Monday, January 31, 2011

Canadians Living With Obesity Need Your Help

Canadians living with obesity need your help!

As some readers may be aware, The Canadian Obesity Network (CON) has been invited to submit a proposal for funding to the federal Networks of Centres of Excellence Program to launch the Canadian Obesity Awareness and Control initiative for Health (COACH).

The VISION of COACH is to enable all Canadian adults and children with obesity to live healthier and more productive lives.

The MISSION of COACH is to become a credible, preferred source of information and resources for obesity management by mobilizing the collective knowledge of existing networks, stakeholders, and Canadians living with excess weight to

1) foster a better understanding of the importance of the risks associated with obesity

and to

2) enable Canadians to better identify and adopt evidence-based weight management strategies and resources.

COACH seeks to broadly engage and listen to Canadians (both kids and adults) affected by obesity – after all, who knows more about living with or battling excess weight than the people who live with it everyday?

So the Network is looking for your help:

1) If you are willing to step up and support this proposal with your name and personal story, or if you can speak for someone struggling with obesity (e.g. yourself, a close friend or family member, a patient group, etc.), or represent an organisation that can reach and engage Canadians living with obesity – we want to hear from you!

2) As “Ambassador” for COACH, your job is to help determine the direction and nature of COACH initiatives and to carry the torch for COACH into your communities and organisations.

3) You can help fine-tune the proposal – make a compelling case, tell a convincing story, and ensure that COACH truly addresses a need that will help Canadians better deal with this complex and unforgiving condition that destroys self-esteem, relationships, health, and wealth.

If you would like to support this initiative, please take a moment to fill in the following short survey:

Click here to take survey

Please forward this post to anyone you think may help with this initiative.

This is your chance to put your weight (pun intended!) behind getting Canadians struggling with excess weight the help they need.

AMS
Edmonton, Alberta

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7 Responses to “Canadians Living With Obesity Need Your Help”

  1. Rosemary Dinsdale says:

    Hi there,

    COACH would be fabulous! What a concept! One source of “good” information where overweight and “normal” weight consumers could go for information and mutual support in regards to their weight issues.

    As an obese person myself, I have often wanted to make a difference in preventing others struggles with obesity in a pro-active fashion. I’m sure many more people, like me, would like to support such an initiative. We need to get the message out and COACH looks like a project we collectively could sink our teeth into.

    I have personally suffered the lowered self-esteem, relationship problems, poor health, and monetary issues all related to issues with obesity. I have gone from a “normal” weight for me of 140 to a top weight of double that weight (what is normal? – the setting on the dryer?). I was happy and healthy at 140 pounds but “normal” was in the 125 range. Too bad I didn’t just maintain the 140. But, due to my belief that I must conform, I ended up on the dieting roller coaster and slow but sure taught my body to store fat until I reached the weight of 285 pounds. I had gotten to the state where I did not believe I could lose weight. More specifically, I felt that if I did lose weight I would gain it all back, and then some. That was my pattern.

    With the information gained at the Weight Wise Clinic, in Edmonton, I am now confident and very motivated to lose a considerable amount of weight with the tools provided. There is no magic pill. Losing and maintaining weight is a lot of work. It is also a lifelong commitment. With Weight Wise, I no longer need to be overwhelmed by what to eat. I have the correct information. I used to think I knew what I needed to do, but I was wrong. With the additional information and tools provided I now have the confidence that maintaining a weight loss is now doable.

    But, what about those who cannot go to Weight Wise? We need to educate as many obese and non-obese as we can. We need to reach them and share the tools we have been given. COACH could be the vehicle we have been waiting for!

    Have a great day,

    Rosemary Dinsdale, Edmonton, AB

  2. Richard says:

    Sitting for hours in front of a laptop has its toll. My waist size has gone up from 28 to 40 without me noticing. I learnt SAP and just like my salary, my waist bulged. I would do anything to get this load off and get back to shape. But I never find time to work out.

  3. fredt says:

    I needed a good education about physiological needs and to use the solid references available to evaluate the foods available for consumption. Weight Wise is still preaching the same old stuff. Along the way I need to identify and address all- all -all the causes of my overeating, even the the ones that Weight Wise waves off as not causes.

    I grew up grossly obese. I have been gaining or on a diet all my life. After going to semi-retirement, I have had time to study my problem(s) and now understand what my problem(s) are, and have addressed all that I have found. As a result, I have gone from 150 kg to 90ish, and am still loosing, without hunger. Weight Wise was about the same hourly value as surfing the net.

