Dr. Lucas is an Associate Professor with the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine at the School of Medicine of Laval University. He is also a visiting scholar at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He holds a bachelor’s degree in nutrition & dietetics, a master’s degree in public health, a doctorate in epidemiology from Laval University, and a postdoctoral position in nutritional epidemiology from Harvard.

His global health research activities focus on the overall effect of food on the health of populations, including population-based studies of Canadian adults, Aboriginal people in Quebec, Polynesians, cohorts of American nurses, as well as those with children and adolescents. As a designated principal investigator, he leads the vast VisezEau® intervention project involving more than 12 researchers from various universities of Quebec, Ontario and the United States.

The innovative character of Dr. Lucas, along with his constant desire to think outside of the box are reflected in his publications’ success, his outreach and funding. He has received numerous grants, scholarships and awards in recognition of his work. Being a member of several editorial boards and a peer reviewer for prestigious scientific journals, Dr. Lucas has participated in more than 300 publications, given nutrition presentations, and given more than 100 media interviews.

Multidimensional food quality indexes (MFQI)

The 2013 global burden of disease report indicates that inadequate food quality is the leading cause of premature death globally (36.6%), ahead of the combined deaths caused by tobacco (19.9%), alcohol (9%) and sedentary lifestyle (7.1%). However, the definition and tools for determining food quality generate a lot of questions. An overall food analysis using MFQIs would better reflect the complexity of nutrition, and improve our understanding of its role in chronic disease. The MFQIs are practical and tangible tools that would make it possible to determine the overall effect of nutrition, to communicate and act on simple and comprehensible targets for the population, to trace population trends, to compare disparities using socio-demographic characteristics, and to estimate the effects of one of the most important modifiable determinants of health. His work will pave the way for a common use of MFQIs, adapted and easy to manage, both in research and in clinical practice environments.


Sugary drinks are aggressively marketed to children. They are the main source of sugar in their diet, and are a modifiable risk factor for overweight. Unlike sugary drinks, non-bottled water is not widely advertised, and is the optimal drink for quenching thirst and hydration. When replacing sweetened beverages, it would prevent overweight. VisezEau® is a multifactorial intervention (school and home) aimed at preventing overweight among Quebec’s elementary school youth. VisezEau® promotes the consumption of non-bottled water and discourages the consumption of sugary drinks in children (5-12 years) of primary schools. VisezEau® will deploy its strategies in 36 elementary schools and the homes of 3,600 students from several school boards. VisezEau® aims to make a substantial contribution to environments that support children’s health and environmental protection by educating on the implications of using non-reusable bottles on water as a collective resource and human right.

Interventions to solve the problem of childhood obesity are crucial. VisezEau® will document this problem and will allow informed decision-making regarding the appropriateness of scaling it up for the province of Quebec.

Hôpital Saint-Sacrement
1050, Chemin Sainte-Foy
Québec, Québec
Canada G1S 4L8
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Medehouenou TCM, Roy C, Tremblay PY, St-Jean A, Meziou S, Muckle G, Ayotte P, Lucas M

Metabolic features of adiposity and glucose homoeostasis among school-aged inuit children from Nunavik (Northern Quebec, Canada).

Journal Article

Int J Circumpolar Health, 80 (1), pp. 1858605, 2021, ISSN: 1239-9736.

Abstract | Links:

Marc I, Piedboeuf B, Lacaze-Masmonteil T, Fraser W, Masse B, Mohamed I, Qureshi M, Afifi J, Lemyre B, Caouette G, Bartholomew J, Nuyt AM, Julien P, Synnes A, Lucas M, Perreault T, Strueby L, Cieslak Z, Yusuf K, Pelligra G, Masse E, Larsen B, de Cabo C, Ruth C, Khurshid F, Lavoie PM

Effect of Maternal Docosahexaenoic Acid Supplementation on Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia-Free Survival in Breastfed Preterm Infants: A Randomized Clinical Trial.

Journal Article

JAMA, 324 (2), pp. 157-167, 2020, ISSN: 0098-7484.

Abstract | Links:

Cordier S, Anassour-Laouan-Sidi E, Lemire M, Costet N, Lucas M, Ayotte P

Association between exposure to persistent organic pollutants and mercury, and glucose metabolism in two Canadian Indigenous populations.

Journal Article

Environ Res, 184 , pp. 109345, 2020, ISSN: 0013-9351.

Abstract | Links:

Tahir E, Ayotte P, Little M, Belanger RE, Lucas M, Mergler D, Laouan Sidi EA, McHugh NG, Lemire M, Community of Winneway - Long Point First Nation, Community of Lac Simon, CSSS

Anemia, iron status, and associated protective and risk factors among children and adolescents aged 3 to 19 years old from four First Nations communities in Quebec.

Journal Article

Can J Public Health, 111 (5), pp. 682-693, 2020, ISSN: 0008-4263.

