The globalisation of food is resulting in Arctic people showing the first signs of obesity. Recent research from Russia has found that, ever since remote tribes have been exposed to instant noodles, pasta and other high-carb products, the first-ever cases of obesity have been recorded among nomadic Arctic reindeer herders.
For centuries, these Siberian peoples had eaten only traditional food, mostly venison and fresh river fish. As noodles, pasta, bread and sugar became staples, consumption of venison and fish declined by half. This might have consequences for their health, as venison helps to avoid frostbite and fish can increase the resistance to cold stress.
Another issue affecting obesity is that herders have shortened the nomadic routes in a bid to stay close to Russian energy company’s facilities to sell their reindeer meat.