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WHAT IS THE CANADA FOOD STUDY?

Food is important to our health and well-being. Eating patterns have changed over the past 50 years, including where we get our food, the types of food that we eat, and the settings in which we eat our food.

The Canada Food Study is a national surveillance tool used to examine eating patterns and trends among youth and young adults in Canada. Starting in the fall of 2016, Canadians aged 16 to 30 will be recruited to participate in the study from 5 cities: Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, Montreal, and Halifax. Participants will complete surveys on their eating patterns, including 24-hour diet recalls, which record all of the food and beverages consumed the previous day. Approximately 1,000 participants will also be invited to participate in a GPS study, which will examine where people travel and buy food over the course of a week.

Participants will be invited to complete a survey every 12-months to study how our dietary patterns change over time as we get older, change jobs, and start families. We are now collecting data for the second annual wave. We will also collect information on the local food environment (including any policies or interventions implemented by cities), as well as health care records to better understand how dietary patterns can protect against chronic disease.

I’M PARTICIPATING IN THE STUDY AND HAVE QUESTIONS.

If you are a study participant and have questions or need help, click here.

HOW WILL THE STUDY FINDINGS BE USED?

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The study will help us understand how the Canadian diet compares to dietary standards, including how much salt, sugar, and calories we eat. Finally, the study will help us to understand how our environment affects what we eat. For example: How do our neighbourhoods and activity patterns influence what we eat? Will changes in food labelling or industry marketing practices affect our diet quality?

WHO IS RUNNING THE STUDY?

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The study is a collaboration of more than a dozen researchers across Canada. The research team includes international experts in the area of diet and nutrition from the University of British Columbia, the University of Alberta, the University of Waterloo, the University of Montreal, and Dalhousie University. Dr. David Hammond is the Principal Investigator on the study, and the University of Waterloo is taking the lead on data collection.

IS THE STUDY ASSOCIATED WITH FOOD COMPANIES OR COMMERCIAL INTERESTS?

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No. The study does not have any links with any companies or aspect of the food industry. We believe that research should be independent and free from commercial conflict of interest.

IS MY INFORMATION PRIVATE?

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All of the information we collect is kept strictly confidential and anonymous. The study has been reviewed by the Ethics Committee at the University of Waterloo and adheres to the highest ethical standards for academic research. Personal information will not be shared with anybody for any reason. Survey responses will be de-identified (i.e., people’s contact information is not stored in the same place as their survey answers) and will be stored securely at the University of Waterloo. Participant information will never be shared with any company.