Food as Medicine Update

Food as Medicine 2019

The Food as Medicine Update is an annual, accredited symposium on the role of nutrition in patient care. It features talks and panel discussions by leading experts in nutrition, tailored for health-care professionals and researchers, and addresses the emerging interest in therapeutic diets for chronic disease prevention.

The Food as Medicine Update symposium also includes the Rundle-Lister Lectureship in Transformative Nutritional Medical Education, awarded to a clinician each year in recognition of outstanding contributions to translational research in the field of therapeutic diets and chronic disease prevention.

Past Symposia

2023 Update - Nutrition, Functional Foods and Supplements for Health Optimization

Friday November 17, 2023 
8:30 am - 4:15 pm
Toronto, ON
Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute


Mark Messina
"Science Supports the Benefits and Safety of Soyfoods" 

Sonia Anand
"Diet and Ethnicity Linked to Metabolic Syndrome" 

Alison Duncan
"Functional Foods for Health"

Dean Ornish
"A Unifying Theory of Lifestyle Medicine"

Mark Tarnopolsky
"Multi-ingredient Nutritional Supplementation for Older Adults and Obesity"

Heather Keller
"Nutrition and Older Adults: Who is at Risk and How Can I Manage their Care?"

Debra Katzman
"ARFID - More than Picky Eating"

Hope Weiler
"Vitamin D Recommendations, Intakes and Status Across the Life Stages in the Canadian Context"


  1.  Describe the appropriate use of dietary supplements and functional foods to optimize health and manage and prevent chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease.
  2. Identify dietary patterns and supplements to optimize health throughout the lifespan.
  3. Consider the evidence of the safety and effectiveness of dietary supplements and natural health products.
  4. Describe when and what foods and supplements should be recommended to their patients.

2023 Food as Medicine Update program

2022 Update - Nutrition Around the World: Best Practices and Clinical Integrations

Friday November 25, 2022
8:00 am - 3:55 pm
Toronto, ON


Ursula Schwab
"What you need to know about the Nordic Diet"

Jordi Salas-Salvadó
"Is the Mediterranean Diet the healthiest diet?"

Catherine Chan
"Pure Prairie Eating Plan: A health eating pattern for the Prairies"

Treena Wasonti:io Delormier
"Indigenous food sovereignty as a determinant of health"

Neal Barnard
"The new science of food, hormones and health"

Bradley Willcox
"Keys to healthy aging and longevity: The role of healthy diets in Okanawa and other blue zones"

Joan Sabaté
"What to tell your patients transitioning to a plant-based diet"

Amanda Marrone
"Integrating lifestyle medicine in your family practice"

2022 Food as Medicine Update program

2021 Update - Food for the Body, Mind and Soul

Friday November 19, 2021
8:00 am - 4:00 pm 
Toronto, ON


Dariush Mozaffarian
"Leveraging Food as Medicine to improve the health of patients and the population - Dietary management for cardiometabolic health"

David Jenkins
"Should the Dietary Portfolio be included in guidelines to lower serum cholesterol?"
David Jenkins

Sonia Anand
"The management of cardiometabolic health with nutrition in South Asian populations"

Aileen Burford-Mason
"Diet and memory function in healthy older adults: Is choline the forgotten fat?"

Bonnie Kaplan
"FIRST, Feed their brains"

David Katz
"The case for diet as a vital sign"

Valerie Tarasuk
"The role of the physician in reducing food insecurity in patients and the population"

Anthony Hanley
"Improving health outcomes in Indigenous populations: Focusing on nutrition and food environments"


  1. Identify the impact that food and dietary patterns have on cardiometabolic, cognitive and mental health, in adults and children.
  2. Define dietary strategies and patterns to manage cardiometabolic health in patients and different populations.
  3. Describe the role of the physician in decreasing food insecurity in their patients and the population.
  4. Summarize the evidence of health care and policy approaches to improve dietary quality in patients and the population.

2021 Food as Medicine Update Program

2020 Update - Nutrition Myth Busting: Headlines vs. Evidence

Friday November 20, 2020
8:00 am - 4: 00pm
Toronto, ON


Andrew Mente
"Pass the salt: Should you keep recommending low sodium to your patients"

Jill Hamilton
"One small step: Management of obesity in children and adolescents"

John Sievenpiper
"Intermittent fasting: Friend or foe?

Ahmed El-Sohemy
"From caffeine to gluten: Do our genetics influence how we respond to food and is there a role for personalized nutrition?"

