Nutrient Profiling for Canadian Public Health Initiatives: Scientific Aims and Application

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Speaker: Dr. Mary L'Abbé

This webinar describes the concepts, application and public health impact of diverse nutrient profiling models that have been implemented to ensure that public health initiatives of education, regulation and reformulation are consistent with national objectives to reduce risk of obesity and chronic diseases.


Poor diet has been linked to the incidence of non-communicable diseases. Several food-level public health initiatives (e.g. front-of-pack (FOP) labelling, advertising restrictions or sodium reduction) have been proposed to help consumers achieve more balanced diets. These initiatives also have the potential to facilitate the reformulation of food products to help Canadians improve the nutritional quality of their diets and enable selection of healthier food products. Nutrient profiling is defined as the science of classifying foods according to their nutritional composition for the purpose of promoting health and preventing disease. Considering the recent proposals on FOP nutrition labels and advertising restrictions on foods for children in Canada, this webinar provides an overview on the nutrient profiling systems underpinning the Canadian public health initiatives. Through this webinar, we will disseminate knowledge on the diverse nutrient profiling systems that underpin several of the public health initiatives of education/promotion, regulation or reformulation and their implementation in the context of dietary guidance and public health impacts.

Learning Objectives:

  1. To describe the scientific aims of nutrient profiling models and differences between various nutrient profiling models.
  2. To discuss the global application of nutrient profiling models as implemented in different countries.
  3. To demonstrate the impact of nutrient profiling models on public health determined through consumer research.
  4. To discuss the strengths and limitations of nutrient profiling in relation to public health initiatives.
  5. To address the integration of nutrient profiling models into nutrition-related public health policies to create supportive food environments and reduce risk of chronic disease and support Canadian decision-making.

About the Speaker:

Dr. Mary L'Abbé
Department of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto

Dr. Mary L'Abbé is a Professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, where she leads a research group on Food and Nutrition Policy for Population Health. She is an expert in public health nutrition, nutrition policy, and food and nutrition regulations and in 2018 was named to the Order of Canada. Her research examines the nutritional quality of the Canadian food supply, nutrient profiling methods, dietary intake patterns, and consumer research on food choices related to obesity and chronic disease. She developed and has maintained a Canadian database of national and private label branded foods (FLIP) and restaurant foods (Menu-FLIP), updated regularly since 2010. Professor L'Abbé is a member of several committees of the World Health Organization including the Nutrition Guidance Expert Advisory Group on Diet and Health, chairs the PAHO Technical Advisory Group on Sodium Reduction for CVD prevention and was a member of the US National Academies of Science Panel on Global Harmonization of DRIs. She is the Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre on Nutrition Policy for NCD Prevention. Dr. L'Abbé was co-chair of the Canadian Trans Fat Task Force, and Chair/Vice-Chair of the Canadian Sodium Working Group. Before joining the University of Toronto, Dr L'Abbe was Director, Bureau of Nutritional Sciences at Health Canada. She holds a PhD in nutrition from McGill University and has authored over 250 peer-reviewed scientific publications, book chapters and government reports.

** Original Source: "CNS Education Webinars" Monday, March 25, 2019


Type: File

Last Updated: March 25, 2019

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