Rosanne Blanchet, Assistant Professor, RD, PhD

School of public health
Université de Montréal

Dietary inequities and food insecurity among Indigenous peoples and individuals from racial/ethnic minority groups

Dietary inequities and food insecurity are shaped by social determinants of health, encompassing factors such as Indigenous status, race/ethnicity, household income and educational attainment, among others. For example, inadequate income poses a major barrier to procuring sufficient nutritious foods, particularly among Indigenous and racial/ethnic minority groups. This contributes to poor diet quality and food insecurity, increasing susceptibility to chronic conditions such as type 2 diabetes, obesity, and poor mental health. Reducing dietary inequities and food insecurity requires multilevel, multisectoral approaches. Efforts should include decolonizing, anti-discriminatory and redistributive policy reforms that consider the cultural food traditions of Indigenous people and racial/ethnic minority groups, culturally sensitive nutrition education, and community-based initiatives that provide access to affordable, nutritious and culturally appropriate foods. Dr. Blanchet will open the session with an overview of relevant definitions and statistics on dietary inequities and food insecurity among Indigenous and racialized populations in Canada. Dr. Olstad will share the results of their recent analysis of trends in diet quality and intake of ultra-processed foods according to Indigenous status and race/ethnicity in a nationally representative sample of adults in Canada. Dr. Blanchet will then present quantitative findings from their mixed methods study that examined trends in racial/ethnic inequities in diet quality from pre- to mid- to late-COVID in Canada. Lastly, Dr. Se’era Anstruther will discuss qualitative findings from their mixed methods study that explored the lived experiences of Indigenous and racial/ethnic individuals residing in households affected by food insecurity during the COVID pandemic.

Speaker/Chair Bio:

Dr. Rosanne Blanchet is a Registered Dietitian with a PhD in Population Health. She is an Assistant Professor at the School of Public Health at the Université de Montréal. She holds a FRQS Junior 1 Investigator Award and is a researcher at the Centre for research in public health at the University of Montreal and WHO-Collaborating Centre on Nutrition Changes and Development (TRANSNUT). Her research examines how social and structural determinants shape food security, nutrition and health, particularly among Black people, Indigenous peoples, racialized peoples or migrants. Her research also examines and promotes effective community-based solutions to foster food security, healthy eating and health.