CNS Food for Health Connection Workshop

The workshop brought together a broad spectrum of stakeholders from across the Food and Health continuum to share perspectives and exchange knowledge with the goal of bringing about greater collaboration towards the betterment of the health of Canadians. Some of the presentations have been made available and workshop reports are found at the end of this webpage. A series of reports will be made available as they are completed, so check back often.

The Food for Health Agenda is an emerging national priority. Canada is in the midst of a serious population health crisis. Obesity rates are soaring, the incidence and earlier onset of chronic disease is on the rise, and increased demands on health care costs threaten to swamp public spending.

Poor diet and nutrition, unhealthy eating, caloric overconsumption and inactivity coupled with the health demands of an aging population are seen as root causes of the crisis. A new paradigm is emerging that sees food, nutrition and diet as a determinate of health and a pathway to a healthier society.

The challenge is how to get there. What needs to be done to accelerate change and put practical solutions into the marketplace?

The forum will in very practical ways address core challenges to success:

On June 2nd, leaders from across the entire food –health spectrum will meet at this by invitation-only forum to discuss these questions and more.

Workshop Program

11:00-11:15 a.m.
Canadian Nutrition Society – Welcome

Dr. Leah GramlichCNS President, Director, Nutrition Support, Department of Medicine, University of Alberta. 
click here to see presentation (PDF) 
Dr. Gramlich will topline some of the social, health, and economic impacts of improper/inadequate nutrition in Canada, the critical role that food can play in addressing chronic disease, and the need to build a stronger connection between food and health.

What are the obstacles to a coordinated program that helps Canadians eat healthy for healthier lives? How do we build on the work of the agri-food sector and engage all health care professionals in this vital undertaking? How do we reach and motivate Canadians to make healthy food choices and regain control of their health through diet?

11:15-11:30 a.m.
Dr. Sylvain Charlebois, Associate Dean, Research and Graduate Studies at the College of Management and Economics, University of Guelph 
click here to see presentation (PDF)
Dr. Charlebois will provide context and background from the perspective of the agri-food sector on what is currently happening to move the food–health agenda forward in Canada including practical initiatives, research and emerging directions.

What is Canada doing right, and what it is doing wrong in improving the nutrition of Canadians? Just how is the food for health agenda progressing? What gains have been made over the past year and what to expect in the coming year?

11:30-11:45 a.m.
Stephanie Atkinson, Chair, Institute Advisory Board, Canadian Institutes of Health Research – Institute of Nutrition, Metabolism, and Diabetes (INMD) 
click here to see presentation (PDF)
Dr. Atkinson will present INMD’s research priorities that emerged from the workshop, Advancing Food and Health Research Priorities in Canada convenedin November 2010.

This workshop sought stakeholder input on a Canadian research agenda for Food and Health. The workshop explored strengths, gaps and opportunities in research capacity, and opportunities for partnership among potential research funders.

11:45 a.m. – 1 p.m. 
Foodland Ontario lunch service – working lunch

11:45 a.m. – 11:55 p.m. 
Case Study on Practical Solutions and Collaboration
Dr. Cathy Chan – The Alberta Diet, PANDA Research Project
click here to see presentation (PDF) 
Dr. Chan is a full professor in the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry and the Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences at the University of Alberta. She is the principal investigator on the Physical Activity and Nutrition for Diabetes in Alberta; full project title is "Practical behavioural modifications for type 2 diabetes treatment: Physical Activity and Nutrition for Diabetes in Alberta."

11:55 p.m. – 12:05 p.m. 
Case Study: a soybean functional food to link agriculture and healthDr. Alison Duncan - Associate Professor in the Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Guelph
click here to see presentation (PDF)
Dr. Duncan has assembled a team of researchers to bring soy’s health benefits beyond soy foods, by incorporating isoflavones into everyday staple foods. Everyday foods such as bread could soon be enriched with health-promoting components of soy starting with isoflavone-enriched bread.

12:05 p.m. – 12:25 p.m.
Michael Toombs, Director, Research and Innovation Branch, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) 
click here to see presentation (PDF)

The Director will present on OMAFRA’s Food for Health research program and priorities.

12:25- 12: 45 p.m. 
Question panel with all speakers

Dr. Gramlich of CNS, Dr. Charbois of University of Guelph

Dr. Atkinson of CIHR

Dr. Chan of the University of Alberta

Dr. Duncan of the University of Guelph

Michael Toombs of OMAFRA will take questions from the audience.

12:45 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. 
Bio break  

1:00 p.m. – 2:10 p.m.
Panel: Building Capacity for Collaboration between the Food-Health Sectors – Redefining the food-health paradigm. Reaching out to Canadians. Issues and Opportunities
What should be our nutrition related priorities going forward? What are the opportunities; the barriers? How do we get buy-in and commitment to the food-health imperative in the health care community? What should be the role of medical practitioners in knowledge translation to encourage Canadians to adopt healthier diets? What needs to be done to provide medical practitioners with the tools they need? How can we all work collaboratively to advance the health of Canadians?


Dr. Harvey Anderson, Professor, Nutritional Sciences and Physiology Director, Program in Food Safety, Nutrition and Regulatory Affairs, Department of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto


Dr. Kush Jeejeebhoy, Department of Medicine, Department of Nutritional Sciences, Department of Physiology, University of Toronto

Dr. David Jenkins, Director, Clinical Nutrition and Risk Factor Modification Centre, St. Michael’s Hospital

Dr. Molly Rundle, M.D., CCFP, FCFP Malvern Medical Centre Scarborough Ontario representing the College of Family Physicians of Canada

Dr. David Armstrong, Associate Professor, Division of Gastroenterology, 
McMaster University Medical Centre

David McInnes, President and CEO, Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute (CAPI)

2:10 p.m. – 3:20 p.m. 
Panel: Partnership models to leverage food and health research opportunities
This panel will look at models of industry-supported research. Specifically, the panel will be to provide examples of diverse models of research support and partnership that have been successful in health and/or food. The objective is knowledge transfer and to inspire new collaborations for research success.


Dr. Rickey Yada, Canada Research Chair in Food Protein Structure Scientific Director Advanced Foods and Materials Network (AFMNet) Department of Food Science University of Guelph

Burnbrae Farms – Margaret Hudson, President, will discuss the success of OMEGA 3 eggs from farm and research to fork - an example of adding value to a commodity and the market and financial benefits.

Pulse Canada – Dr. Julianne Curran, Director of Nutrition, Scientific & Regulatory Affairs, will share “Pulse industry experiences with food and health research: key partnerships and lessons learned.”

H.J. Heinz Company – Dr. Ida Laquatra, Director, Global Nutrition will share, “Role of industry supported research“

3:20 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.
Break-out sessions – on topics requested by attendees

4:15 p.m. – 4:20 p.m.
Concluding remarks

*The Break-out Session format will be round-tables of up to 10. Each table will include 1 CNS leader in the area of Food-Health to act as facilitator. Sessions will be “facilitated, using a structured process at each table. Results shared with attendees by email after the workshop along with a Workshop Report.


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