Introduction to the Network for Healthy Populations

Fatema M. Ali, Ghazal S. Fazli, Ian S. Zenlea, Laura C. Rosella, Baiju R. Shah, Lorraine L. Lipscombe

This report serves as a comprehensive overview of the Novo Nordisk Network for Healthy Populations (NHP) efforts to comprehensively assess the diabetes landscape in Peel Region. The report provides information about the organization, insights on the prevalence of diabetes in the Peel Region, and the implications these findings hold for shaping our future initiatives. It stands as a testament to our commitment to addressing the challenges posed by diabetes in the Peel Region and underscores our dedication to fostering a healthier population through informed and targeted interventions.


Established in 2021, the NHP is a cross-disciplinary research network at the University of Toronto that aims to reduce the risk and burden of type 2 diabetes and related chronic conditions.

The University of Toronto (UofT) is home to world-renowned leaders in public health, diabetes research, urban geography, policy development and implementation, risk-reduction interventions, and healthy child development—fields that are key to addressing the concerning links between obesity, urban health, and diabetes and its related chronic conditions. The NHP brings together experts from the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, Temerty Faculty of Medicine, and the University of Toronto Mississauga—where the Network is based—to find new ways to support healthier urban living. In collaboration with community partners in Mississauga and Peel Region, these UofT researchers are creating locally relevant solutions that can help improve health outcomes for not just individuals but whole communities. This interdisciplinary collaborative effort fosters innovation, builds capacity in the region, and catalyzes connections across fields to integrate diverse mindsets and approaches in the fight against chronic conditions like diabetes.

This initiative between researchers and community partners intends to:

  1. Target the root causes of type 2 diabetes and related chronic conditions,
  2. Develop interventions to prevent its unsustainable rise,
  3. Enable more early detection of the disease,
  4. Ameliorate risk conditions and barriers to health resources and services,
  5. Close the gap in health outcomes for equity-deserving communities, who currently bear a disproportionate impact of diabetes and its related conditions.

Ultimately, the NHP aims to discover, implement, and validate feasible, equitable, and sustainable solutions that can make cities around the world healthier places to live—for all of their residents. In doing so, NHP's scalable solutions will have an impact globally as more cities adopt and adapt these for their own unique contexts.

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