Nutrition, Health, and Well-being

Theme 3
Nutrition, Health, and Well-being


The foods we consume provide essential nutrients necessary to our health. Beyond its nutritional value, eating is also a social activity that can contribute to our sense of well-being. However, at times, it may also be a source of concerns.


Description


Adopting healthy eating habits helps to prevent lifestyle-related chronic diseases and has a significant impact on physical and mental health. It is therefore essential to pay attention to the different factors that influence food choices and eating behaviours. Moreover, the associations between eating habits and health are intricate and multifaceted. Hence, it is imperative to identify the underlying mechanisms to develop more precise and targeted interventions.

The research associated with this theme will help to:

  • Identify factors that support the adoption of certain eating habits and behaviors.
  • Propose explanatory models that consider the connections between eating habits, health, and well-being.
  • Create novel nutritional interventions to prevent and manage lifestyle-related chronic diseases.
  • Develop interventions for individuals with eating disorders.


SUB-THEMES


Eating Habits

It is crucial to comprehensively document the eating habits of various population groups. This information is vital in identifying specific nutritional issues for each group. Additionally, gaining a better understanding of the factors that influence the adoption of certain eating habits is essential for refining targeted interventions aimed at promoting a healthy eating pattern.

At INAF, we study eating habits within the Quebec general population and also focus on groups with distinct characteristics, including pregnant women, children, and individuals living with obesity.

Eating Attitudes and Behaviours

Eating behaviors and attitudes encompass various thoughts and behavioral patterns related to food consumption, ranging from healthy to pathological. Among the most studied eating behaviors are cognitive restraint, disinhibition, and susceptibility to hunger.

At INAF, several researchers explore attitudes and eating behaviors as factors that may either facilitate or hinder the adoption of healthy eating habits. The research themes covered include the identification of mechanisms (such as low inhibition, impulsivity, stress, and emotions) that may influence the adoption of healthier or less healthy eating behaviors, along with their impacts on physical and mental health.

Prevention and Management of Eating Disorders

The theme of nutrition, health, and well-being cannot ignore the fact that some individuals face eating difficulties accompanied by significant psychological distress. Medically recognized disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, hyperphagia, and nocturnal eating syndromes pose considerable challenges. Additionally, certain issues like orthorexia or « mommyrexia, » which are prevalent among pregnant women, lack official diagnostic criteria but remain areas of concern requiring study.

At INAF, researchers work not only to understand these disorders but also to improve their screening and treatment. The collaboration with the Centre d’Expertise Poids, Image, Alimentation (CEPIA) enables knowledge transfer, where practice and research are interconnected. CEPIA provides psychological and nutritional counseling based on evidence while seeking to gain a deeper understanding of individuals seeking services from the Centre.

Prevention and Management of Lifestyle-Related Chronic Diseases

Improving dietary habits can significantly impact the prevention and management of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Therefore, conducting research projects aimed at identifying promising nutritional approaches to support health is essential.

At INAF, intervention studies utilizing bioactive molecules, nutrients, foods, and specific dietary patterns are carried out, all with the common objective of contributing to chronic disease prevention and health promotion. Moreover, certain research teams pay particular attention to the best methods for intervening to foster sustainable behavioral changes and maximize the impact of interventions.


AREAS OF EXPERTISE AND CHAIRS


Areas of Expertise

  • Prevention of obesity, diabetes and cardiometabolic diseases
  • Nutrition and immunity
  • Nutrition and brain health
  • Eating disorders
  • Preclinical studies
  • In vitro digestion model
  • Clinical nutrition
  • Eating behaviours
  • Nutritional epidemiology

Research chairs

Research Chair in Insulin Resistance and Cardiovascular Complications

Holder: André Marette
For more information


Research Chair in Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery

Holder: André Tchernof
For more information


Canada Research Chair in Physical Activity, Nutrition and Energy Balance

Holder: Angelo Tremblay
For more information


NSERC/Diana Food Industrial Research Chair on the Effects of Polyphenol Prebiotics from Fruits and Vegetables (PhenoBio)

Holder: Yves Desjardins
For more information


Louise and André Charron Research Chair in Alzheimer’s Disease

Holder: Charles Ramassamy
For more information


Researchers



See all the themes


Our scientific program revolves around six major unifying themes.