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 Home / About Us > Dr Lise Gauvin

Contact info

Dr Lise Gauvin
CRCHUM � Pavillon S
850, Saint-Denis � Room R02.806
Montreal, QC H2X 0A9

Tel: 1-514-890-8000, ext. 31517
E-mail: [email protected]


Research keywords

  • Physical activity
  • Deviant eating behaviours
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Population-based interventions
  • Obesity
  • Neighbourhood effects
  • Multilevel analysis
  • Ecological approaches
  • Quantitative methods
  • Knowledge transfer and exchange


Lise Gauvin, PhD
Professor of Social & Preventive Medicine

Biographical Sketch

Lise Gauvin PhD is a Full Professor in the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine at the Universit� de Montr�al, a Researcher at the Research Center of the Centre Hospitalier de l'Universit� de Montr�al (CRCHUM), and an Associate Researcher at the L�a-Roback Center on Social Inequalities of Health. Dr Gauvin currently holds an Applied Public Health Chair on Neighbourhoods, Lifestyle, and Healthy Body Weight which is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Centre de recherche en pr�vention de l'ob�sit�. She completed her doctoral work in Physical Activity Sciences at the Universit� de Montr�al in 1985 and has held positions at Queen's University, Concordia University, and more recently at Universit� de Montr�al.

Dr Gauvin's work addresses diabetes from a population health perspective. She and her team focus on how environmental exposures such urban form, availability of services and amenities, and media messages influence known risk factors for diabetes like low levels of physical activity and hypercaloric eating patterns. Selected projects also revolve around understanding the impact of environmental and policy interventions to promote physical activity or to prevent disordered eating.

Click here for pdf CV

Selected Scientific Contributions

Dr Gauvin's early work revolved around understanding the psychological outcomes of acute bouts of exercise in physically active and sedentary adults. In partnership with other colleagues, she developed and validated a self-report instrument to tap into feeling states influenced by exercise - a measure which is now widely used in the field. She also lead some of the first studies involving the application of real-time data capture (i.e. ongoing collection of self-report and physiological data in real-world situations) to understand the determinants and outcomes of involvement in physical activity and of episodes of binge eating. These papers are widely cited as exemplars of the potential of real-time data capture for advancing knowledge about health behaviours.

More recently, Dr Gauvin has used epidemiologic methods to understand some of the environmental determinants of physical activity and to quantify the burden of disordered eating in the young adult female population. In one large scale investigation, observational measures of walkability in urban areas were developed and then linked to population-based data on walking and travel patterns. In addition, to developing a new measurement tool, data from the project contributed to the growing body of literature showing that to shift population levels of physical activity, it is necessary to make environments more conducive to active lifestyles. In another epidemiologic study, data showed that about 20% of women aged 20 to 40 years had engaged in at least one type of disordered eating behavior in the past month suggesting that deviant eating practices may be more widespread than previously thought. These findings are daunting as they speak to the challenge of promoting healthier body weights while avoiding the promotion of maladaptive eating patterns.

In addition to publishing her work in the peer-review scientific literature, Dr Gauvin has experimented with novel ways of translating scientific knowledge into public health practice. Her most recent foray into knowledge transfer and exchange lead to the launching of the Toronto Charter for Physical Activity: A Global Call for Action within the context of the 3rd International Conference on Physical Activity and Public Health held in Toronto in May 2010. Development of the Charter involved international consultations in three languages (English, French, Spanish). The Toronto Charter is now available in 15 different languages and has been broadly endorsed by individuals and organizations across 80 countries throughout the world.

Click here for PubMed listing

Research Interests

Current projects include both epidemiologic research into the determinants of physical activity and disordered eating but also population health intervention research to understand the reach and impact of programs and policies aimed at increasing physical activity and preventing disordered eating in the population. These include:

Identifying environmental determinants of walking, healthy eating, and social participation among urban-dwelling seniors. By linking data from a geographic information system and longitudinal data from a cohort of urban-dwelling seniors, we seek to describe how accessibility to services and amenities such as supermarkets, restaurants, community centers, and parks are associated with different types of walking, healthy eating patterns, and greater social participation.

Understanding the impact of the implementation of a public self-service bicycle sharing program in Montreal. In this project, we aim to understand how the implementation of a new public self-service bicycle sharing program (called BIXI) influences both travel practices and the risk of collisions between cyclists and motor vehicles. We are using population based surveys, interviews with users of the system, and geographic position system data to better understand the impact of the implementation of this environmental intervention.

Understanding the reach and perceived impact of the creation of a voluntary Charter aimed at promoting healthy and diverse body image. In 2009, the Minister of Culture, Communication, and the Status of Women spearheaded an initiative to create a voluntary Charter aimed at reducing media pressures favoring thinness through inducements towards voluntary involvement by key media and image-industry players. In this project, we aim to establish the reach, acceptability, and perceived impact of the government task force-developed Charter.

Understanding how the promotion of sustainable development by community groups can support physically active lifestyles. In this project which is jointly lead with researchers and interventionists at Montreal Public Health Department, we aim to understand under what circumstances community groups can best meet their goals of transforming neighbourhood environments to render them in continuity with principles of sustainable development. This project involves inventorying projects run by non-governmental organisations aimed at sustainable development, conducting pedestrian audits of neighbourhood environments, analyzing information provided by key informants, and sharing evidence gleaned from the project with stakeholders on the Island of Montreal.

The work done by Dr Gauvin and her team involves a variety of quantitative and qualitative methodologies including real-time data capture, multilevel modeling, ecometric analysis, and software-supported qualitative data analysis. Projects unfold in real-world contexts and involve capacity building through training of highly qualified master's and doctoral students as well as postdoctoral fellows. All current projects also involve partnerships with interventionists and policy-makers who work in public health.

� Montreal Diabetes Research Center 2018
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