The Year That Was — a Foundation for the Future

Dec 20, 2019

Photo by Yobro10, DreamstimePhoto by Yobro10, Dreamstime
The decade is closing and as we take well-earned holidays in Canada, it is timely to reflect on the state of child nutrition at home and globally, to learn from progress in key areas, and to look to 2020 and beyond for milestones on promising pathways to impact.

The past year has once again seen advances in scientific, clinical and public understanding around crucial issues in child nutrition, through contributions by staff, faculty and clinicians at the Joannah & Brian Lawson Centre for Child Nutrition. From policy research on the effect of the Canada Child Benefit on food insecurity, to new evidence on screening for iron deficiency in early childhood and more patient-oriented research, our impact has been deep and wide.

And, our influence is set to grow in 2020 and over the new decade. We will provide expertise and evidence for national and global efforts to improve and protect child nutrition. In January, for example, we will co-host an international workshop on promoting healthy diets for children and adolescents in low- and middle-income countries, with the Centre for Global Child Health at The Hospital for Sick Children.

We will extend work on infant food insecurity in Toronto to other locations, and follow children monitored from birth in family practices as they start school. In the areas of policy and social innovation, our experts will continue to lead cross-sectoral efforts to improve food environments, enact better social policies and create smarter cities. We will re-focus our support for better food labelling, for example, and for limits on food industry marketing to children and teenagers.

Last, we will review and refresh our strategic plan in the spring, to reflect emerging opportunities and allow for any needed course-corrections, so we can remain at the forefront of the academic work that drives progress in so many areas of child nutrition and health. I look forward to your input on how we can best shape that plan, and I invite you to get in touch any time at child.nutrition@utoronto.ca.

Enjoy the holidays, and see you in 2020!

Prof. Daniel SellenDaniel Sellen
Director, Joannah & Brian Lawson Centre for Child Nutrition
Distinguished Professor, Anthropology and Global Health, Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Professor, Social and Behavioural Health Sciences, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, 
Professor, Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Medicine
Senior Resident Scholar, SickKids Centre for Global Child Health