Mahsa Jessri, PhD

Department of Food, Nutrition, and Health,
University of British Columbia

Dietary Patterns and Food Policies: Measuring the Impact on Health

Mahsa Jessri, PhD, recipient of a 2019 Banting Research Foundation Discovery Award

With the dramatic increase in life expectancy that occurred during the 20th century, we can be more optimistic than ever that good health is both achievable and sustainable. Unlike smoking, whose contribution to death and disease has been steadily decreasing, the contribution of poor diet has been worsening—poor diet is now the most common preventable behavioral risk for chronic diseases in Canada.

Using Canada’s unique strength in recording population data, Dr. Jessri’s research will estimate current and predict the future contribution of dietary patterns to deaths, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The methods include measurement of potential improvements in death and disease that may result from changing dietary patterns and food policies. New tools will be created to allow policymakers to assess the impact of different preventive strategies, such as food supply changes and taxations, on death and disease burden across different social groups in Canada.