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Scholars Day 2005, Wednesday, April 13

The "Obesity Epidemic" in Bush Alaska

The once nomadic Nunamiut Eskimo of northern interior Alaska have depended for most of their history on the Barren Ground caribou as their dietary mainstay. Even to today’s settled villagers "meat" still means caribou, and villagers eat a lot of "meat." But like many remote peoples in our no-longer-so remote global community, their diets have changed rapidly in a relatively short period of time. The Nunamiut of the village of Anaktuvuk Pass, Alaska are 100 miles from the nearest road, and an hour and a half flight from the nearest city (Fairbanks), but all the dietary components that are contributing to the American obesity epidemic are on the shelves of the small village store. And the lifestyle changes that have fattened the rest of America are evident here as well. Has the obesity epidemic arrived in bush Alaska?

Presenter: Margaret Blackman (Faculty)
Topic: Anthropology
Location: 121 Smith
Time: 10:45 am (Session II)