Friday , August 19 2022

People need access to healthy meals; Inequality among indigenous people can explain psychological distress


Improving the quality and availability of food could help reduce mental health problems among native populations in Canada, researchers who analyzed the survey responses from 14,000 native adults say.

Suicide is a major cause of death among the First Nations, MeTI and the Inuit people. Together, suicide rates among indigenous people are two or three times higher than in non-indigenous people, according to previous responses.

Researchers have now looked at how income-related inequalities relate to psychological distress and suicidal behaviors among indigenous people living off the Canadian reserve.

The survey responses were originally filed with Canadian Statistics in 2012, but the numbers had never been scratched until they were analyzed and published in the Monday edition of the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

For the study, researchers looked at what financial factors affect psychological distress, suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts among indigenous people living from the back.

Food insecurity – the uncertainty about having a nutritious, affordable food source seemed to be an important factor in explaining the higher rates of mental health problems among low income indigenous people.

It is hoped that the perception will help shape government policy, says Mohammad Hajizadeh, one of the authors of the study. It is with the School of Health Administration at Dalhousie University in Halifax.

"Let's say if you can't have a policy that affects income, but at least you have to have a policy that is trying to get to the grip of the food insecurity itself." , "Hajizadeh said.

The study authors said that a complex combination of biological, social and cultural factors contributed to mental health problems. Of these, food insecurity is seen as a major contributor, with 28 per cent of indigenous households reporting some kind of it in Canada Canada's Community Health Survey 2012. t

"Based on our results, getting to grips with food insecurity among low incomes, indigenous people living off the reserve can reduce a significant proportion of the inequalities that we have." related to income in mental health outcomes, "wrote the study authors.

The idea of ​​food insecurity linked to psychological distress and mental health conditions makes a lot of sense, says Dr Lisa Richardson, strategic consultant in Congenital Health in the University of Toronto's Faculty of Medicine and a native doctor.

"In this period of reconciliation, what are certain measures, decisive one can take? This paper has given us a chance to do, because we need to get to grips with food safety t People need access to healthy meals, "said Richardson.

The data could draw more attention to the problem of food insecurity in indigenous communities, he said.

"What was really powerful for me was to show the specific, specific link."

Richardson said in her work that she heard that a modern scientific methodology does not necessarily capture the resilience and protective buffer of indigenous culture, language and community relations. But those ones don't matter if someone is hungry, he added.

The survey's findings represent 600,750 native adults living off the reserve in Canada, the researchers said.

One of the limitations of the research was that the survey does not collect information from individuals living in establishments such as prisons and hospitals, shelters and groups, where there is a disproportionate number of indigenous people living, authors acknowledged the study.

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