Benoit Lamarche, Professor

U Laval

Dr. Benoît Lamarche is Full Professor at the School of Nutrition and Chair of Nutrition at Laval University. He is also the Scientific Director of the FRQS-funded Research Center on Nutrition, Health and Society (NUTRISS). He has published more than 370 peer-reviewed papers on physiological, clinical, epidemiological and public health issues related to food and health. He has contributed the training of more than 60 MSc, PhD students and postdocs. He has received numerous awards, including awards from the Société Québécoise de lipidologie, nutrition et métabolisme (Prix des Fondateurs, 2013) and the Canadian Nutrition Society (Centrum New Investigator Award, 2011 and the Khursheed Jeejeebhoy Award, 2020). He has co-written two books with the acclaimed Chef Jean Soulard on the topics of nutrition, sport and health. Benoît Lamarche is an Olympian (1984, 1988) in long track speed skating.

The Healthy Eating Food Index (HEFI-2019): a tool measuring alignment with healthy food choices (“what to eat”) recommendations in Canada’s Food Guide

The Canada’s Food Guide was updated by Health Canada in 2019. For the first time, CFG includes recommendations on both diet quality (“what to eat”) and on specific eating habits or behaviours (“how to eat”). Developing and evaluating a comprehensive index that reflects alignment of food patterns with dietary guidelines is essential for research and surveillance purposes. This presentation will first summarize the process that has led to the development of the HEFI-2019, which includes 10 components that assess alignment with food-based and nutrient-based recommendations in CFG 2019. The process included extensive consultation with experts to define guiding principles, key components of the HEFI-2019 and key evaluation analyses. The presentation will then summarize the construct validity and reliability analyses of the HEFI-2019 conducted using data from the 2015 Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) Nutrition. Briefly, the HEFI-2019 revealed sufficient variations among Canadians; captured expected differences in diet quality related to sex, age and smoking status; correlated strongly with the Healthy Eating Index (HEI)-2015, another metric of diet quality; and captured multiple dimensions of diet quality. Overall, the psychometric properties of the HEFI-2019 support its use to assess alignment of dietary patterns with recommendations on food choices in CFG 2019 when dietary intake data are collected using 24-hour recalls.