An Exploration of the Methodological Flaws for Assessing Fibre Intake Among Canadians


According to the 2004 Canadian Community Health Survey-Nutrition, the majority of Canadians are consuming fibre below the adequate intake (AI) level. Although an intervention by Health Canada to improve fibre intakes may seem appropriate, there is insufficient evidence to warrant an intervention given the methodological flaws for assessing fibre intakes in the Canadian population. This paper explores these limitations by reviewing how the AI for fibre was developed, by examining how fibre intakes are assessed by the 2004 Canadian Community Health Survey-Nutrition, and by outlining the limitations of using an AI to draw conclusions about fibre inadequacy. Recognizing the pitfalls of this methodology is the first step to improving the assessment of fibre intakes in Canada, which is needed before any intervention by Health Canada is implemented.

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Canada’s New Food Guide: A Dietitian’s Perspective

On January 22, 2019, Health Canada unveiled the ninth version of Canada’s Food Guide. This was a necessary overhaul as the previous version, Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide, hadn’t been updated since 2007 (Health Canada, 2007).  Canada’s Food Guide is a tool developed by Health Canada to provide a basic tool to improve nutrition education and literacy in Canadians. The previous food guide received scrutiny from health professionals and the general public claiming it was outdated and influenced by the food industry, thereby adversely affecting its credibility (Health Canada, 2015). The newest version was produced in consultation with Canadians, including the general public, policy makers, and healthcare professionals and provides nutrition recommendations that align with the current nutrition research. The new Food Guide has many improvements; however, there are still some areas that lack inclusiveness for all Canadians.

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The 2019 Canadian Federal Election: Let’s Talk About Health!

As is now our tradition, Stephen Kutcher and Raywat Deonandan discuss the upcoming  2019 Canadian federal election, focusing on issues relevant to health scientists. This episode is entirely in English.

Comme c’est maintenant notre tradition, Stephen Kutcher et Raywat Deonandan discuter de la prochaine élection fédérale canadienne 2019, en se concentrant sur des questions pertinentes aux spécialistes de la santé. Cet épisode est entièrement en anglais.

Beneficiary attendant experiences on the use of a computerized care management system in senior’s homes

Authors: Antonia Arnaert, Norma Ponzoni, Zoumanan Debe, France Morisette

(The article is available in French only)


Despite the increasing use of computerized care management systems in residences for older adults, there is very little evidence on the perceptions of caregivers regarding this technology, specifically the perceptions of orderlies. The purpose of this qualitative study is to explore the experiences of 17 orderlies vis-à-vis the use of the software “Soins Organisation Facilité Intérêt” (SOFI) in two senior residences in Quebec. Transcripts from four focus groups were analyzed using an inductive approach. All attendants agreed that the software was a positive asset that allowed them to better organize their tasks and documentation. In addition, they expressed the desire to use SOFI in their workflow to improve communication between themselves and with other professionals within the institution to participate in decision-making around quality of care. Finally, they insisted on the absolute necessity of having this technology be adapted to the working environment, both in its digital presentation and in its physical form, in order for it to be easy to access and use. The presence of software meeting the identified criteria enabled them to improve their performance through increased autonomy and their commitment to daily practice.

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A Qualitative Study Exploring Healthy Eating and Physical Activity in Families with Young Children

Authors: Rowena Merritt, Michelle Vogel, Patrick Ladbury


Overweight and obesity in childhood affects health long-term. Parent attitudes and behaviours play major roles in their child’s weight despite no consensus on appropriate and effective family-focused interventions to successfully tackle childhood obesity. This research aims to explore caregiver perceptions, attitudes, and behaviours around children’s diet, exercise, and weight in East Sussex. In-depth qualitative interviews with mothers, fathers, and grandparents of children aged 2-11 years were conducted. Caregivers wanted to influence their children’s diet and exercise habits but were unable due to perceived and actual barriers. Barriers included cost, time, and a lack of control over food choices as children aged. Moreover, caregivers admitted to providing unhealthy sweets and snacks to please their children. While caregivers openly discussed their own weight concerns, they were less likely to discuss concerns about their children’s or grandchildren’s weight. When asked about the ideal amount of exercise, caregivers found it easy to describe a regime for adults but did not know the ideal amount of exercise for children. Many caregivers found it difficult to quantify exercise when it came to their children because children naturally played in ways that could be considered exercise. Family-based interventions should begin in early childhood and promote walking and dog-walking as forms of exercise, parental education on childhood exercise guidelines, and preparing and eating healthy home-cooked meals in the home.

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Sexual and Reproductive Health in Humanitarian Settings

As of today, there are 68.5 million people who have had to flee their homes, nearly 25.4 million of them being classified as refugees (UNHCR, 2018). We have reached the highest level of displacement in recorded history (UNHCR, 2018). There is a need to further discuss the unique and specific needs of displaced people and the complications surrounding effective services.

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Applied epidemiology: Investigation of outbreaks of foodborne illness

Recent, high-profile foodborne illness outbreaks have created confusion and concern for Canadian consumers. From a Salmonella outbreak in western Canada linked to cucumbers in early fall­­, to the current E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce, public health is working overtime to identify and solve illness outbreaks linked to the food supply. This post will provide an overview of the investigation of foodborne illness outbreaks in Canada. Continue reading Applied epidemiology: Investigation of outbreaks of foodborne illness


2018/19 Call for Submissions

The Determinants of Health

We invite you to submit a manuscript for consideration for our upcoming issue. Submission criteria are based on the twelve determinants of health as outlined by Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Types of submissions

Completed manuscripts may include an original research article, an essay, or a review paper, in English or French. The word limit does not include the abstract or references.

  • Original articles: 4000 word limit
    • Either quantitative or qualitative
    • Includes review articles, case reports, literature reviews and clinical experiments.
  • Article, Book or Media reviews: 1000 word limit
  • Essay: 1250 word limit

How to submit

To submit a manuscript, please do so by using the Open Journal System (OJS). In order to make a submission, you must register as a user and create an author account. You will be asked to provide the necessary information about the authors and the submission itself, to attach the file you are submitting, and to agree with our terms and conditions of use. We do not accept any submission by email or by mail.

Manuscripts will be peer-reviewed and selected articles will be published in the upcoming issue of the IJHS. As the IJHS is a bilingual and an open-access endeavour, every abstract will be translated and all articles will be freely accessible to the public.


If you experience any trouble submitting your manuscript, please contact to report the issue and seek assistance.


Author: Annick Vallières

(The article is available in French only)


Intersectionality is a concept that describes the various ways multiple forms of oppression or privilege are interconnected. Today, the concept also applies to the interconnection of different determinants of health in the study of health inequalities. This article describes the concept of intersectionality and how it relates to determinants of health by stating the factors that drive researchers to focus on intersectionality within the scope of determinants of health. It also explains how treating interconnected inequalities as multiple determinants affects people’s health, and how intersectionality can fill the gaps in knowledge surrounding the health of marginalized groups and the general population. The example of breastfeeding is used to show how the intersectional analysis framework could benefit the advancement of knowledge on a specific topic. In conclusion, the article addresses the methodological challenges that are left to overcome to advance the knowledge in this area.