108N, Munk School of Global Affairs (1 Devonshire Place)
  • November 16, 2016 from 10:00am to 12:00pm

Speaker: Christopher Tait (Lupina Senior Doctoral Fellow)

Discussant: Dr. Brendan Smith (University of Toronto)

About 90% of new cases of type 2 diabetes are due to a small number of lifestyle factors including poor diet and inadequate physical activity. While clinical interventions have shown a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes at the population level, little emphasis has been place on lifestyle change including diet at the population level. Given the growing burden of type 2 diabetes, there is an urgent need to explain the poorly understood mechanisms through which specific dietary patterns promote disease progression at the population level. A central focus of my project involves examining previously neglected comparisons between men and women as well as investigate the role of public policy as it relates to fundamental SES constructs including food security and affordable access to healthy foods which are key components of this emerging research area.

Christopher Tait is a PhD candidate in Epidemiology at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. He received a BSc in Human Biology, Health and Society from Cornell University and an MPH in Epidemiology from Columbia University. He is broadly interested in chronic disease epidemiology and more specifically on factors that underpin sociodemographic and racial disparities in chronic disease risk factors and related outcomes. He has also spent time abroad in Sub-Saharan Africa studying regional differences in chronic diseases in vulnerable populations in low- and middle-income countries. He conducts his doctoral research at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences.

Dr. Brendan Smith is a Scientist at Public Health Ontario in Health Promotion, Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention and an Assistant Professor in the Division of Epidemiology at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. His primary research interests focus on the application of epidemiological methods to inform solutions for reducing social inequities in cardiovascular diseases. He completed his PhD in Epidemiology at the University of Toronto and his Master of Science in Epidemiology at McGill University.