Document Type



Cross-sectional data for the growth and development of an Inuit (Eskimo) settle­ment (Igloolik, N.W.T., 69°, 40'N) have been collected in 1970/71 and 1980/81. During the intervening decade there has been a rapid acculturation to the sedentary “white” lifestyle. Population pyramids for 1970/71 and 1980/81 indicate an increase in the total number of villagers, but a decrease in the proportion aged 1-10 years (40.8 to 35.3%). There has also been some selective outward migration of female teenagers. Comparisons of anthropometric and physiological data for the original sample of 58 boys and 52 girls with results for the 94 boys and 111 girls now aged 9-19 years show that the secular trend to an increase of stature is currently halted; indeed, the height of both young and old adults has decreased by about 2 cm over the decade. Standing height, body mass, and (in the female) subcutaneous fat show earlier pubertal acceleration in 1980/81 than in 1970/71. There has also been a loss of physical fitness over the decade; changes include an increase of subcutaneous fat, a decrease of lean tissue and muscle strength (knee extension in both sexes, handgrip in girls only) and a decrease of predicted maximum oxygen intake (particularly in the older teenagers). The deterioration of physical condition probably reflects a decrease in habitual physical activity.