Alyssa Milano

MSc, Public Health Sciences
Alyssa Milano


MSc, Public Health Sciences

Graduate supervisor  

Sharon Kirkpatrick

My thesis

Despite the known link between nutrition and health, national dietary data have not been collected since 2015, leaving a gap in understanding potential diet quality shifts over the past decade. Existing data shows poor diet quality in Canada, with indications of disparities among gender, income, education and racial-ethnic groups, but do not enable assessment of whether diet quality is changing over time.

To fill this gap, my thesis aims to present a modified approach to the population ratio method to enable estimation of mean diet quality scores from 2018 to 2022 among adults in Canada overall and among certain groups, while adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics.

The findings from my thesis will provide valuable insights into trends in diet quality, including among groups with known dietary differences, during a rich contextual period. This evidence will inform decision-making and guide public health actions regarding dietary guidelines and programs within Canada’s food system. Additionally, the thesis presents a modified approach to the population ratio, providing the opportunity to examine diet quality while controlling for certain sociodemographic groups, addressing a notable limitation of the standard population ratio.

My time in the School of Public Health Sciences (SPHS)

My time in SPHS has been marked by numerous memorable moments. One highlight has been my active participation in the SPHS Graduate Student Association. Serving as the 2023-2024 Chief of Staff, a peer mentor to incoming graduate students and a volunteer for various SPHS activities and events has been immensely fulfilling. 

Additionally, I’ve been fortunate to have a supportive supervisor who has provided me with numerous opportunities to grow in my area of interest  epidemiology. This includes a summer practicum placement at Alberta’s Tomorrow Project and a research project assistantship with the Diet and Prevention team at BC Cancer. Both opportunities granted me with the ability to see epidemiology in action, therefore confirming my interest in pursuing this career path.

Above all else, the friendship formed through countless office chats and café excursions shared with my office mate, Joy, has been an invaluable source of comfort and support during my MSc journey.

Connect with Alyssa through her LinkedIn.