Canada

INFORMAS in Canada is led by Dr. Mary L’Abbé.

INFORMAS work is ongoing in Canada in 8 of the 9 modules. Food composition data has been collected using the Food Labelling Information Program (FLIP), led by Dr. L’Abbé and includes data on over 25,000 products (i.e. >10,000 products collected in 2010 and >15,000 products in 2013). The FLIP data collection finished in later 2017. The database is being validated for data accuracy and several nutrient profiling models are being applied to the entire database.

Food-EPI Canada has been completed with a manuscript in preparation.  Local Food-Epi is being applied in the Region of Peel, City of Toronto and the City of Greater Sudbury in Ontario to examine local food policies.

Data collection has been completed for BIA-Obesity with results to be available in mid to late 2018.

Data analysis is ongoing, and we expect several publications and presentations on this data throughout  2018 in Food-EPI, food composition, food labelling, food price and food promotion modules.

 

 

 

Professor Mary L’Abbe

Earle W. McHenry Professor, and Chair, Department of Nutritional Sciences

Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto
Toronto, Canada

Phone: +1 416 978 7235; mobile +1 416 605 1902

Email: Professor Mary L’Abbe


Dr. Leia Minaker

Assistant Professor

School of Planning, Faculty of Environment

University of Waterloo

Retail module

Email: Dr Leia Minaker


dr lana vanderleeDr Lana Vanderlee

CIHR Banting Postdoctoral Fellow

Department of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Medicine

University of Toronto

Food-EPI and Private Sector modules

Email: Dr Lana Vanderlee


beatriz franco arellanoBeatriz Franco Arellano

PhD Candidate

Department of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Medicine

University of Toronto

Labelling module

Email: Beatriz Franco Arellano


dr marie-eve labonteDr Marie-Ève Labonté

CIHR Postdoctoral Fellow

Department of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Medicine

University of Toronto

Price module

Email: Dr Marie-Ève Labonté

Module Status (as of May 2018) Outputs
Public Sector (Food EPI) The summary report as well as all provincial and territorial reports “Food environments in Canada: Current policies and priority actions” available at http://labbelab.utoronto.ca/food-epi-canada-2017/

Food-EPI Canada paper in preparation. To be submitted to WHO Bulletin.

Local Food-EPI :  Ms. Kimiya Karbasy (MSc student) has adapted the Food-EPI and conducted workshops in the Region of Peel, City of Toronto, and the City of Greater Sudbury in Ontario to examine local food policies. The final results will be available mid-June. Publications forthcoming.

Private Sector Data collection has been completed. Representatives from 17 of the 38 companies in our sample either validated the publicly available policy information that we had collected or provided additional relevant information. Scoring of company policies has been completed by one team member and is currently being independently scored by a second researcher. We are planning to release our results in late summer or early fall 2018 through workshops with company representatives and full reports for each industry sector.

Vergeer L, Vanderlee L, Potvin Kent M, Mulligan C, L’Abbé MR. Commitments and actions regarding marketing to children on websites of major food companies in Canada. Submitted.

Food Composition Data collection and analyses completed for 2010 and 2013;

Data collection for 2017 has begun

Food Labelling Data collection and claims analysis completed for 2013

Manuscript in progress, Food labelling in Canada – currently under co-authors review

Food Promotion Information for packaged foods collected in 2010 and 2013

Data collection for other media sources is in discussion

Food Prices Data collection completed

Data quality verification completed

Final analyses to be conducted in Summer 2017

Food Retail Leia Minaker (U Waterloo) and her team are leading the INFORMAS Retail Module – Canada.

Leia has worked with Health Canada to develop a retail food environment assessment manual for Canadian communities, which is currently being piloted in communities across Canada.

Leia is co-lead of the FRESH-IT project, which is a CIHR-funded knowledge-to-action grant that has worked with four small- to mid-size municipalities across Canada to assess the retail food environment and plan for interventions.

Food Provision Hospital foods analysed
Food Trade & Investment

This is a synopsis of INFORMAS-related work by Canada to date.

