A few months ago, I was asked to provide an overview of the undertakings at this year’s Canadian Obesity Summit in Montreal, by James Fell, fitness columnist, certified strength and conditioning specialist, and the man behind Body For Wife.

The complete article can be found at this link.  Below are some excerpts regarding elements of the Summit that I felt were important to highlight.  As some very controversial issues were raised and discussed, I thought I would post these items, and I’d really like to survey my readers as to their thoughts on these issues!  Please feel free to post a comment by clicking on the envelope icon at the bottom of this post – this is how we can get a good dialogue going, and stimulate change in our society!

1. Genetics: “There are least 45 obesity-related genes that have been discovered and each one contributes 2-3kg to body weight. We don’t understand a lot about how they work; some create a different balance in hunger hormones and others cause fat storage. It’s not that some people are genetically fixed to be obese, but it can set the stage.”

Dr. Pedersen also mentioned how a woman who is obese while pregnant increases the prevalence of the child being obese through epigenetic changes that take place in utero.

2. Environment: “There was a lot at the conference about guiding Canadians to lead healthier lives. For example, should there be a junk food tax? Can we create programs to get Canadians to focus on weight loss and healthy eating and getting more exercise?”

3. Childhood obesity:Eight percent of Canadian adolescents are obese, so how do we create good family-based programs to help them lose weight? These have to be focused on the parents because if they lose weight, then the kids lose weight by default.”

Sue also had some interesting comments about adolescents and bariatic surgery. “Lap banding is favoured in kids [in extreme cases where it is deemed necessary] because it is the least invasive and is reversible. The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto is the only place in Canada that is doing it right now. The decisions for bariatric surgery with children are very challenging.”

4. Adult obesity management: “There was a big focus on weight-loss surgery for people with Type 2 diabetes because the surgery can put it into remission. Having the surgery is done when the benefits of it outweigh the risks. Bariatric surgery can be the appropriate decision for a patient who has failed in all other attempts to lose weight.” Dr. Pedersen stated that such patients require psychological counseling as well, and that this is never a decision to be entered into lightly.

In regards to bariatric surgery, there is not enough funding so the wait list is about five years. Some provinces allow people to pay for it themselves, allowing lap banding for about $16-20 thousand for those who don’t want to wait.

Dr. Sue © 2011   www.drsue.ca     drsuetalks@gmail.com

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