Dana Olstad

Adjunct Professor, School of Public Health
Assistant Professor, University of Calgary
Primary Specialization Affiliation: Population/Public Health

Contact

School of Public Health
Email
dana.olstad@ualberta.ca

Adjunct Professor, School of Public Health

Assistant Professor, University of Calgary
Phone
(403) 210-8673

Primary Specialization Affiliation: Population/Public Health

Overview

Area of Study / Keywords

Nutrition policy Social policy Socioeconomic inequities Social determinants of health Dietary patterns Dietary and health equity Population and public health Precision public health Food environments Food marketing to children Mixed methods


About

Dr. Dana Olstad is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences at the University of Calgary, and holds Adjunct academic appointments in the Faculty of Kinesiology at the University of Calgary and in the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta. She is also a Registered Dietitian. Her primary expertise encompasses public health nutrition.

Socioeconomically disadvantaged groups have poorer dietary patterns than their more advantaged counterparts, and these differences have negative health consequences across the life course. As a population and public health scholar and Registered Dietitian, Dr. Olstad’s research investigates trends in socioeconomic inequities in diet quality and health, the structural drivers of these inequities, and the impact of scalable policy interventions to reduce them. The ultimate purpose of her work is to inform policies, both inside and outside of the health sector, to ensure that all individuals can access nutritious foods in support of their long-term health. Dr. Olstad uses qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods to accomplish her aims.


Degrees

Doctor of Philosophy (Specializations: Nutrition and Metabolism; Public Health), 2014

Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science and School of Public Health, University of Alberta

Master of Science (Specialization: Nutrition and Metabolism), 2002

Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science, University of Alberta

Completion of Accredited Dietetic Internship, 2000

University of Alberta

Bachelor of Science (Nutrition and Food Science with Distinction), 2000

University of Alberta


Selected awards

Emerging Research Leader Award, 2019

O’Brien Institute for Public Health, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary

Petro-Canada Young Innovator Award in Community Health, 2019

Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary

Early Career Researcher Invited Keynote Presentation, June 2018

Reconceptualizing precision in public health

International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity Annual Meeting, Hong Kong

Early Career Researcher Award, 2015

Australia and New Zealand Obesity Society

Best abstract nominee (1 of 3 nominees), June 2020

Socioeconomic Inequalities Special Interest Group, International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity Annual Meeting (virtual meeting due to COVID)

Best abstract nominee (1 of 3 nominees), June 2019

Socioeconomic Inequalities Special Interest Group, International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity Annual Meeting, Prague

Best abstract nominee (1 of 3 nominees), June 2018

Socioeconomic Inequalities Special Interest Group, International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity Annual Meeting, Hong Kong


Publications

Scopus

Google Scholar

ORCID


Teaching

HSOC 301: Health and Society 301

A broad-based, interdisciplinary overview of models of the determinants of health. Includes an analysis of evidence of the relative influence of environmental factors, health services, lifestyles and health behaviours, social and economic factors, biological predispositions, and the mechanisms involved in the societal uptake of various conceptions.

Announcements

Supervision

I am currently accepting graduate students.



Scholarly Activities

Research - Does the BC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Coupon Program improve the dietary behaviours and psychosocial well-being of low-income adults?

Apr 2018 - Mar 2024

Nominated Principal Investigator: Olstad DL

Co-Principal Knowledge User: O’Hara H

Co-investigator: Leblanc P, Downs S, Sajobi T, Minaker L, Nykiforuk C, McCormack G, McLaren L, Fournier B, Black J, Ball K

Funded by: Canadian Institutes of Health Research


Research - Empowering food insecure Albertans to manage their diabetes through a subsidized healthy food prescription program

Apr 2020 - Sept 2024

Nominated Principal Investigator: Olstad DL

Co-Principal Investigator: Campbell D, Spackman E, Beall R

Co-Investigator: Chan C, Popeski N, O’Connell P, Cabaj J, Crowshoe C, Tyminski S, Spady M, Spice R, Braun T, Lewanczuk R, Basualdo-Hammond C, Hards L, Zimmerman G, Berkowitz S, Edwards A, Oster R, Williams K, Norris C, Seidel J, L’Abbe M, Nejatinamini S, McBrien K, Raine K, White L, Williamson T.

Funded by: Alberta Innovates


Research - Getting to precision in public health: Leveraging nationally representative dietary intake data to match vulnerable Canadians with targeted interventions to redress disparities in cancer risk

Mar 2018 - Mar 2022

Nominated Principal Investigator: Olstad DL

Co-Principal Investigator: Minaker L

Co-investigator: Sajobi T, McCormack G, De Koning L, Cooke M, Nykiforuk C, Faught E

Funded by: Canadian Institutes of Health Research


Research - I Can For Kids: Hunger doesn’t take summer vacation

Jan 2019 - Mar 2023

Nominated Principal Investigator: Olstad DL

Co-investigator Raine KD, Elliott C, Turko B, Barker D, Tyminski S

Funded by: O’Brien Institute for Public Health, Special Catalyst Competition to support the research and training program for health and vulnerable populations


Research - Protecting children from unhealthy food and brand marketing in the digital age: A novel artificial intelligence system to assess food and brand marketing on digital media

Oct 2019 - Sept 2027

Nominated Principal Investigator: Olstad DL

Co-Principal Investigator: Lee J

Co-investigator: Elliott C, Yu Y, Prowse RJL

Funded by: Canadian Institutes of Health Research


Research - Protecting children from unhealthy food and brand marketing in the digital age: A novel artificial intelligence system to assess food and brand marketing on digital media

Mar 2019 - Mar 2022

Nominated Principal Investigator: Olstad DL

Co-investigator: Lee J, Elliott C, Yu Y, Prowse RJL

Funded by: New Frontiers in Research Fund


Research - The impact of the COVID global pandemic and government policy responses on dietary and health inequities among individuals from racial/ethnic minority groups: A mixed methods, solution-focused investigation

Sept 2021 - Aug 2023

Nominated Principal Investigator: Olstad DL

Co-Investigator: Blanchet R, Livingstone K, Chowdhury T, Vanderlee L, Hammond D, Nejatinamini S

Funded by: MSI Foundation


Research - The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on racial/ethnic inequities in diet quality and health in Alberta and Canada: A mixed methods, solution-focused investigation

Jun 2021 - May 2023

Nominated Principal Investigator: Olstad DL

Co-Principal Investigator: Blanchet R

Co-Investigator: Livingstone K, Chowdhury T, Vanderlee L, Hammond D, Nejatinamini S, Tyminski S, Prowse R, Jafri K, Nganda L, Bencz-Knight T, Lake DM, Rashid R

Funded by O'Brien Institute for Public Health