Food for Health Workshop: Guidance On “Highly Processed Foods”: Assessing Impacts from Bench to Bedside
Virtual, Canada
April 22, 2021
10:45 am – 4:30 pm

With the launch of the revised Canada’s Food Guide (CFG) in 2019, key messaging within the Guide includes “limiting highly processed foods”. But what does this mean and is it possible to limit highly processed foods in light of other messaging that is also included in the CFG?

Workshop Objectives:

This workshop will explore the evolution of food processing, the rationale for why we process foods, and the links between processed food and health.

By attending this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Understand why foods are processed
  • Explore the rationale for advocating limits on consumption of processed foods, including what current evidence is saying and the implications on health
  • Recognize potential unintended consequences of advocated limits on highly processed, including implications for fortification, food innovation and food security
  • Examine consumer demands for more plant and animal-based processed foods and how those demands align with Health Canada guidance
  • Put into action the effective use of processed foods in clinical settings
  • Illustrate how messaging about processed foods can best guide various populations, including clinical populations, educational audiences, consumers, parents/families/children and older adults

The Food for Health Workshop is an annual pre-conference event hosted by CNS and IAFNS.  The workshop brings together representatives from across the nutrition spectrum (academia, healthcare, government, industry, trainees) to engage in solutions and actions that aim to improve the health of Canadians.


Draft program only – program subject to change. All times EST.

THURSDAY, APRIL 22, 2021 – 10:45 AM – 16:30 PM

10:45 – 11:00 Welcome and Introductions

11:00 – 11:30 Current guidance on processed food consumption

Speaker: Alfred Aziz, PhD Director General, Office of Nutrition Policy and Promotion

Health Products and Food Branch, Health Canada

11:30 – 12:00 Food processing at the nexus of COVID, nutrition and food security

Speaker:  Rickey Yada, PhD, University of British Columbia

12:00 – 12:20 Q and A / Discussion

12:20 – 12:30 Break

12:30 – 13:00 What is the rationale for advocating limits on processed food consumption?

Speaker: Malek Batal, PhD, Université de Montréal

13:00 – 13:30 Examining the healthfulness of processed foods in Canada using a branded food database

Speaker: Mary L’Abbé, PhD, Professor, Department of Nutritional Sciences,

Director WHO Collaborating Centre on Nutrition Policy for Chronic Disease Prevention

Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto

13:30 – 14:00 Are there unintended consequences to advocating avoidance of processed foods?

Speaker: Julie Miller Jones, PhD, St. Catherine University

14:00 – 14:20 Q and A / Discussion

14:20 – 14:30 BREAK

14:30 – 15:00 Innovations in food processing: the Plant Protein Paradox

Speaker: Shannon Hood-Niefer, PhD, MBA, Saskatchewan Food Industry Development Centre Inc.

15:00 – 15:30 Processed foods and clinical implications

Speaker: Heather Keller, PhD, University of Waterloo

15:30 – 15:50 Q and A / Discussion

15:50 – 16:20 Break-out Sessions or Panel Discussion

16:20 – 16:30 Break-out session – Report back

16:20 – 16:30 PM Session wrap-up and concluding remarks

Register here.