Faculty and Staff


Katerina Maximova, PhD

Associate Professor

Public Health, School of

About Me

I received training in epidemiology at McGill University, specializing in primary prevention of chronic disease through research on improving key modifiable behaviours (physical activity, healthy eating, smoking, obesity). My research interests include etiologic associations of lifestyle behaviours with chronic disease risk; misperception of risk; novel markers for chronic disease; public health systems capacity for chronic disease prevention; implementation of prevention policies to improve lifestyle behaviours and reduce chronic disease risk; social dimensions of health; and health outcomes in immigrant and refugee populations.

Supported by a Career Development Award in Prevention Research from the Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute, I engage in research to monitor Canada’s public health systems capacity for chronic disease prevention, and aim to establish the link with implementation of effective policy solutions to support healthy behaviour changes. 

I lead a study to investigate the impact of following a healthy diet on cancer incidence in a cohort of adults in the Alberta’s Tomorrow Project, funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).


I participate in evaluation research to establish the cost-effectiveness and return on investments (ROI) of school-based interventions that promote healthy eating and active living among children, funded by Alberta Innovates Health Solutions (AIHS).


I co-lead an investigation of the impact of benchmarking food environments on policies and actions to promote healthy eating for reducing overweight and obesity among children, funded by Alberta Innovates Health Solutions (AIHS).


I am also involved in a team project that aims to improve weight management for severely obese children, funded by Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).



PhD (epidemiology), McGill University, 2010
MA (demography), University of Alberta, 2002
BA (Honours sociology), Gold Medal, Queen's University, 2000


Career Development Award in Prevention Research, Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute

Strategic Training Fellowship in Transdisciplinary Public and Population Health Research, Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarship, Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Max Bell Foundation Fellowship, McGill University

Media coverage

The Globe & Mail, July 2018. Blair Sanderson. “Enjoy the barbecue, but avoid the burn.”


The Globe & Mail, September 2012. Carly Weeks. “How fat has become the new normal.”


New York Times, April 2012. Tara Parker-Pope. "Are most people in denial about their weight?"


TIME magazine, October 2008. Sanjay Gupta. “Sizing up your body.” 


Citation: S. Gupta. Time 2008 Oct; 172(16):74. 


Relevant recent peer-reviewed publications

1. Maximova K, Rakovac I, Loyola Elizondo E, Breda J, Stachenko S. “Toward implementation of the first United Nations time-bound commitment: strengthening noncommunicable disease surveillance in the European region.” Public Health Panorama: Journal of the WHO Regional Office for Europe 2018 Sept; 4(3): 436-446.

2. Lee S*, Hanbazaza MA*, Ball GDC, Farmer A, Maximova K, Willows N. “Food insecurity among post-secondary students in developed countries: A narrative review.” British Food Journal 2018 Aug; doi: 10.1108/BFJ-08-2017-0450.

3. Perez A*, Yaskina M, Maximova K, Kebbe M*, Peng C, Patil T, Nielsen C, Holt NL, Ho J, Luca P, LaFrance R, Godziuk K, Connors A, Bennett T, Brunet Wood K, Baron T, Ball GDC. “Predicting Enrollment in Multidisciplinary Clinical Care for Pediatric Weight Management.” Journal of Pediatrics 2018 Jan; 192:122-129; doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2017.09.025. 

4. Contandriopoulos D, Benoit F, Bryant-Lukosius D, Carrier A, Carter N, Deber R, Duhoux A, Greenhalgh PM, Larouche C, Leclerc B-S, Levy A, Martin-Misener R, Maximova K, McGrail K, Nykiforuk C, Roos N, Schwartz R, Valente TW, Wong S, Lindquist E, Pullen C, Lardeux A, Perroux M. “Structural Analysis of Health-relevant Policy-making Information Exchange Networks in Canada.” Implementation Science 2017 Sept; 12(1): 116; doi: 10.1186/s13012-017-0642-4.

5. Anderson LN*, Ball GDC, Birken CS, Buchholz A, Carlsey S, Chanoine J-P, Clairman H*, Dettmer E, Forhan M, Gehring ND, Hadjiyannakis S, Hamilton J, Hanning R, Haines J, Ho J, Holt NL, Kim THM, Legault L, Luca P, Maguire JL, Maximova K, McPherson AC, Morrison KM, Masse LC, Parkin PC, Perez A*, Sprague AE, Toulany A, Tremblay MS, Tu K. “The Team to Address Bariatric Care in Canadian Children (Team ABC3): Team Grant Research Proposal.” BMC Research Notes 2017 Oct; 10(1): 301; doi: 10.1186/s13104-017-2506-z.

6. Murray K*, Alexander Research Committee, Farmer A, Maximova K, Willows N. “It’s huge in First Nation culture for us, as a school, to be a role model’: Facilitators and Barriers Affecting School Nutrition Policy Implementation in Alexander First Nation.” International Journal of Indigenous Health 2017; 12(2): 43-6; doi: 10.18357/ijih122201717784.