 

  1. Bernstein JT, Franco-Arellano B, Schermel A, Labonte ME, L’Abbé MR. (2017). “Healthfulness and nutritional composition of Canadian prepackaged foods with and without sugar claims”. International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity Annual Meeting. Victoria, BC. Jun 7-10, 2017. Oral Presentation.
  2. Bernstein JT, Franco-Arellano B, Schermel A. L’Abbé MR. (2017). “Is nutrition marketing more common in high sugar foods?” Canadian Society of Nutrition Annual Meeting. Montreal, QC. May 25 – 27. Poster PresentationFranco-Arellano B, Labonté ME, Bernstein J and L’Abbé MR. (2017). “Assessing the nutritional quality of pre-packaged foods carrying nutrient content and front-of-pack claims in the Canadian food supply”. Canadian Society of Nutrition Annual Meeting. Montreal, QC. May 25 – 27. Poster Presentation
  3. Franco-Arellano B, Kim MA, Vandevijvere S, Bernstein JT, Labonté ME, and L’Abbé MRPhD. “Healthfulness of Canadian packaged food products with and without health-related claims: An INFORMAS-based approach”. (October 2017). International Congress of Nutrition. Buenos Aires, Argentina.
  4. Franco-Arellano B, Labonté ME, Bernstein J and L’Abbé MR (2017). “Are health claims nudging consumers towards healthier food choices? An analysis of the nutritional quality of pre-packaged foods carrying health claims in the Canadian food supply”. International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity Annual Meeting. Victoria, BC. Jun 7-10, 2017. Oral Presentation.
  5. Franco-Arellano B, Bernstein JT, Norsen S, Schermel A and L’Abbé MR (2017). “Assessing nutrition and other claims on food labels: A repeated cross-sectional analysis of the Canadian food supply”. BMC Nutrition – under review
  6. Kim MA, Franco-Arellano B and L’Abbé MR. (2017). “Prevalence of partially and hydrogenated oils in the Canadian food supply”. Canadian Society of Nutrition Annual Meeting. Montreal, QC. May 25 – 27. Poster Presentation
  7. Vanderlee L, Karbasy K, Vandevijvere S, Swinburn B L’Abbe MR. Examining food environment policy implementation in Canada: adapting the Food-EPI tool and process to the Canadian context. (October 17, 2017 – Poster). IUNS 21st International Congress on Nutrition. Buenos Aires, Argentina.
  8. Vanderlee L, Karbasy K, L’Abbe MR. An analysis of government action regarding food environment policies in Canada by jurisdiction. (May 25, 2017 – Poster). Canadian Nutrition Society Annual Meeting. Montreal, Canada.
  9. Vanderlee L, Sacks G, Vergeer L, Robinson E, Vandevijvere S, Swinburn B, L’Abbe M for INFORMAS. Implementation of a tool to evaluate policy actions and commitments of chain restaurants in Canada. (October 19, 2017 – Oral). IUNS 21st International Congress on Nutrition. Buenos Aires, Argentina.
  10. Vanderlee L, Sacks G, Vergeer L, Robinson E, Vandevijvere S, Swinburn B, L’Abbé M for INFORMAS. Examining food environment policies of major chain restaurants in Canada. (June 9, 2017 – Oral). International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity Annual Meeting. Victoria, Canada.
  11. Vergeer L, Vanderlee L, Kent MP, L’Abbé MR. Commitments and actions regarding marketing to children on company websites of major packaged food companies in Canada. (May 25, 2017 – Poster). Canadian Nutrition Society Annual Meeting. Montreal, Canada.
  12. Arcand J, Jefferson K, Schermel A, Shah F, Trang S, Kutlesa D, Lou W, L’Abbe MR. 2016. Examination of food industry progress in reducing the sodium content of packaged foods in Canada: 2010 to 2013. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2016 Jun;41(6):684-90. doi: 10.1139/apnm-2015-0617. Epub 2016 Apr 26. PMID: 27113326
