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A local food environment policy framework: How to take action and measure change in Ontario

Date: Apr 9 2019, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Location: Online

Transforming the Food Environment Series Logo

This webinar is held in partnership between Public Health Ontario and the Nutrition Resource Centre.

Government policies targeting the availability, affordability, and marketing of foods can shape the food environment. Local governments are often the first to implement innovative healthy food policies; however the implementation of such policies in Canadian jurisdictions is not well documented.

Our project aimed to identify current food environment policies in North America to develop a policy monitoring framework, the Local Food-Environment Policies Index (Food-EPI), and apply it in three local jurisdictions of various population sizes in Ontario. The Local Food-EPI framework includes six policy domains and seven infrastructure domains. This tool is an inventory of existing municipal policies to support healthy eating and obesity prevention at the population level. It can be used by local jurisdictions to evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, and gaps in their food environment policies.

This session will summarize current policies supporting healthy Canadian and American municipal food environments and present the Local Food-EPI framework and inventory as a resource for local governments to take action in their jurisdictions.


*Link to webinar recording can be accessed on Slide 1 of presentation

Local Food-EPI 2019 Official Reports:


Kimiya Karbasy, MSc, University of Toronto 

Kimiya has recently completed her Master of Science degree at the University of Toronto under the supervision of Dr. Mary L’Abbé. Her thesis project focused on characterizing municipal food environment policies in North America to create a policy monitoring framework as a tool to help municipal governments identify and improve policy gaps in their jurisdictions. Kimiya has worked alongside Dr. Lana Vanderlee, evaluating national and provincial government food environment policies in Canada and comparing them to international best practices, in collaboration with International Network for Food and Obesity / non-communicable Diseases Research, Monitoring and Action Support.

Lana Vanderlee, PhD, University of Waterloo

Dr. Lana Vanderlee is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the School of Public Health and Health Systems and recently finished a Canadian Institutes of Health Research Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Toronto. Her research program broadly explores how government and food industry policies and interventions influence diet and health behaviours within Canada and internationally, with a focus on food labelling.