She's got the beet: Rachel Engler-Stringer from the College of Medicine.

Putting community food environments in the spotlight

A newly published supplement in the Canadian Journal of Public Health owes a lot to work being done by a small team of researchers within the College of Medicine.

The supplement, Retail Food Environments in Canada, is the first of its kind in Canada and deals with an area of research that is barely a decade old.

“It’s (a field) where there was basically no research prior to 2005,” said Rachel Engler-Stringer, who authored or co-authored four of the 12 publications cited in the supplement. “We hosted in Saskatoon a conference last year called Food Environments in Canada Symposium, and invited some keynote speakers from across the country representing different regions, and different focuses of research.”

Following the conference a group of researchers approached the CJPH, with the support of Health Canada, expressing an interest in creating the supplement.

“We approached the journal and said ‘We’d like to put together a supplement based on this conference,’” Engler-Stringer continued. “So we sent out a call for abstracts among the researchers who had been at the conference and put together this prospectus for the supplement, and have been working on it for the last year.”

Food environments may be a newer area of study, but they’re a subject that impacts the lives of millions of Canadians in both rural and urban areas. A food environment covers everything from geographical and structural elements, to the information and media that shapes food purchasing and consumption patterns.

See more on the College of Medicine website.

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