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Dr. David Jenkins, nutrition researcher at St. Michael’s Hospital, appointed to Order of Canada

Toronto, December 31, 2013

By Leslie Shepherd

Dr. David Jenkins
Dr. David Jenkins

Dr. David Jenkins, director of the Clinical Nutrition and Risk Modification Centre of St. Michael's Hospital, has been appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada, one of the country's highest civilian honours.

Dr. Jenkins was honored "for his contributions as a nutrition scientist committed to helping Canadians make informed food choices."

Dr. Jenkins called the award "a complete surprise."

I think that it can be taken as more than a superficial nod to the importance of diet and lifestyle in preventing the wave of chronic disease which is upon us," he said. "Diabetes is increasing at an alarming rate and spreading to a younger age group. The food industry is prepared to make changes if we give them a clear direction. We need to galvanize ourselves to do the research and the clinical trials that provide the basis for sound eating and lifestyle."

Dr. Jenkins is a world leader in nutrition research. He developed the concept of the glycemic index in the early 1980s as a way of explaining how different carbohydrates affect blood glucose and to find out which foods were best for people with diabetes. He also helped developed the PC Blue Menu line of products for Loblaws and the Too Good to be True line before that.

"David Jenkins has been determined for many years to prove that the foods we eat make a difference to our health," said Dr. Robert Howard, president and CEO of St. Michael's.

"He has been especially dedicated to coming up with food options that the regular person can purchase from stores like Loblaws that will make us healthier. He has published many research articles and in the best journals, such as the New England Journal of Medicine, so his impact has been global. We are very proud that he has been recognized by the Order of Canada."

Jenkins was among 90 new Officers of the Order announced Monday by Gov.-Gen. David Johnston. An officer is the second of three levels of membership in the Order, which was created in 1967, Canada’s centennial year. A maximum of 64 people are appointed to this category each year. The Officer of the Order of Canada recognizes a lifetime of achievement and merit of a high degree, especially in service to Canada or to humanity at large Dr. Jenkins is also a professor and Canada Research Chair in Nutrition and Metabolism in the Department of Medicine and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Toronto.

Dr. Jenkins will be invested into the Order at a ceremony to be held at a later date at Rideau Hall.

About St. Michael’s Hospital

St. Michael’s Hospital provides compassionate care to all who enter its doors. The hospital also provides outstanding medical education to future health care professionals in 27 academic disciplines. Critical care and trauma, heart disease, neurosurgery, diabetes, cancer care, care of the homeless and global health are among the Hospital’s recognized areas of expertise. Through the Keenan Research Centre and the Li Ka Shing International Healthcare Education Centre, which make up the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, research and education at St. Michael’s Hospital are recognized and make an impact around the world. Founded in 1892, the hospital is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto.

Media contacts

For more information, or to arrange an interview with Dr. Jenkins, contact:

Leslie Shepherd
Manager, Media Strategy
416-864-6094
shepherdl@smh.ca