Abstract | Links:

St-Jean A, Suhas E, De Pina JJ, Cordier S, Lucas M, Ayotte P

Exposure to toxic metals and polychlorinated biphenyls of adolescents and adults from two atolls in the Tuamotu Archipelago (French Polynesia).

Journal Article

Sci Total Environ, 695 , pp. 133791, 2019, ISSN: 0048-9697.

Abstract | Links:

Lucas M, Willett WC

A Score Derived From the Canadian Food Guide for Assessing Diet Quality: A Risky Illusion?

Journal Article

Can J Cardiol, 35 (4), pp. 545.e5, 2019, ISSN: 0828-282X.

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Roy C, Tremblay PY, Anassour-Laouan-Sidi E, Lucas M, Forest JC, Giguere Y, Ayotte P

Risk of gestational diabetes mellitus in relation to plasma concentrations of amino acids and acylcarnitines: A nested case-control study.

Journal Article

Diabetes Res Clin Pract, 140 , pp. 183-190, 2018, ISSN: 0168-8227.

Abstract | Links:

Lavigne-Robichaud M, Moubarac JC, Lantagne-Lopez S, Johnson-Down L, Batal M, Laouan Sidi EA, Lucas M

Diet quality indices in relation to metabolic syndrome in an Indigenous Cree (Eeyouch) population in northern Québec, Canada.

Journal Article

Public Health Nutr, 21 (1), pp. 172-180, 2018, ISSN: 1368-9800.

Abstract | Links:

Anhe FF, Varin TV, Le Barz M, Pilon G, Dudonne S, Trottier J, St-Pierre P, Harris CS, Lucas M, Lemire M, Dewailly E, Barbier O, Desjardins Y, Roy D, Marette A

Arctic berry extracts target the gut-liver axis to alleviate metabolic endotoxaemia, insulin resistance and hepatic steatosis in diet-induced obese mice.

Journal Article

Diabetologia, 61 (4), pp. 919-931, 2018, ISSN: 0012-186X.

Abstract | Links:

Ripley S, Robinson E, Johnson-Down L, Andermann A, Ayotte P, Lucas M, Nieboer E

Blood and hair mercury concentrations among Cree First Nations of Eeyou Istchee (Quebec, Canada): time trends, prenatal exposure and links to local fish consumption.

Journal Article

Int J Circumpolar Health, 77 (1), pp. 1474706, 2018, ISSN: 1239-9736.

Abstract | Links:

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Active projects

  • Centre de recherche du CHU de Québec - Université Laval, Subvention, Centre hospitalier universitaire de Québec - Université Laval, Centres de recherche affiliés, from 2017-01-01 to 2099-12-31
  • Évaluation du rôle global de l’alimentation dans la santé des populations: les indices multidimensionnels de qualité alimentaire et le programme VisezEau®, Subvention, Fonds de recherche du Québec - Santé, Chercheur-boursier Juniors 1 et 2, Seniors, from 2018-07-01 to 2022-06-30
  • Manger notre Saint-Laurent, Subvention, Fonds de recherche du Québec - Nature et technologies, (RQM) Odyssée Saint-Laurent du Réseau Québec maritime, from 2018-04-01 to 2021-03-31
  • Maternal Omega-3 supplementation to reduce Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia in very Preterm Infants : A Randomized controlled trial (MOBYDIck trial)., Subvention, Instituts de recherche en santé du Canada, Subvention de fonctionnement, from 2014-07-01 to 2021-07-31
  • Projet d'expérimentation de l'intervention VisezEau® visant à contribuer aux environnements favorables à la santé et à la protection de l'environnement, Subvention, Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux, from 2018-03-28 to 2021-03-31

Recently finished projects

  • 3.3 BriGHT (Bridging Global change, Inuit Health and the Transforming Arctic Ocean), Subvention, Secrétariat des programmes interorganismes à l’intention des établissements, Fonds d'excellence en recherche Apogée Canada, from 2016-04-01 to 2020-03-31
  • 3.6 The gut microbiome: sentinel of the northern environment and Inuit mental health, Subvention, Secrétariat des programmes interorganismes à l’intention des établissements, Fonds d'excellence en recherche Apogée Canada, from 2017-04-01 to 2020-03-31
  • Centre de recherche et d'innovation en transfert de connaissances multisectorielles nordiques, Partenariat, Fondation Canadienne pour l'innovation (La), Fonds d'innovation (FI), from 2015-12-01 to 2020-03-31
  • Exposure to food chain contaminants in Nunavik : biomonitoring in adult and youth cohorts of the Qanuilirpitaa survey, Subvention, Affaires Autochtones et Développement du Nord Canada, Programme de lutte contre les contaminants dans le Nord (PLCN), from 2017-04-01 to 2020-03-31
  • Exposure to food chain contaminants in Nunavik : evaluating spatial and time trends among pregnant women & implementing effective health communication for healthy pregnancies and children, Subvention, Affaires Autochtones et Développement du Nord Canada, Programme de lutte contre les contaminants dans le Nord (PLCN), from 2016-04-01 to 2020-03-31
Data provided by the Université Laval research projects registery