6.3.2 Percentage of First Nations children aged 6 to 11 years living in First Nations communities who consume specific food items by frequency of consumption, Canada, 2008/2010

Sweets Fast food Soft drinks or pop Juice Water Bread, pasta, rice, and other grains Fruit Vegetables Protein Milk and milk products
Several times a day 7.8 4.4 9.5 57.9 70.5 51.4 48.9 34.7 37.5 60
Once a day 13.3 5.7 12.8 21.5 17.6 31.8 27.3 32.8 41.4 25.2
Less than once a day 78.8 90 77.7 20.6 11.9 16.8 23.7 32.5 21.1 14.8

Source: CICH graphic created using data adapted from the First Nations Regional Longitudinal Health Survey (RHS) 2008/10, National report on adults, youth and children living in First Nations Communities.

In 2008/2010, 35% of First Nations children aged 6 to 11 years ate vegetables several times a day, 33% ate them once a day and 33% ate them less than once a day.

49% ate fruit several times a day, 27% ate fruit at least once a day and 24% ate fruit less than once a day.

51% had bread, pasta, rice or other grains several times a day and 32% had grains once a day.

22% had pop at least once a day and 21% had sweets at least once a day.

60% had milk or milk products several times a day, another 25% had milk once a day, and 15% had milk less than once a day.

Young Indigenous children consume a high proportion of unhealthy and processed foods, soft drinks and juices, and salty snacks and sweet desserts. These foods can often be obtained at a lower cost than healthy foods. Access to healthy foods is important for preventing childhood obesity, which can lead to numerous health consequences in childhood and later in life, including diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. While no comprehensive assessments of obesity in Indigenous preschoolers exist, evidence from several studies indicates that rates are high.1

1See for example, Willows, N.D., Johnson, M.S., & Ball, G.D.C. (2007). Prevalence estimates of overweight and obesity in Cree preschool children in northern Quebec according to international and US reference criteria. American Journal of Public Health, 92(2), 311-316; First Nations Information Governance Centre (FNIGC) (2012). First Nations Regional Health Survey (RHS) 2008/10: National report on adults, youth and children living in First Nations communities. Ottawa: FNIGC.

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