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Daiva Nielsen, PhD

Daiva Nielsen, PhD

Department of Human Nutrition, McGill University –


Characterization of the workplace food environment in Montreal Canada: New directions for gene-environment interaction and health research

Daiva Nielsen, PhD, recipient of a 2019 Banting Research Foundation Discovery Award

The retail food environment is acknowledged to play a significant role in public health and while previous studies have examined the role of the food environment around one’s residence, the food environment around the workplace has been less extensively investigated.

Dr. Nielsen’s research aims to characterize the workplace food environment in the city of Montreal using participant workplace location data for 40,000 middle aged adults from the CARTaGENE biobank, which contains detailed data on participant diet, lifestyle and health. Genetic data is available for a subset of participants (n=12,000).

Food retailer locations will be accessed using public data from a municipal property assessment roll. Statistical analyses will be conducted to evaluate relationships between the workplace food environment and health status, including analyses that consider participant genetic backgrounds.

Findings from this research will advance methods for studying the food environment and will enable novel considerations for gene-environment interaction research.

Nielsen lab group 2019
The Nielsen Lab group, from left to right: Dr. Daiva Nielsen, Jasmine Leung, Gabriella Menniti, Tongzhu Meng and Hannah Han (not pictured: Emily Wilson and Irem Karamanoglu)