7. Hanbazaza MA*, Ball GDC, Farmer A, Maximova K, Willows N. “A comparison of characteristics and food insecurity coping strategies between international and domestic postsecondary students using a food bank located on a university campus.” Canadian Journal of Dietetic Practice and Research 2017 Dec; 78(4): 208-211; doi: 10.3148/cjdpr-2017-012.

8. Garad Y*, Maximova K, MacKinnon NS, McGrath J, Kozyrskyj AL, Colman I. “Sex-specific differences in the association between childhood adversity and cardiovascular disease in adulthood: evidence from a national cohort study.” Canadian Journal of Cardiology 2017 Aug; 33(8): 1013-1019.

9. Setayeshgar S*, Maximova K, Ekwaru JP, Gray-Donald K, Henderson M, Paradis G, Tremblay A, Veugelers PJ. “Diet quality as measured by the Diet Quality Index-International is associated with prospective changes in body fat among Canadian children.” Public Health Nutrition 2017 Feb; 20(3): 456-463.

10. Solomon-Krakus S*, Sabiston CM, Brunet J, Castonguay AL, Maximova K, Henderson M. “Body image self-discrepancy and depressive symptoms among early adolescents.” Journal of Adolescent Health 2017 Jan; 60(1): 38-43.

11. Setayeshgar S*, Ekwaru JP, Maximova K, Sumit M, Storey K, McGavock JM, Veugelers P. “Dietary intake and prospective changes in cardiometabolic risk factors in children and youth.” Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism 2017 Jan; 42(1): 39-45.

12. Farahbakhsh J*, Hanbazaza MA*, Ball GDC, Farmer A, Maximova K, Willows N. “Food insecure student clients of a university-based food bank have compromised health, dietary intake and academic quality.” Nutrition & Dietetics 2017 Jan; 74: 67-73; doi: 10.1111/1747-0080.12307.

13. Byrne (nee Avis) JLS*, Wild TC, Maximova K, Browne N*, Holt NL, Cave AL, Martz P, Ellendt C, Ball GDC. “A brief eHealth tool delivered in primary care to help parents prevent childhood obesity: a randomized controlled trial.” Pediatric Obesity 2016 Nov; doi:10.1111/ijpo.12200.

14. Contandriopoulos D, Hanusaik N, Maximova K, Paradis G, O’Loughlin JL. “Mapping collaborative relations among Canada’s chronic disease prevention organizations.” Healthcare Policy/Politiques de Santé 2016 Aug; 12(1): 101-15.

15. Krasilnikov I, Maximova K, Korotkova A, Stachenko S, Vienonen M, Koistinen V*, Ivanova A, Vohlonen I. “International comparison of intercity differences in premature deaths: PYLL rates in Canada, Finland and Russia 2010.” Health 2016 Jun; 8(9): 818-26.

16. Maximova K, Hanusaik N, Kishchuk N, Paradis G, O’Loughlin JL. “Public health strategies promoting physical activity and healthy eating in Canada: are we changing paradigms?” International Journal of Public Health 2016 Jun; 61(5): 565-72.

17. Maximova K, Rozen S*, Springett J, Stachenko S. “The use of PYLL for monitoring premature mortality from chronic diseases: Canadian perspectives.” Canadian Journal of Public Health 2016 Jun; 107(2): e202–e204.

18. Hanbazaza MA*, Ball GDC, Farmer A, Maximova K, Willows N. “Filling a need: Sociodemographic and educational characteristics among student clients using a University-based campus food bank.” Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition 2016 Apr; 11(4): 569-77.

19. Avis JLS*, Cave AL, Fournier R, Holt NL, Martz P, Maximova K, Padwal R, van Mierlo T, Ball GDC. “The Development and Refinement of an eHealth Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment for Parents to Prevent Childhood Obesity in Primary Care.” Telemedicine and e-Health 2016 May; 22(5): 385-94.

20. Maximova K, Khan MKA*, Austin SB, Kirk SFL, Veugelers PJ. “The role of underestimating body size for self-esteem and self-efficacy among grade five children in Canada.” Annals of Epidemiology 2015 Oct; 25(10): 753-9.

21. Farahbakhsh J*, Willows N, Ball GDC, Maximova K, Farmer A. “How do student clients of a university-based food bank cope with food insecurity?” Canadian Journal of Dietetic Practice and Research 2015 Dec; 76(4): 200-3.

22. Bastian (nee Vander Ploeg) KA*, Maximova K, McGavock J, Veugelers PJ. “Does school-based health promotion affect physical activity on weekends? And, does it reach those students most in need of health promotion?” PLoS One 2015 Oct; 10(10): e0137987.

23. Hanbazaza MA*, Triador L*, Ball GDC, Farmer A, Maximova K, Alexander First Nation Participating Community, Willows N. “The impact of school gardening on Cree children's knowledge and attitudes toward vegetables and fruit.” Canadian Journal of Dietetic Practice and Research 2015 Sept; 76(3): 133-139. 

