Paula Brauer

Paula Brauer
Professor Emerita
Department of Family Relations & Applied Nutrition

Research interests: diet therapy, diet assessment, primary health care, obesity, metabolic syndrome, pre-diabetes, food environments, dried bean promotion 

Area: Applied Human Nutrition

Description of research: I develop and test new strategies (nudge, comparative effectiveness) to improve food and nutrition services in various food and health services settings.  Current work is directed to  studies of promotion of vegetables and lifestyle treatment of metabolic syndrome.  


Description of Research Interests

I develop and test new approaches to improve the effectiveness of dietary counselling services in the health system.  Team-based obesity services in primary care settings for prevention and management of pre-diabetes or metabolic syndrome has been a main focus. I also explore diet and nutrition policy and nudge strategies at the population level.      


PhD – Epidemiology, Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Toronto (2000) 

Master of Science, Nutritional Sciences, University of Wisconsin, Madison (1979)

Royall D, Brauer P, Ackah E, Dwyer JJM, Edwards AM, Goy R, Hussey T, Kates N.  Eliciting Provider and Patient Perspectives on Obesity Management Services in Primary Care. Can J Diet Pract Res 2017; Mar 23:1-8. doi: 10.3148/cjdpr-2017-005. [Epub ahead of print]

Jeejeebhoy K, Dhaliwal R, Leung R, Day AG, Brauer P, Royall D, Tremblay A, Mutch DM, Heyland D, Pliamm L, Rheaume C, Klein D. Family Physician- Led, Team- based, Lifestyle Intervention in Patients with Metabolic Syndrome: Results of a multicentre demonstration project. CMAJ Open 2017; 5 (1): E229-E236. doi: 10.9778/cmajo.20160101

Brauer P, Royall R, Dwyer JJM, Edwards AM, Goy R, Hussey T, Kates N, Smith H, and  Kirkconnell R. Development of an obesity services planning framework for inter-professional primary care in Canada. Prim Health Care Res Dev 2017; Mar 18(2):135-147. doi: 10.1017/S1463423616000372.

Work with a large group to implement lifestyle change in family doctors’ offices for people with metabolic syndrome.  Metabolic Syndrome Canada

What are the qualities of a student who would be successful in your lab?

The successful student has very good to excellent grades, asks the tough questions (and wants to answer some of them), writes well and is comfortable with both qualitative and quantitative methods.  A strong background in food, nutrition and/or dietetics in Canada is needed as the work I do is about encouraging uptake of new interventions into our complex health and food systems.   

How would you describe your mentoring style? 

I adjust my mentoring style to the needs of the student, as we mutually agree.  For example, during active analysis we might need to meet weekly, while at other times we meet less often. Technology is a great help, as many students commute.    

Is there anything else you’d like your potential students to know? 

All my students present at least one national or international conference and contribute to the literature.  Funding varies; we have been quite successful in helping students apply for awards and scholarships. 

  • Developing new projects to promote fish and legume consumption.
  • Nudge studies are ongoing to promote more vegetables in the university cafeterias
  • Further testing of an already developed patient experience of lifestyle programming questionnaire.
  • Further testing of an adapted food frequency questionnaire to document food behaviour changes in diet counselling. 
  • Knowledge translation on advanced diet counselling for metabolic syndrome.