2.4.4 Percentage of Canadian children and youth aged 12 to 24 years who had moderate or severe food insecurity, by Indigenous identity, Canada, 2007-2010

First Nations Métis Inuit Non-Indigenous
Moderate or severe food insecurity 23.3 16.7 27.5 8.8

This variable is based on a set of 18 questions and indicates whether households both with and without children were able to afford the food they needed in the previous 12 months. The levels of food security are defined as: 1- Food secure: No, or one, indication of difficulty with income-related food access; 2- Moderately food insecure: Indication of compromise in quality and/or quantity of food consumed; 3- Severely food insecure: Indication of reduced food intake and disrupted eating patterns.

Does not include First Nations children/youth living on reserve.

Source: CICH graphic created using data adapted from Statistics Canada. Table 105-0512 – Health indicator profile, by Aboriginal identity, age group and sex, four year estimates, Canada, provinces and territories, occasional (rate). Accessed September 27, 2017 at: http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/cansim/a26?lang=eng&retrLang=eng&id=1050512&&pattern=&stByVal=1&p1=1&p2=31&tabMode=dataTable&csid=

In 2007-2010, 23% of First Nations youth aged 12 to 24 years lived with moderate or severe food insecurity, as did 17% of Métis youth in the same age group and 28% of Inuit youth.

The percentage of non-Indigenous children and youth living with moderate or severe food insecurity was much less at 9%.

There are a range of socio-economic and demographic factors that affect food security for Indigenous children and youth. For example, in some communities the cost of living is very high and there is a lack of affordable quality market foods. The cost, availability, and quality of healthy market foods are negatively impacted by the distance and accessibility of getting foods to market in northern and remote communities. Indigenous families have a higher prevalence of socio-economic risk factors for household food insecurity, including reliance on social assistance for income, having larger families, being below the poverty line, having lower levels of education, not owning their own homes, or being lone-parent households, especially those headed by females.1

1Halseth,R. 2015. The nutritional health of the First Nations and Métis of the Northwest Territories: A review of current knowledge and gaps. Prince George, BC: National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health.