    Thank you for the offer, but for today I choose to not ingest sugar, grains, lubricants and manufactured eatable products, contrary to the Canadian Good Food guide.

    But what do I know.

  4. Brenda Garrett says:

    Congratulations Rosemary on your journey! Having been down the same road of being overweight, I can certainly relate. I have been overweight most of my life and I know the struggles well. I learned that weight issues are more of an “inside job” than a matter of self-control and finding the perfect diet. I learned, as you have, that the first step is actually believing that you can lose the weight. The other step is making a commitment to a healthy lifestyle. Diets are temporary bandaids that never work. It’s easy to lose weight but the trick is to maintaining the weight loss and maintaining a healthy mindset and lifestyle. For the first time in my life, I am a “normal” weight and healthy. I have maintained a “normal” weight for over 2 years and I have to tell you, it’s still a challenge. I take it one day at a time though and know that my next decision can be a healthy decision. I learned that I had to decide that I wanted a healthy lifestyle and to make myself a priority. Once I did that, I was on my way. I joined Weight Watchers online because it gave me the structure I needed and it also taught me to be accountable, what a healhty portion and healthy diet looked like and it also made me aware of how many times I used food to deal with emotional issues. I also learned to develop a lifestyle that included not only healthy food but exercise and a healthy way of looking at myself.

    I have since trained to become a life coach and I help my clients to discover their own wisdom to developing a healthy lifestyle that works for them. Working with my clients, I see how it may start out to be about weight, but it’s never about the weight. The weight is the symptom, not the cause of why they are struggling with maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Like anything in life, it is your thoughts and beliefs that shape your life. As you are seeing Rosemary, once you change your thoughts and beliefs, then you will see changes in your weight and your health.

    I feel COACH is a great way to help Canadians get the information they need and also to help them find the resources they need to change their beliefs and thoughts and to help them find their way to making themselves and their health a priority. We need good information that doesn’t come from the diet industry. The diet industry is interested in only one thing – making money by convincing people there is a some magic diet out there that will change their life. People need to know they are in control of their lives and there is no magic to being healthy.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I don’t think this is a good use of taxpayers money.

    We do not need “ambassadors” to tell people their inspiring/tragic stories. There are zillions of testimonials out there for various programs which have been successful for many people.

    Some better ways government could help people would be:

    1. via medical organizations, make weight a required part of all childhood medical care from prenatal classes, to well-baby nurse and doctor visits, at vaccination visits, etc. There are recommended weight-height charts for children, but in my experience, doctors do not react with concern when a child is getting too heavy.
    If the family doctor isn’t concerned about preventing obesity, right from the start, parents won’t take it seriously, and won’t be motivated to prevent it in their children.

    The doctor, of course, will have the evidence-based weight management information.

    2. Put calories in the Canada Food Guide.
    Claiming to educate about healthy eating and not educating about calories is absurd.

    3. Re “risks associated with obesity”: it would be more effective to use TV ads to educate people than ambassadors who would speak to fewer people in total.
    The TV ads about risks of smoking and second-hand smoking, and drunk driving, are examples of what can be done.
    Junk food ads are scheduled to make people hungry. They work: eating in front of the TV is a major source of extra calories. Ads on the risks of overeating running at the same times could counter ads causing excess eating, as well as provide graphic information on the risks of obesity.

  6. s says:

    “evidence-based weight management strategies and resources.”

    Not if the funding goes toward surgical procedures and drugs which “manage”. Which of course, it will do, primarily, because that’s the current research model.

    Not if you, your team, your labs, your org, accept any money or goods in kind from industry.

  7. Arya M. Sharma, MD says:

    @s “Not if the funding goes toward surgical procedures and drugs which “manage”. Which of course, it will do, primarily, because that’s the current research model.”

    Funny! because, in addition to more behavioural treatments (nutrition, exercise, psychology), that is exactly where we hope the funding will go – to get more Canadians struggling with obesity access to treatments that actually work rather than leaving them at the mercy of the people who peddle useless and often dangerous “natural” remedies based on nothing else than magical belief systems and anecdotes.

    The only industry I’d have problems accepting money from are those members of the commercial weight loss industry that would rather rely on testimonials to exploit desperate clients than to invest in proper science (the few exceptions who do invest in valid research are expressly excluded).

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