Measuring the Food Environment Delegates

Policy & Data

Strong Policy For Healthy Food Environments

Policies on food, health and economics have a huge impact on child nutrition. Policy at all levels of government shapes childhood food environments — the type and quality of food available, cost, how it's marketed and how children perceive it — in homes, schools, restaurants, food markets other public spaces.

Good policy is a major force for healthier eating, especially among children, who are just beginning to form habits around food. The world has seen many policies that encourage better nutrition. In Denmark, a virtual ban on trans-fats cut consumption by 90 per cent in the early 2000s, and many other countries have followed suit (Canada implemented a federal ban in 2018). In Quebec, a long-standing ban on advertising to children across all media has set a global benchmark.

But good policy rests on solid evidence. And implementation requires consultation, customization and monitoring. Faculty in the Lawson Centre for Child Nutrition develop and study nutrition policy on advertising, menu labelling, taxes, guidelines, maternal and infant health, food security and other policy issues — through research, government and industry advisory panels, teaching, and partnerships with community and public health organizations.

Learn more about our policy work below.

Three key research projects: food insecurity; menu labelling, sodium reduction and advertising to children in Canada; and food environments in low and middle-income countries.

This Lawson Centre story series shows the broad impact of our policy-related research on child nutrition and health.

Canadian and international reports and recommendations on nutrition policy from government and professional organizations.

National data on childhood overweight, obesity, poverty and food insecurity in Canada.

World data on childhood malnutrition, stunting, wasting, and overweight and obesity.

May 29, 2024
Lawson Centre for Child Nutrition experts comment on $1 billion in new funding for a national school food program.
Mar 4, 2024
Joannah and Brian Lawson are among 11 people who will receive honorary degrees from the University of Toronto this year and will address graduating students at convocation ceremonies in the spring or fall. 
Jan 29, 2024
Researchers in Toronto detected antibodies in breastmilk from roughly half of the people in a COVID-19 positive cohort but less than 5 per cent of routine milk bank donors, who did not have any known exposures to COVID-19.