition (traditional or imported products) on reproductive health indicators (the number of pregnancies, the number of children, the number of spontaneous abortions, frequency of gestosis, threats of termination of pregnancy, operative deliveries) for the period 2013-2018 was studied by analyzing official statistics and by questioning of the female population in own research.

Results. The consumption of traditional products (venison, local fishery products, at least 3 times a week) by Nenets women was more often accompanied by a normal physiological course of pregnancy and childbirth (75.2 versus 64.2%,x2=8.7; p=0.003). It led to a 1.5-fold decrease in the frequency of complications during pregnancy (gestosis, the threat of abortion) (x2=5.8; p=0.01) and a 20% decrease in the frequency of delivery by cesarean section (x2 = 16.6; p<0.001). As a result, a family whose diet was dominated by traditional products had a statistically significantly larger number of children (per child). Conclusion. The preservation of the consumption of reindeer and river fishery products by indigenous women will contribute to the sufficient intake of macro - and micronutrients, that will make it possible to gestate and give birth to a healthier generation of the Nenets society.

Keywords:nutrition, traditional nutrition, Far North, pregnancy, indigenous peoples, demography

Funding. The research was conducted with the support of the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (project 18-010-00875) and the Siberian Environmental Change Network of Tomsk State University and INTERACT (co-funding and support).

Conflict of interest. The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

For citation: Andronov S.V., Lobanov A.A., Bichkaeva F.A., Popov A.I., Fesyun A.D., Mukhina A.A., Rachin A.P., Kochkin R.A., Lobanova L.P., Bogdanova E.N., Shaduyko O.M., Nikitin M.V. Traditional nutrition and demography in the Arctic zone of Western Siberia. Voprosy pitaniia [Problems of Nutrition]. 2020; 89 (5): 69-79. DOI: (in Russian)


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SCImago Journal & Country Rank
Viktor A. Tutelyan
Full Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Doctor of Medical Sciences, Professor, Scientific Director of the Federal Research Centre of Nutrition, Biotechnology and Food Safety (Moscow, Russia)
Medicine today

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