Dietary Characteristics of Eastern James Bay Cree Women


  • Treena Delormier
  • Harriet V. Kuhnlein



Eastern James Bay Cree, nutrient intake, food use, traditional food, Subarctic, indigenous people


Food use and nutrient intake were studies with Cree women of Wemindji and Eastmain, Quebec. During summer 1994 and winter 1995, 24-hour recalls and food frequency questionnaires were collected from 219 women of three age groups (20-40; 41-60; >60 years). While reported energy intakes were somewhat low, 94% of the women exceeded 2/3 of the recommended nutrient intake (RNI) for protein, and 80% exceeded 2/3 of the RNI for iron. However, 44% of the women reported calcium intakes of less than 1/2 the RNI. Mean total fat intake reported by young and middle adults was greater than 30% of total energy. Primary sources of fat were market food, indicating that education efforts targeting fat intake should emphasize market food choices. Species and amounts of traditional food consumed varied by season. The percentage of elders who consumed traditional food was significantly higher (p<0.001, Chi² = 29, Mantel-Haenzel) than those of traditional food users in the middle and young age groups. Dietary data for the James Bay Cree, which were lacking prior to this research, are important resources for those working in health and wellness with this population group and other aboriginal groups that use traditional food.