MLHU - Health Status Resource

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Exclusive breastfeeding

When an infant is only fed breast milk, and no other formula, water, substitute, or food is given.

Fine particulate matter

Particulate matter in the air is a “mixture of microscopic solid particles and liquid droplets suspended in air”.It may contain a variety of substances, including harmful aerosols, dust, smoke, and fumes. Particles of this nature that are smaller than 2.5 µg in diameter are classified as fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and are a concern for human health because they can penetrate deep into the respiratory system and damage lung tissue.

1. Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. Air quality in Ontario 2017 report [Internet]. Toronto (ON): Queen’s Printer for Ontario; 2017. Fine particulate matter; [updated 2019 Jun 19; cited 2019 Oct 29]; [about 4 screens]. Available from:

Folic acid fortification

The addition of folic acid to food. In Canada, folic acid must be added to enriched pasta, white flour, infant formula, whole egg substitutes, and simulated meat products.


Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Foods to Which Vitamins, Mineral Nutrients and Amino Acids May or Must Be Added [D.03.002, Fdr] [Internet]. 2018 [cited 2018 Nov 12]. Available from:

Folic acid use prior to and during pregnancy

The percentage of women who gave birth (live or still) who reported taking folic acid supplements prior to and during pregnancy. Excludes women who did report any use during pregnancy (i.e., use only reported prior to pregnancy).

Folic acid use prior to pregnancy

The percentage of women who gave birth (live or still) who reported taking folic acid prior to pregnancy. Includes women who reported any folic acid use prior to pregnancy (including those who continued use during pregnancy).

Food Handler Certification Program

A program designed to teach food handlers the general principles of safe food handling such as risk factors associated with food borne illness and to teach the skills necessary to handle food and prevent illness from occurring. The course is based on the principles of sanitary food service and hazard analysis critical control point (HACCP) procedures. 

Food Safety Management Plan

A food safety management plan is a documentation process to “identify and assess hazards and risk associated with a food operation and defining the means of their control”.1 Although not a legislated requirement for food premises, it is considered an operational best practice.

1. Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. Operational approaches for food safety guideline, 2019 [Internet]. Toronto (ON): Queen’s Printer of Ontario; 2019 Feb [cited 2019 Oct 30]. 20 p. Available from

Food Security

Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. The CCHS survey questions asked whether household members were able to afford the food they needed in the previous 12 months. Households were classified as food insecure if there was an indication of compromise in quality and/or quantity of food consumed or reduced food intake and disrupted eating patterns due to lack of money.

Former Smoking

Does not smoke at current time but has smoked 100 or more cigarettes in lifetime.

General Fertility Rate

The number of live births during a given period over the female population aged 15-49.

Hazardous Food

Any food that is capable of supporting the growth of pathogenic organisms or production of the toxins from such organisms

HBHC early childhood period

From six weeks of age to six years of age.

HBHC postpartum period

From the infant’s birth up to six weeks of age.

HBHC prenatal period

From conception up to the birth of the infant.

Health Indicator Framework

Health indicators are used to measure health status of a given population over a defined period of time. For this resource, appropriate indicators were chosen from the Core Indicators for Public Health in Ontario – a framework developed by the Association of Public Health Epidemiologists of Ontario (APHEO). This framework was developed, and it continues to be updated, in order to standardize and improve the accuracy of community health status reporting across Ontario public health units.  This resource provides definitions, methods and resources for calculating over 120 health indicators. Local level, reliable data was unavailable for some indicators therefore, not all were addressed in this resource. 

Heavy drinking

Monthly occurrences of drinking 5 or more standard drinks on any single occasion.

High birth weight rate

The number of live births with a birth weight of 4,500 grams or more, per 100 live births.

Home Language

The language spoken most often at home

Household food security

the financial ability of households to access adequate food. Insecurity included marginal, moderate and severe food insecurity.

Housing Affordability

Spending more than 30% of the household income on housing costs like rent or mortgage payments, property taxes and utilities can leave people without enough money for other important necessities like food, clothing and transportation.