CCHE Seminar: Household Food Insecurity as Material Deprivation

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Valerie Tarasuk
University of Toronto

Friday, February 15th, 2019, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM, HS 412 (155 College Street)

Abstract: Professor Tarasuk will draw on a broad swath of studies to establish that in Canada household food insecurity is not a food problem, but rather a sensitive measure of material deprivation, inextricably linked to public policy decisions that impact income. She will also talk briefly about what we have come to learn about the relationship between food insecurity and health, health care utilization, and health care costs, as a way to highlight the importance of dealing with this problem.

Valerie Tarasuk is a professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Toronto. Her research extends to Canadian food policy and population-level dietary assessment, but her primary focus is food insecurity. Her work has revealed the scale of the problem; delineated critical risk factors and conditions; charted the nutrition implications, health correlates, and associated health care costs; identified the policy underpinnings of household food insecurity; and explicated the relation of food insecurity to food banks. Most recently, she has led PROOF, an interdisciplinary research program established to identify effective policy approaches to reduce household food insecurity in Canada.