About Jennifer Black


My research focuses broadly on the social determinants of health and dietary choices. I am interested in how attitudes and behaviours related to eating, cooking, food selection, body image and body weight status are shaped by socio-cultural and neighbourhood-level factors.  My research is shaped by my background as a registered dietitian and fuses methods and theory from nutrition education, public health, sociology and geography.

Some of my recent and forthcoming research projects include:

  • Examining the connections between school food programs and the food environment with students’ dietary practices and well-being.
  • Working with local food banks to examine the experiences of food insecurity among food bank members
  • Assessing the relations between neighbourhood-level socioeconomic status, demographic factors, land use and access to food in British Columbia.
  • Examining trends and the social determinants of dietary choices and health outcomes using national health surveys such as the Canadian Community Health Survey.
  • Mapping food access and opportunities and barriers to physical activity in New York City.

Recent Teaching


New York University, PhD
Columbia University, MSc
Registered Dietitian, R.D.
University of Toronto, BSc (Hon.)

Selected Publications

Minaker L.M., Shuh A., Olstad D.L., Engler-Stringer R., Black J.L., Mah C.L. 2016.  Retail food environments research in Canada: A Scoping Review. Can J Public Health. 107(S1): eS4 – eS13. doi: 10.17269/CJPH.107.5344

Black, J.L. and Billette, J.M. 2015.Fast Food Intake in Canada: Examining Differences among Canadians with Diverse Demographic, Socioeconomic and Lifestyle Characteristics. Can J Public Health. p. 106(2):e52-e58. doi: 10.17269/CJPH.106.4658

Black J.L., Velazquez C.E., Ahmadi N., Chapman G. E., Carten S., Edward J., Shulhan S., Stephens T., Rojas A. 2015. Sustainability and public health nutrition at school: assessing the integration of healthy and environmentally sustainable food initiatives in Vancouver schools. Public Health Nutr. p. 1-13.

Yang P.H., Black J.L., Barr S.I., Vatanparast H. 2014. Examining differences in nutrient intake and dietary quality on weekdays versus weekend days in Canada. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab.39(12):1413-7.

Black J.L.  2014. “A Look to the North: Examining Food Environments in Canada” In: Local Food Environments: Food Access in America. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group.

Ahmadi N., Black J.L., Velazquez C.E., Chapman G.E. and Veenstra G. 2014 “Associations between socio-economic status and school-day dietary intake in a sample of grade 5-8 students in Vancouver, Canada.” Public Health Nutr. 1-10.

Black, J.L., Dunham, R.  and Kafka, T. 2013. “A study of challenges and opportunities for long-term care dietitians in British Columbia.” Can J Diet Pract Res. 74(3): p. 131-7.

Black, J.L. and Billette, J.M. 2013. “Do Canadians meet Canada’s Food Guide’s recommendations for fruits and vegetables?”  Appl Physiol Nutr Metab.  38(3): p. 234-42.

Black, J.L. and Day, M. 2012. “Availability of Limited Service Food Outlets Surrounding Schools in British Columbia.” Can J Public Health 103(4): 255-259.

Black, J.L. and Veenstra, G. 2011. “A cross-cultural quantitative approach to intersectionality and health: Using intersections between gender, race, class and neighbourhood to predict self-rated health in Toronto and New York City”. In: Health Inequities in Canada: Intersectional Frameworks and Practices. Vancouver: UBC Press; p. 71-91.

Black, J.L., Carpiano, R.M., Fleming, S., Lauster, N. “Exploring the distribution of food stores in British Columbia: Associations with neighbourhood socio-demographic factors and urban form.” Health Place. 2011;17(4):961-970.

Black, J.L. and Macinko, J. 2010. “The Changing Distribution and Determinants of Obesity in the Neighborhoods of New York City, 2003-2007.” American Journal of Epidemiology 171(7):765-775.

Black, J.L., Macinko, J., Dixon, L. B., & Fryer, J. G. E. 2010. “Neighborhoods and obesity in New York City“. Health & Place 16(3):489-99.

Black, J.L., Piñero, Domingo, Parekh Niyati. 2009. ” Zinc and Cognitive Development in Children: Perspectives From International Studies.” Topics in Clinical Nutrition 24(2):130-138.

Black, J.L., and James Macinko. 2008. “Neighborhoods and Obesity.” Nutrition Reviews 66:2-20.

Sasson, L, Jennifer Black, and Sharron Dalton. 2007. “Lessons Learned About Food-Related Attitudes and Behaviors From an Italian Study Abroad Program.” Topics in Clinical Nutrition 22:357-366.