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Examination of dietary habits among the indigenous Kuna Indians of Panama. Nutr J 2019 08 01;18(1):44

Date

08/03/2019

Pubmed ID

31370836

Pubmed Central ID

PMC6670206

DOI

10.1186/s12937-019-0469-8

Scopus ID

2-s2.0-85071016758   1 Citation

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Evidence for dietary habits among the Kuna Indians of Panama outside of cacao consumption is limited. Global trends suggest an uptake in processed foods conferring risk for chronic disease. This paper aims to provide information on dietary habits and investigate sociodemographic correlates of diet for the indigenous population living off the coast of Panama.

METHODS: This sample included 211 Kuna Indians ages 18 years or older living within the island communities of Ustupu and Ogobsucum. Cross-sectional data was collected using a paper-based survey to assess dietary patterns. Categories of food included: fruits, vegetables, cacao, fish, sodas, fried, junk, and fast foods. Univariate analyses were used to describe demographic variables, followed by chi-squared tests to understand individual correlates of food types.

RESULTS: About 85% reported eating fast food at least weekly, 47% reported eating fried food daily, and 11% reported eating junk food daily. Forty-three percent of the sample population reported eating fish daily. Those with poor incomes reported more fish consumption than any other income group (51%, p = 0.02). After adjusting for all covariates, those in higher income categories were less likely to eat fruits, cacao, and fish daily, but were also less likely to eat fast food weekly and junk food daily. Elderly populations (age 60-90 OR = 12.17, 95%CI 2.00, 73.84), women (OR = 3.43, 95%CI 1.23, 9.56), and those with primary education (OR = 4.83, 95%CI 1.01, 23.0) were also more likely to eat fast food weekly.

CONCLUSION: This is the first dietary survey study of the Kuna that focuses on food groups outside of cacao. Results suggest the community could benefit from efforts to increase cultivation of fruits and vegetables and reduce the percentage of energy consumption contributed by fast food, fried food, and junk food.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: N/A.

Author List

Neitzel AL, Smalls BL, Walker RJ, Dawson AZ, Campbell JA, Egede LE

Authors

Jennifer Annette Campbell PhD, MPH Assistant Professor in the Medicine department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Aprill Z. Dawson PhD, MPH Assistant Professor in the Medicine department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Leonard E. Egede MD Center Director, Chief, Professor in the Medicine department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Rebekah Walker PhD Associate Professor in the Medicine department at Medical College of Wisconsin




MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Adolescent
Adult
Aged
Aged, 80 and over
Cross-Sectional Studies
Diet
Feeding Behavior
Female
Humans
Male
Middle Aged
Panama
Young Adult