Assistant Professor

Leia MinakerDegrees

Ph.D. Public Health Sciences, University of Alberta, 2013

M.Sc. Health Promotion, University of Alberta, 2006

B.Sc. Health Studies, University of Waterloo

Contact information
519-888-4567 ext. 45615
Location:  EV3 3239

Research interests

  • Food access in cities
  • Food environment assessment
  • Population health intervention research
  • Public health and planning
  • Social determinants of health

Research grants/projects

  • Surveillance of dietary patterns and the food environment among youth and young adults in Canada.
    (PI: David Hammond, Co-Applicants: Leia M. Minaker, Sharon Kirkpatrick, Kim Raine, Jennifer Black, Erin Hobin, Marie-Claude Paquette, Sara Kirk, Lana Vanderlee.)
    • Funded by: Public Health Agency of Canada Innovation Strategy
    • Grant Period 2016 - 2019
  • Healthy Corner Stores NL 2020 (Letter of Intent).
    (PI: Catherine L. Mah. Principal Knowledge User: Brian Cook. Co-Principal Applicants: Julie Brimblecombe, Leia M. Minaker. Knowledge Users: Kristie Jameson, Craig Pollett, Dana Parsons, Paul Nagpal. Co-Applicants: Catherine Donovan, James Valcour.)
    • Funded by:  CIHR Team Grant: Environments and Health: Programmatic Grants in Intersectoral Prevention Research
    • Grant Period 2016
  • FRESH-IT: Implementing a PHAC/Health Canada Local Government Toolkit in Smaller Jurisdictions to Develop Evidence Informed Food Retail Environment Interventions. (NPA: Catherine Mah, Co-PA: Leia M. Minaker Co-Applicants: Brian E. Cook, Kim D. Raine)
    • Funded by: Canadian Institutes of Health Research Knowledge to Action Grant.
    • Grant Period 2015 - 2017
  • Accelerating cancer prevention research in Canada: Supplementing youth tobacco use survey data to evaluate natural experiments. (NPA: Steve Manske Co-PA: Leia M. Minaker Co-Applicants: Sunday Azagba, Jennifer YEssis, Loraine Marrett, Annie Montreuil, Cameron Wild, Marjorie Macdonald, Les Hagen, Dave Hammond, Matthias Schonlau)
    • Funded by: Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute Prevention Research
    • Grant Period 2014 - 2018

Recent/key publications

  • H. Luan, L.M. Minaker, J. Law. (Accepted). Do marginalized neighbourhoods have less healthy retail food environments? A case study in the Region of Waterloo, Canada using Bayesian spatial latent factor and hurdle models. International Journal of Health Geographics.
  • B.K.C. Lo, L.M. Minaker, C.L. Mah, B. Cook. (Accepted). Adaptation and reliability testing of the Toronto Nutrition Environment Measures Survey-Store (ToNEMS-S). Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.
  • L.M. Minaker, G. MacKenzie, N. Nguyen, D.L, Olstad, S. Azagba, B.E. Cook, C.L. Mah. (2016). An evaluation of the impact of a restrictive retail food environment intervention in a rural community pharmacy setting. BMC Public Health. 16: 586. . Available at:
  • D.L. Olstad, M. Teychenne, L.M. Minaker, D.R. Taber, K.D. Raine, C.I.J. Nykiforuk, K. Ball.(2016). Can policy ameliorate socioeconomic inequities in obesity and obesity-related behaviors? A systematic review of the impact of universal policies in adults and children. Obesity Reviews. DOI: 10.1111/obr.12457
  • S.E. Majowicz, S.B. Meyer, S.I. Kirkpatrick, J.L. Graham, A. Shaikh, S.J. Elliott, L.M. Minaker, S.Scott, B. Laird. (2016). Food health, and complexity: towards a conceptual understanding to guide collaborative public health action. BMC Public Health. 16:487 DOI: 10.1186/s12889-016-3142-6
  • L.M. Minaker. (2016). Retail food environments in Canada: maximizing the impact of research, policy and practice. Canadian Journal of Public Health. 107(Suppl. 1): eS1-eS3. DOI:   
  • L.M. Minaker, A. Shuh, D. L. Olstad, J.L. Black, R. Engler-Stringer, C.L. Mah. (2016). Retail food environments research in Canada: a scoping review. Canadian Journal of Public Health. 107 (Suppl. 1): eS4-eS13. DOI:
  • C.L. Mah, B. E. Cook, L.M. Minaker. (2016). Policy options for healthier retail food environments in city-regions. Canadian Journal of Public Health. 107(Suppl. 1): eS64-eS67. DOI: 10.17269/CJPH.107.5343
  • L.M. Minaker, D.L. Olstad, M.E. Thompson, K.D. Raine, P. Fisher, L.D. Frank. (2016). Associations between frequency of food shopping at different store types and diet and weight outcomes: Findings from the NEWPATH study. Public Health Nutrition. 19(12): 2268-2277. Available at:
  • L.M. Minaker, D. Hammond. (2016). Low frequency of fruit and vegetable consumption among Canadian youth: Findings from the 2012/2013 Youth Smoking Survey. Journal of School Health. 86(2)135-142. doi:10.1111/josh.12359
University of Waterloo

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