• Mâsse, Louise C.


    Investigator, BC Children's Hospital
    Professor, School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia

    Degrees / Designations
    Primary Area of Research
    Evidence to Innovation
    Secondary Area(s) of Research
    604-875-2000 ext. 5563
    Lab Phone
    Mailing Address

    BC Children's Hospital
    Room F508
    4480 Oak Street
    Vancouver, BC  V5H 3V4

    Affiliate Websites
    Research Areas
    • Physical activity
    • Treatment and prevention of childhood obesity
    • Health promotion
    • Behaviour change
    • Developing and evaluating interventions (familial, community-based & policy interventions)
    • Population health
    • Diffusion and dissemination of health interventions
    • Psychometrics
    • Questionnaire design

    My research integrates both population-based strategies (environmental and policies strategies) and behavioural strategies (individual-based psychological strategies) to address the complexity of influences on health behaviours associated with obesity (Physical Activity (PA), sedentary, and dietary behaviours).

    My population-based research, investigates the hierarchies of factors influencing children’s behaviours at school and childcare settings. This work uses a systems perspective to understand influences on nutrition and PA environments and how they are linked with children health behaviours and weight outcomes.

    My behavioural research takes a socio-ecological perspective to examine various aspects of the environment that influence children’s behaviours associated with obesity. This research provides the foundational work to improve the efficacy of lifestyle interventions, and points to the need to understand influences of the familial environment from a holistic perspective and to focus on transitional periods in adolescence.

    Current Projects

    A Good Start Matters - Creating environments that support physical activity in childcare setting 
    Funded by SSHRC ($145,000 2017/19) and CHIR ($734,400 2017-22), these studies aim to: 1) evaluate how provincial standards supported by a capacity building intervention influence childcare centre practices; and 2) whether childcare centre that have better environments, policies, and practices enhance children physical activity and motor skill competencies.

    Impact of transitioning to secondary schools on behaviours associated with obesity and academic-related outcomes: A socio-ecological perspective
    Lack of physical activity, too much sedentary time, and poor dietary habits all contribute to unhealthy weight trajectories. Adolescence is a period when many unhealthy behaviours emerge or escalate; most notably these problems are exacerbated during the transition from elementary to secondary school. This study funded by CIHR ($909,155 2015/2022) aim to examine factors that influence adolescents’ physical activity, sedentary time, and dietary habits as children transition from elementary to secondary school. Using qualitative and quantitative methods, this study examines changes that occur in the school, household, and social settings among 736 student/parent pairs from 49 schools in BC.

    Development and evaluation of LiGHT version 2, a novel weight management program for 10 to 17 year-old and their families 
    This is a collaborative agreement with the Childhood Obesity Foundation (COF) that is funded but PHAC with matched funding from Ayogo Health Inc., Merk Canada and Heart and Stroke. In addition, the David Suzuki provide in-kind content to support the living green focus of LiGHT. The LiGHT (Living Green and Healthy for Teens) program aim to engage youth and their families with interactive and gamified content to modify adolescents and their families’ health behaviours associated with obesity (Physical activity, sedentary, nutrition, and sleep behaviours). BCCHR/UBC investigators lead the evaluation of this study which includes 6 collaborative centres (Alberta Children’s Hospital U of Calgary, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario U of Ottawa, McMaster Children’s Hospital U of McMaster, Shapedown BC BC Children’s Hospital UBC, SickKids U of Toronto, Stollery Children’s Hospital U of Edmonton): the cooperative agreement with COF ($732,211 2017/21) is to conduct a randomized control trial to test the efficacy of the LiGHT intervention; 2) CIHR and Alberta Innovate funds ($388,375 2018/2021) are used to examine factors at the individual, social and environmental levels that influence adherence to the LiGHT intervention.

    Improving measures of nutrition and physical activity parenting
    Although parenting practices are widely recognized as an important target for family-based intervention, our ability to understand the influence of the family is hampered by our ability to measure parenting practices. Researchers have developed different ways to measure parenting practices related to physical activity and nutrition; however no agreement has been reached in the scientific community. Funded by CIHR ($573,156 2012/16) this study engages the international scientific community in developing a common conceptual framework for assessing parenting practices related to physical activity and nutrition.  This information served to develop an item bank that is currently being calibrated with advanced psychometric methods. Findings from this study provide the groundwork for future research aimed at understanding the influence of parenting practices.

    Selected Publications
    Honours & Awards

    2011 Nominated for the 2011 Faculty of Medicine Distinguished Achievement Award for Excellence in Education

    2008 Leaders Opportunity Fund Award awarded by the Canada Foundation for Innovation

    2006-2011 Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Salary Award – Senior Scholar Award ($500,000)

    2006-2016 Child and Family Research Institute Salary Award – Level 2 Scientist ($900,000)

    2005 Group award for exemplary leadership in advancing the National Cancer Institute's commitment to understanding the science of energy balance and cancer and applying that understanding to reduce the cancer burden. National Institutes of Health Award of Merit 

    2004 Individual award for leadership on the National Cancer Institute scientific priorities and developing collaboration in the area of physical activity. National Institutes of Health Award of Merit

    2001-2006 Canadian Institutes of Health Research Salary Award – Tier 2 Canada Research Chair at the University of Ottawa - Award was declined for personal and professional reasons 

    1999 & 2001 Excellence in Scholarship Incentive Award for FY 1998 and 2000
    University of Texas-Houston - School of Public Health award

    1997 Outstanding Research Podium Presentation
    American Academy of Nurse Practitioners

    Research Group Members