  13. Bernstein JT, Schermel A, Mills CM, L’Abbé MR. 2016. Total and free sugar content of Canadian prepackaged foods and beverages. Nutrients. 2016;8(9): E582.
  14. Labonté ME, Noorhosseini S, Bernstein J, Ahmed M, L’Abbé MR. Are Foods of Higher Nutritional Quality More Expensive Than Their Less Healthy Counterparts? An Analysis of Canadian Packaged Foods. Abstract published in FASEB J. 2016;30:131.7. Presented at Experimental Biology (EB) 2016, April 3rd, 2016, San Diego Convention Center, San Diego, CA. Available from: http://www.fasebj.org/content/30/1_Supplement/131.7 [Oral presentation + Finalist in the ASN Emerging Leaders in Nutrition Science Poster Competition].
  15. Schermel A, Wong CL, L’Abbé MR. 2016. Are Foods with Fat-Related Claims Useful for Weight Management? Appetite 2016;96:154-159. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2015.09.003.
  16. Semnani-Azad Z, Scourboutakos MJ, L’Abbé MR.  2016. Kids’ Meals from Chain Restaurants: Exceedingly High in Calories, Fats, and Sodium. BMC Nutrition 2016: 2:16 doi:10.1186/s40795-016-0056-8.
  17. Emrich TE, Qi Y, Cohen JE, Lou WY, L’Abbe MR. 2015. Front-of-pack symbols are not a reliable indicator of products with healthier nutrient profiles. Appetite 2015; 84(1): 148-153. (featured on www.foodnavigator.com)
  18. Scourboutakos MJ, Semnani-Azad Z, L’Abbe MR. 2015. Added Sugars in Kids’ Meals from Chain Restaurants. Prevent Med Rep EPub Available Online 1 Dec 2014.  http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2211335514000163
  19. Arcand J, Scourboutakos MJ, Au JT, L’Abbe MR. 2014 Trends in trans fatty acids in the Canadian food supply: an updated analysis. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014;100(4):1116-23. Epub 2014 Aug 6
  20. Arcand J, Au JTC, Schermel A, L’Abbe MR. 2014. A comprehensive analysis of sodium levels in the Canadian packaged food supply. Am J Prev Med 2014;46(6):633–642.
  21. Arcand J, L’Abbe M, Newton G. 2013. Hospital Salt — Reply. Response to Morton Satin’s (Salt Institute) letter regarding study “Evaluation of sodium levels in hospital patient menus”, JAMA Intern Med. 2013 Mar 11;173(5):391-2.
  22. L’Abbé M, Schermel A, Minaker L, Kelly B, Lee A, Vandevijvere S, Twohig P, Barquera S, Friel S, Hawkes C, Kumanyika S, Lobstein T, Ma J, Macmullan J, Mohan S, Monteiro C, Neal B, Rayner M, Sacks G, Sanders D, Snowdon W, Swinburn B, Walker C. Monitoring foods and beverages provided and sold in public sector settings, Obesity Reviews, 2013; 14(S1), 96-107
  23. Scourboutakos MJ, L’Abbe MR. 2014. Changes in sodium levels in chain restaurant foods in Canada (2010-2013): a longitudinal study. Can Med Assoc J Open 2014 Oct 1;2(4):E343-51. doi: 10.9778/cmajo.20140028. PMID: 25553327
  24. Scourboutakos MJ, Semnani-Azad Z, L’Abbe MR. 2013. Restaurant Meals: Almost a Full Day’s Worth of Calories, Fats, and Sodium. JAMA Intern Med. 2013; 173(14):1373-4.
  25. Scourboutakos MJ, L’Abbé MR. 2013. Sodium Levels in Canadian Fast-food and Sit-down Restaurants. Can J Public Health 2013; 104(1):e2-e8.
  26. Schermel A, Emrich TE, Arcand J, Wong CL, L’Abbé MR. 2013. Nutrition marketing on processed food packages in Canada: 2010 Food Label Information Program. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2013; 38(6):666-72.
  27. Arcand J, Steckham K, Tzianetas R, L’Abbé MR, Newton GE. Evaluation of sodium levels in hospital patient menus. Arch Intern Med2012; 172 (16) 1261-62. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2012.2368
  28. Scourboutakos MJ, L’Abbé MR. 2012. Restaurant menus: calories, caloric density, and serving size. Am J Prevent Med. 43(3):249-255.
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research
  • Burroughs Wellcome Trust
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