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The great debate

Public lecture to discuss 'What's a healthy food?'

Campus and Community

By Kelly Foss

An expert in public health nutrition, nutrition policy and food and nutrition regulations will give a free public lecture on the Memorial St. John’s campus.

Dr. Mary L’Abbé is a professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto. She will give the fifth annual Faith Elizabeth Winifred (Rusted) Bayley Nutrition Lecture on Monday, March 9.

Exciting developments

“Consumers are seeking simple ways to find healthy foods in the grocery store aisles and restaurants,” she said. “Governments have to define healthy foods for policies and regulations and the internet is filled with movie stars and social influencers touting the latest healthy diets – all adding to the confusion.

“In addition, Canada has just launched a new food guide and committed to introducing regulations requiring front of pack warning labels on unhealthy foods and prohibiting the marketing of these foods to children.”

Dr. L’Abbé says her lecture will overview these and other exciting developments happening in Canada and around the world to help consumers choose healthier foods and how these healthier foods are being identified.

Her research examines the nutritional quality of the Canadian food supply, nutrient profiling methods used to define healthy foods, dietary intake patterns and consumer research on food choices related to obesity and chronic disease.

Her research group has also developed two large national food databases, which have been used to answer a number of policy research questions and that serve as the basis of their consumer apps.

Open to all

Dr. L’Abbé’s free public talk, titled, The Great Debate: What’s a Healthy Food?, will take place Monday, March 9, at 7 p.m. in the Bruneau Centre for Research and Innovation, room IIC-2001, on the St. John’s campus. The lecture is open to all and will be followed by a reception. Parking is available in lot 17.

In addition, she will deliver a research seminar geared toward a scientific audience titled, The Great Debate: What’s a Healthy Food? The Science of Nutrition Profiling, on Tuesday, March 10, at 10 a.m. in ED-1014.

The Faith Elizabeth Winifred (Rusted) Bayley Nutrition Lecture is hosted by the Department of Biochemistry. It was established by a bequest from Dr. Nigel Rusted in memory of his sister, a dietitian and high-ranking RCAF squadron leader in the Eastern Air Command during the Second World War.


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