While poor nutrition is estimated to cause 20% of deaths from cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes, the need for more effective interventions to improve the health of populations is greater than ever.
It is in this context that the new Nutrition, Health and Society Centre (NUTRISS) was created with financial support from the Fonds de recherche du Québec - Santé. Unique in Quebec and even in Canada, the centre, attached to INAF, is establishing itself as a true centre of excellence in nutrition research with a global approach.
Biological factors, lifestyle habits, behaviours, culture, environment: the dimensions of individual health are multiple and it is important to consider all of them to maximize the impact of future public policies aimed at healthy eating.
This is why the NUTRISS Centre brings together the strengths of more than 45 Université Laval scientists with varied expertise, including several international leaders, to conduct intersectoral research. From genes to eating behaviours, environmental determinants and the integration of leading-edge technologies, the Centre's scientific programming will address the health of individuals and populations in all their complexities.
The NUTRISS Centre is also innovating by deploying a digital nutrition research platform based on expertise in geomatics, massive data analysis, digital application development and artificial intelligence (AI).
"NUTRISS is the only research centre funded by the FRQS in the field of food and health. It is obviously a great pride to be able to bring together the expertise of dynamic researchers from 12 different faculties at Université Laval within NUTRISS. I am convinced that the originality and dynamism of their research will have an impact in the short, medium and long term on the health and well-being of our population," explains INAF researcher Benoit Lamarche, who will be the Centre's scientific director.
The establishment of the NUTRISS Centre is in complete synergy with INAF and its scientific program, whose themes it will help to strengthen. "The interdisciplinary approach to solving complex problems is part of INAF's DNA. This recognition and funding by the FRQS is the logical next step in the development of our Institute," says Sylvie Turgeon, Director of INAF.
"We can only applaud this good news for INAF. The evaluation committee was very complimentary about the excellence and relevance of the scientific programming and the recognized leadership of its director and members. The NUTRISS Centre's scientific activities, which are perfectly in line with INAF's vision and mission, will increase and accelerate the concrete benefits of the Centre's work in the pursuit of sustainable food," said Renée Michaud, INAF's Executive Director.