Valerie Tarasuk

Department of Nutritional Sciences


Medical Sciences Building, 5th Floor, Room 5366A
1 King's College Circle, Toronto, Ontario Canada M5S 1A8
Appointment Status
Not accepting new students

Research Synopsis

  • Valerie Tarasuk’s research aims to elucidate the scope of household food insecurity, policy, and programmatic responses in Canada. Her work has included: studies of food banks and food bank users; homeless youth and community responses to the food needs of homeless and under-housed individuals; a study of housing, neighbourhood characteristics, and food access among low-income Toronto families; an examination of meal services in Salvation Army shelters; and, analyses of population survey data to elucidate the health, nutritional, and sociodemographic correlates of household food insecurity in Canada.
  • Currently, she leads a large, interdisciplinary program of research designed to identify effective policy interventions for the reduction of household food insecurity in Canada. This work is supported by a CIHR Programmatic Grant to Tackle Health and Health Equity.
  • With research interests extending to population-level dietary assessment, the application and interpretation of Dietary Reference Intakes, recent work in this area includes a series of studies to examine the population health implications of discretionary food fortification (led by doctoral candidate, Jocelyn Sacco) –  a broad-based study on nutrition-related food marketing in Canadian supermarkets and nutrition inequities in Canada.

Recent Publications

S Kirkpatrick, V Tarasuk.  Housing circumstances are associated with household food access among low-income urban families.  Journal of Urban Health 2011. doi:10.1007/s11524-010-9535-4.

J Sacco, V Tarasuk.  Discretionary addition of nutrients to foods: implications for healthy eating. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2010: 1-8.  doi:10.1038/ejcn.2010.261.

Kirkpatrick, S. and V. Tarasuk. Assessing the relevance of neighbourhood characteristics to the household food security of low-income Toronto families. Public Health Nutrition. 2010; 13(7): 1139-1148.

V Tarasuk.  Policy directions to promote healthy dietary patterns in Canada. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism.  2010; 35: 229-233.

V Tarasuk, S Fitzpatrick, H Ward.  Nutrition inequities in Canada.  Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism.  2010; 35: 172-179.

V Tarasuk, N Dachner.  The proliferation of charitable meal programs in Toronto.  Canadian Public Policy. 2009; XXXV (4): 433-450.

J Sacco, V Tarasuk. Health Canada’s proposed discretionary fortification policy is misaligned with the nutritional needs of Canadians.  Journal of Nutrition, 2009;139(10): 1980-1986.

V Tarasuk, J Vogt. Household food insecurity in Ontario. Canadian Journal of Public Health. 2009; 100(3): 184-188. 

S Kirkpatrick, V Tarasuk.  Food insecurity and participation in community food programs among low-income Toronto families. Canadian Journal of Public Health 2009; 100(2): 135-139.

Honours and Awards

  • Honorary Doctorate Recipient, 2018

Graduate Students

Jocelyn Sacco

Rachel Masters

Dunja Sumanac

Tyler Pettes

Elietha Bocskei (Co-supervisor)