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Sharma S.,University of Alberta | Barr A.B.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Macdonald H.M.,University of Aberdeen | Sheehy T.,University College Cork | And 2 more authors.
Nutrition Reviews | Year: 2011

Aboriginal populations living above the Arctic Circle are at particularly high risk of vitamin D deficiency due to limited ultraviolet B exposure (related to geographic latitude) and inadequate dietary intake (recently related to decreased traditional food consumption). Major changes in diet and lifestyle over the past 50 years in these populations have coincided with increased prevalence rates of rickets, cancer, diabetes, and obesity, each of which may be associated with vitamin D inadequacy. This review examines the risk factors for vitamin D inadequacy, the associations between vitamin D and disease risk at high geographic latitudes, and the recommendations for improving vitamin D status particularly among aboriginal Arctic populations. Traditional foods, such as fatty fish and marine mammals, are rich sources of vitamin D and should continue to be promoted to improve dietary vitamin D intake. Supplementation protocols may also be necessary to ensure adequate vitamin D status in the Arctic. © 2011 International Life Sciences Institute.


Crago B.,University of Calgary | Ferrato C.,Provincial Laboratory for Public Health | Drews S.J.,University of Calgary | Drews S.J.,Provincial Laboratory for Public Health | And 5 more authors.
Food Microbiology | Year: 2012

Consumption of foods containing Staphylococcus aureus can cause severe gastro-intestinal illness. Given the fact that over the past decade, Canada has seen increasing rates of methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) carriage and infection, the objective of this study was to investigate the impact of methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) and MRSA on foodborne illness in Alberta, Canada. Between January 2007 and December 2010, there were 693 food samples associated with foodborne investigations submitted to the Alberta Provincial Laboratory for Public Health (ProvLab). These foods were screened for: Bacillus cereus, Clostridium perfringens, S. aureus, Aeromonas spp., Campylobacter spp., Escherichia coli O157:H7, Salmonella, Shigella spp., and Yersinia spp. S. aureus was identified in 10.5% (73/693) of samples, and of these, 59% (43/73) were co-contaminated with at least one other organism on the screening panel. The S. aureus positive samples included 29 meat, 20 prepared foods containing meat, 11 prepared foods not containing meat, 10 dairy, and three produce. Methicillin-resistance was not detected in any isolates tested. These findings indicate that the presence of S. aureus in food associated with foodborne investigations is a cause for concern, and although MRSA was not found, the potential for outbreaks exists, and ongoing surveillance should be sustained. © 2012.


Dover D.C.,Alberta Health and Wellness | Schopflocher D.P.,University of Alberta
Population Health Metrics | Year: 2011

Background: Public health surveillance is often concerned with the analysis of health outcomes over small areas. Funnel plots have been proposed as a useful tool for assessing and visualizing surveillance data, but their full utility has not been appreciated (for example, in the incorporation and interpretation of risk factors).Methods: We investigate a way to simultaneously focus funnel plot analyses on direct policy implications while visually incorpora1/12/2012 11:51:30 AMting model fit and the effects of risk factors. Health survey data representing modifiable and nonmodifiable risk factors are used in an analysis of 2007 small area motor vehicle mortality rates in Alberta, Canada.Results: Small area variations in motor vehicle mortality in Alberta were well explained by the suite of modifiable and nonmodifiable risk factors. Funnel plots of raw rates and of risk adjusted rates lead to different conclusions; the analysis process highlights opportunities for intervention as risk factors are incorporated into the model. Maps based on funnel plot methods identify areas worthy of further investigation.Conclusions: Funnel plots provide a useful tool to explore small area data and to routinely incorporate covariate relationships in surveillance analyses. The exploratory process has at each step a direct and useful policy-related result. Dealing thoughtfully with statistical overdispersion is a cornerstone to fully understanding funnel plots. © 2011 Dover and Schopflocher; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Rittmueller S.E.,University of Alberta | Corriveau A.,Alberta Health and Wellness | Sharma S.,University of Alberta
Public Health | Year: 2012

Objective: To assess dietary adequacy and quality among Inuvialuit smokers compared with non-smokers in the Northwest Territories (NWT), Canada. Study design: Cross-sectional study. Methods: A validated quantitative food frequency questionnaire was administered between July 2007 and July 2008 to individuals of randomly selected households in three NWT communities to capture dietary intake and smoking habits over a 30-day recall period. Daily energy and nutrient intake, dietary adequacy, and the top food contributors to energy and selected nutrients were determined by smoking status. Results: Intakes of energy and several nutrients were higher among male and female smokers compared with non-smokers. Male smokers had similar daily nutrient density (per 1000 kcal consumed) of all nutrients. Female smokers had significantly lower intake densities of protein, fibre, folate, magnesium, vitamin D, vitamin E (. P ≤ 0.05) and thiamin (. P ≤ 0.01), and higher intake densities of sugar and vitamins C and K (. P ≤ 0.05). Among male and female smokers, more than 50% had inadequate intakes of fibre, potassium and vitamin E. Non-nutrient-dense foods contributed similar amounts to energy intake, and traditional foods contributed 3-6% less to energy and protein intakes among smokers compared with non-smokers. Conclusion: Adult Inuvialuit smokers had higher caloric intake and lower dietary quality, including less consumption of traditional foods, compared with non-smokers. Fewer dietary inadequacies were observed among smokers than non-smokers, which may be due to higher energy intake among smokers. © 2012 The Royal Society for Public Health.


Rittmueller S.E.,University of Alberta | Corriveau A.,Alberta Health and Wellness | Sharma S.,University of Alberta
International Journal of Circumpolar Health | Year: 2012

Objectives: The present study aimed to assess dietary adequacy and quality among Inuvialuit alcohol consumers and non-consumers in the Northwest Territories (NWT), Canada. Study design: Cross-sectional study. Methods: Avalidated quantitative food frequency questionnaire was administered to individuals (n-216) of randomly selected households in 3 NWT communities to capture dietary intake and alcohol consumption over a 30-day recall period. The daily energy and nutrient intake, dietary adequacy and the top food sources of energy and selected nutrients were determined by alcohol consumption status. Results: Energy intake was higher among all alcohol consumers regardless of gender. Male alcohol consumers had lower nutrient intake density (per 4,184 kJ) of protein, cholesterol and several micronutrients (p ≤ 0.05), and female alcohol consumers had lower intake density of saturated fat (p ≤ 0.01), thiamine, folate and sodium (p ≤ 0.05). Among all men and women, 70-100% had inadequate intakes of dietary fibre, vitamin E and potassium. Non-nutrient-dense foods contributed similar amounts and traditional foods (TF) contributed 3% less to energy comparing alcohol consumers to non-consumers. Conclusion: Nutrient inadequacies are prevalent among Aboriginal populations in the Canadian Arctic and may be exacerbated by alcohol consumption due to alcohol's effects on dietary intake, nutrient transport and metabolism. Adult Inuvialuit who consumed alcohol had increased caloric intake and consumed similar amounts of non-nutrient-dense foods and less nutrient-dense TF. Fewer dietary inadequacies were observed among alcohol consumers than non-consumers, which might be due to the increase in overall food intake among alcohol consumers; however, further exploration of volume and pattern of drinking might help explain this result. © 2012 Stacey E. Rittmueller et al.

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