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Applying a Health Literacy Lens to Nutrition Labelling and Communications

Date: December 14th, 2018

Location: Online

Webinar Slide Deck

Nutrition literacy is rooted in the concept of health literacy. Food label reading and related numeracy skills are important components of nutrition literacy. Most Canadians demonstrate some deficits in health literacy which impacts their awareness, understanding, appraisal and use of nutrition information to make their food choices.

Health Canada has recently integrated a health literacy lens into their consumer research (e.g., labelling of Supplemented Foods). The Newest Vital Sign, a health literacy assessment tool using a nutrition label, was recently adapted by Health Canada for use in the Canadian context. This tool is used to ensure that nutrition labelling approaches and other communications meet the needs of all Canadians, in particular those who are disadvantaged by marginal health literacy.

In this webinar, join Elaine De Grandpré and Beth Mansfield, registered dietitians and nutrition literacy experts, as they describe Health Canada’s approach to nutrition labelling and other nutrition communications to meet the needs of Canadians with marginal literacy.

By attending this session, you will:

  1. Become familiar with the Canadian adaptation of the Newest Vital Sign;
  2. Understand the use a health literacy lens to inform the development of nutrition labelling regulations; and
  3. Exchange ideas with colleagues on innovative ways to integrate the use of a health literacy lens into their patient education communications and resource development.


Elaine De Grandpré, M.H.Sc., RD has been working in the field of nutrition for over 25 years.  She received her Bachelor of Science in Nutrition from the University of Montreal and her Master’s of Health Science in Community Nutrition from the University of Toronto.  Her areas of expertise are nutrition education and communication.  She is currently Manager of Knowledge Translation and Exchange in the Bureau of Nutritional Sciences of the Food Directorate at Health Canada. 

Her team leads consultations and implements social research to help shape policies and regulations.  They also develop content and resources for intermediaries.  Using a health literacy lens to their work ensures better uptake, understanding and use of these programs, policies and regulations.  Elaine is also a part time professor at the University of Ottawa in the Food Policy and Regulatory Affairs program. She lives in Ottawa.

Elizabeth (Beth) Mansfield, PhD, CSSD, CSEP-CEP, RD is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Specialist in Sport Dietetics, and a Certified Exercise Physiologist. Her social science research at Health Canada specializes in bridging the gap between the science of nutrition and the practice of healthy eating to improve Canadian’s abilities to seek, find, and understand credible and practical information to achieve and maintain optimal nutrition health and wellness.

Implementation Guide for the Canadian Adaptation of The Newest Vital Sign™

Guide de mise en oeuvre de l’adaptation canadienne de l’outil The Newest Vital SignMC


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