Perceptions on carbohydrates and sugars among university nutrition students and recent findings on the intakes of sugars in relation to key nutrient intakes among Canadian children and adults

Date: Wednesday, October 27, 2021
Time: 12:00 - 13:00 ET

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"Knowledge and perceptions on carbohydrates and sugars among Canadian nutrition undergraduates"
This presentation discusses data from a cross-sectional survey among undergraduate nutrition students at seven Canadian Universities, and presents their sources of nutrition information, as well as knowledge and perceptions of carbohydrates and sugars. Approaches in addressing knowledge gaps will be explored through an interactive activity during the webinar.

Nick Bellissimo, PhD -  School of Nutrition, Ryerson University
Flora Wang, PhD - Nutrition Information Service, Canadian Sugar Institute 

"Intakes of nutrients and food categories in Canadian children and adults across different sugar consumption levels"
This presentation discusses the intakes of macro-/micronutrients and food sources stratified by different intakes of sugars in Canadian children and adults using data from the 2015 Canadian Community Health Survey-Nutrition

Laura Chiavaroli, PhD - Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto

Webinar Description: Global dietary guidelines recommend reducing the intake of free sugars, which may affect choices of sugar-containing foods. Information communicated through different social media channels may also shape preceptions related to carbohydrate and sugars, including those related to the consumption trends of sugars in Canada. This webinar presents data from a survey of undergraduate nutrition students from seven Canadian Universities, on their knowledge and perceptions of carbohydrates and sugars. To dispel some misperceptions related to sugars, the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) 2015 nutrition data were analyzed to better understand the intakes of key nutrients among Canadian children and adults with low, moderate, and high consumption of sugars. 

Learning Objectives:

  1. To gain insight on primary sources of nutrition information, key knowledge retained, knowledge gaps as well as general perceptions regarding carbohydrates and sugars among Canadian undergraduate nutrition students.
  2. To explore strategies on tools/resources to address the identified knowledge gaps.
  3. To clarify misperceptions related to the intakes of sugars.
  4.  To obtain a comprehensive understanding of the intakes of key nutrients and major food groups across different intakes of sugars among Canadian children and adults.

Moderator: John Sievenpiper, MD, PhD - Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto

About the Speakers:

Nick Bellissimo, PhD -  School of Nutrition, Ryerson University

Dr. Nick Bellissimo is an Associate Professor and Director of the Nutrition Discovery Labs in the School of Nutrition at Ryerson University.  His research program is dedicated to advancing our understanding of human ingestive behavior, with a particular emphasis on elucidating the determinants of food intake control in children. Through his interdisciplinary research program, he has examined the associations among macronutrient composition, exercise, hormonal and environmental factors with the goal of informing the development of evidence-based guidelines for promoting healthier body weights. He has significant leadership in the design of experimental trials related to diet and exercise, and in the design and testing of novel food ingredients, food formulations on satiety, and on biomarkers related to health and disease. Since 2009, he has led an independent, externally funded research program from both federal and food industry sources, published 100+ papers and has trained ~100 highly qualified personnel. 

Laura Chiavaroli, PhD - Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto

Dr. Laura Chiavaroli is a Clinical Trialist and a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Toronto and St. Michael’s Hospital. Laura’s primary research interests over the past 10 years have been in the field of nutrition and cardiometabolic health, specifically in carbohydrate nutrition and obesity and diabetes. Alongside her mentor, Dr. David Jenkins with whom she completed her MSc and PhD, Laura gained vast experience working with the Portfolio Diet, glycemic index and on carbohydrates and sugars. Laura also has robust experience in nutritional epidemiology, specifically in the conduct of systematic reviews and meta-analyses, from her work with Dr. John Sievenpiper, her current mentor. In the past few years of her post-doctoral fellowship, Laura has expanded her experience in knowledge translation strategies, including patient- and physician-facing resource development and web-based mobile app development. Laura also has a great interest in education and mentorship as well as environmental sustainability and planetary health. Laura’s overall goal is to elucidate important public health concerns regarding dietary carbohydrates and cardiometabolic health and influence public policy and nutrition guidelines in order to improve public health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases, as well as to inspire students and others along the way.

Flora Wang, PhD - Nutrition Information Service, Canadian Sugar Institute 

Dr. Flora Wang is the Manager of Nutrition and Scientific Affairs at the Canadian Sugar Institute. Over the past 10 years she has focused her work on knowledge translation initiatives and evidence-based nutrition communications. Dr. Wang completed her PhD (Nutrition and Metabolism) at the University of Alberta, Canada and BSc (Biological Science) at Xiamen University, China. During her post-doctoral fellowship, she focused her research interest on postprandial dyslipidemia during childhood obesity and early stages of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. In her current position, she is responsible for ensuring the scientific integrity of CSI's nutrition communications. Key roles include national and international research and policy monitoring and input, professional and academic research and collaboration, sponsorship, presentations, resource development, and trainee education. She also provides evidence-based support on food and nutrition policy and guidelines related to sugars consumption and health.

Webinar sponsored by the Canadian Sugar Institute

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