Michael Widener

Canada Research Chair in Transportation and Health

Tier 2 - 2017-10-01
Renewed: 2022-10-01
University of Toronto
Canadian Institutes of Health Research


Research involves

Identifying how, where and when people in urban centres gain or lose access to healthy food.

Research relevance

This research will improve our understanding of how time pressures affect food shopping behaviours and food security.

Research summary

Food insecurity is a global issue and a serious public health problem. Around the world, many people do not have access to enough food or to the variety of food needed to fulfill their daily nutritional requirements. As Canada Research Chair in Transportation and Health, Michael Widener is identifying the different ways in which grocery stores support equitable access to affordable and healthy food.

He is focusing on how an individual’s movements and social connections can affect their access to healthy food. In particular, Widener and his research team are examining the complex cultural, spatial and social pathways that shape access to food for newcomers from Latin America, an understudied population in Canada. They are also analyzing how food shopping and dietary patterns change among car-dependent older adults after they lose their driver’s licenses. Their findings will provide fresh insights into the programs, planning and policies that are needed to ensure everyone has access to enough healthy food.