24. Avis JLS*, Cave AL, Donaldson S, Ellendt C, Holt NL, Jelinski S, Martz P, Maximova K, Padwal R, Wild TC, Ball GDC. “Working With Parents to Prevent Childhood Obesity: Protocol for a Primary Care-Based eHealth Study.” Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR) - Research Protocols 2015 Mar; 4(1): e35.

25. Hanusaik N, Sabiston CS, Kishchuk N, Maximova K, O’Loughlin JL. “Association between organizational capacity and involvement in chronic disease prevention programming among Canadian public health organizations.” Health Education Research 2015 Apr; 30(2): 206-22.

26. Triador L*, Farmer A, Maximova K, Willows ND, Kootenay J. “A school gardening and healthy snack program increased Aboriginal First Nations children’s preferences toward vegetables and fruit.” Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior 2015 Mar; 47(2): 176-180.

27. Maximova K, Ambler KA, Rudko JN, Chui N*, Ball GDC. “Ready, Set, Go! Motivation and Lifestyle Habits in Parents of Children Referred for Obesity Management.” Pediatric Obesity 2014 Nov; 10(5): 353-60.

28. Hanusaik N, Contandriopoulos D, Kishchuk N, Maximova K, Paradis G, O’Loughlin J, on behalf of the PHORCAST Decision-makers Advisory Committee. “Chronicling changes to the chronic disease prevention landscape in Canada’s public health system 2004-2010.” Public Health 2014 Aug; 128(8): 716-724.

29. Vander Ploeg KA*, McGavock J, Maximova K, Veugelers PJ. “Do school-based physical activity interventions increase or reduce inequalities in health?” Social Science & Medicine 2014; 112: 80-87.

30. Vander Ploeg KA*, McGavock J, Maximova K, Veugelers PJ. “School-Based Health Promotion and Physical Activity During and After School Hours.” Pediatrics 2014; 133(2): 1-9.

31. Carson V*, Rinaldi RL, Torrance B, Maximova K, Ball GDC, Majumdar SR, Plotnikoff RC, Veugelers PJ, Boule NG, Wozny P, McCargar L, Downs S, Daymont C, Lewanczuk R, McGavock J. “Vigorous physical activity and longitudinal associations with cardiometabolic risk factors in youth.” International Journal of Obesity 2014 Jan; 38(1): 16-21.

32. Vander Ploeg KA*, Kuhle S, Maximova K, McGavock J, Wu B, Veugelers PJ. “The Importance of Parental Beliefs and Support for Pedometer-Measured Physical Activity on School Days and Weekend Days among Canadian Children.” BMC Public Health 2013 Dec 5; 13: 1132.

33. Willows ND, Ridley D*, Raine KD, Maximova K. “High adiposity is associated cross-sectionally with low self-concept and body size dissatisfaction among indigenous Cree schoolchildren in Canada.” BMC Pediatrics 2013 Aug 12; 13: 118.

34. Barnett TA, Maximova K, Sabiston CM, Van Hulst A*, Brunet J*, Castonguay AL*, Bélanger M, O'Loughlin J. “Physical activity growth curves relate to adiposity in adolescents.” Annals of Epidemiology 2013; 23(9): 529-33.

35. Jessri M*, Farmer AP, Maximova K, Willows ND, Bell RC. “Predictors of Exclusive Breast Feeding: Observations from the Alberta Pregnancy Outcomes and Nutrition (APrON) study.” BMC Pediatrics 2013; 13(1): 77.

36. Hay J*, Maximova K, Durksen A, Carson V, Rinaldi RL, Torrance B, Ball GDC, Majumdar SR, Plotnikoff RC, Veugelers PJ, Boule NG, Wozny P, McCargar L, Downs S, Lewanczuk R, McGavock J. “Physical Activity Intensity and Cardiometabolic Risk in Youth.” Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine 2012 Nov; 166(11): 1022-9.

37. Maximova K, Kuhle S, Davidson Z*, Fung C, Veugelers P. “Cardiovascular risk factor profiles of normal and overweight children and adolescents: insights from the Canadian Health Measures Survey.” Canadian Journal of Cardiology 2013 Aug; 29(8): 976-82.

38. Pabayo R*, Maximova K, Spence JC, Vander Ploeg K, Wu B, Veugelers PJ. “The Importance of Active Transportation to and from School for Daily Physical Activity Among Children.” Preventive Medicine 2012; 55(3): 196-200.

39. Vander Ploeg K*, Maximova K, Kuhle S, Veugelers PJ. “The Importance of Parental Beliefs and Support for Physical Activity and Body Weights of Children: A Population-Based Analyses.” Canadian Journal of Public Health 2012; 103(4): e277-81.

40. Hanusaik N, Maximova K, Kishchuk N, Tremblay M, Paradis G, O’Loughlin J. “Does level of tobacco control relate to smoking prevalence in Canada: A national survey of public health organizations?” Canadian Journal of Public Health 2012 May-Jun; 103(3): 195-201.