Timothy Caulfied
"Yes, debunking works! Let's get to it!"

Jonathon Maguire
"Busting the myths about plant-based diets for children"

Marie-Claire Arrieta
"Let them eat dirt: Can microbes impact the health of our children"

Rundle-Lister Lectureship: JoAnne E. Manson
"Is daily vitamin D and omega-3 supplementation needed to maintain good health?"


  1. Summarize the evidence of emerging nutrition topics including intermittent fasting, nutrigenomics, the salt controversy, early-life microbiome, and plant-based diets for children.
  2. Determine when to recommend vitamin D and omega-3 supplements and probiotics to patients.
  3. Compare the effectiveness of different dietary approaches to manage chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and adolescent obesity.
  4. Identify nutrition myths and strategies to counter nutrition misinformation. 


2020 Food as Medicine Update Program

2019 Update: Hot Topics in Nutrition Through the Lifespan 

November 15, 2019
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Toronto, ON
Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute


Rebecca Hoban
"Weeding through the evidence: Marijuana and breastfeeding"

Vasanti Malik
"Sugars and health: What is the right direction for public policy?"

Katherine Morrison
"Update on pediatric obesity management"

Alfred Aziz
"What is new with Canada's Food Guide?"

John Sievenpiper
"Low carb versus low fat: What does the evidence say?"

Aileen Burford-Mason
"Food for thought: Nutrition, cognitive health and the aging brain"

Gregor Reid
"The microbiome questions you'd like answered for patient issues across the lifespan"

Rundle-Lister Lectureship: Walter Willett
"Diet and health across the lifespan"


  1. Describe the evidence of emerging nutrition topics from infancy to old age.
  2. Explain the role of macronutrients, micronutrients, dietary patterns, and probiotics in the prevention and management of non-communicable diseases such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and dementia.
  3. Consider and identify nutrition policies to promote health.
  4. Outline strategies to promote healthy eating behaviours of patients in clinical practice across the lifespan.

2019 Food as Medicine Update Program

2018 Update: What to tell your patients about diet and chronic disease prevention

Tuesday November 13, 2018
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Toronto, ON
Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute


Aileen Burford-Mason
"Nutrition and the aging brain"

Robert Josse
"Nutrition guidelines for osteoporosis"

Russel D'Souza
"Is butter back? Dietary intake of saturated fat and trans fat and chronic disease"

Jennifer Sygo, RD
"From intermittent fasting to ketogenic diets: Emerging trends in nutrition"

John Sievenpiper
"Not so sweet? A review of the evidence of sugars in cardiometabolic health"

Thomas Wolever
"Low glycemic index diet and chronic disease prevention"

Elena Verdu
"Nutrition recommendations for patients with gluten sensitivity"

Stephanie Clairmont, RD
"Low FODMAP diet in irritable bowel syndrome"

Rundle-Lister Lectureship: David Jenkins
"Plant foods for human health and planetary health"


  1. Describe the evidence behind emerging nutrition trends
  2. Identify nutrition strategies to prevent and manage chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, dyslipidemia, IBS, and dementia.
  3. Describe the paradigm shift from nutrient-centric recommendations to food and dietary-pattern based recommendations.
  4. Identify the benefits of prescribing diet in addition to pharmacological intervention in medical practice.

2018 Food as Medicine Update Program

2017 Update: Microbiome at the Bedside and Beyond

Wednesday November 29, 2017
1:30 pm - 5:45 pm
Toronto, ON
Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute


Premysl Bercik
"The gut microbiome in irritable bowel syndrome and gut dismotility syndromes"

Johane Allard
"The role of gut microbiome in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease"

Elena Comelli
"FECAL microRNA: Role in intestinal homeostasis and clinical applications"

Christina Lee
"Clostridium difficile and fecal transplants"

Kenneth Croitoru
"The gut microbiome and inflammatory bowel disease"

Rundle-Lister Lectureship: Philip Sherman
"Microbiome at the bedside and beyond"


  1. Evaluate the effects an altered gut microbiome have on human health and disease.
  2. Describe the role of the gut microbiome on infl ammatory bowel disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and intestinal homeostasis.
  3. Describe the evidence for use of Fecal Microbiota Transplant in the management of recurrent C.difficile infection. 
  4. Consider human milk oligosaccharides, prebiotics, and probiotics as drugs to manage specifi c human conditions.

2017 Food as Medicine Update Program

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