While health care is an important and hotly debated issue amongst all parties, the public discussion on their plans to address obesity, by many measures, the nation’s top health crisis, is not as evident as it perhaps should be.
This is why leading obesity researchers and advocates are calling on the leaders of all parties to publicly discuss their plans for improving obesity prevention and treatment for Canadians.
Not only is obesity the nation’s top contributor to chronic disease, death, loss of productivity and costs to our health systems, it will take significant policy solutions in reversing this epidemic and providing necessary care to Canadians who are overweight or obese.
While prevention is an important aspect of any plan to deal with the obesity crisis, 14 million Canadian adults and almost two million children are currently already overweight or obese – meaning they are already experiencing the profound, negative consequences in terms of health, stigma, reduced earnings and quality of life.
As a nation, Canada is long overdue in making the behavioural, medical and/or surgical treatment of this condition a national priority.
Although the elections are less than two weeks away, there is still time to make obesity an issue in this election, and I certainly join my colleagues in encouraging local and federal candidates of all parties to educate themselves on the complexities of this condition and incorporate evidence-based advice into their health platforms.
Needless to say, the upcoming 2nd National Obesity Summit, April 28th-May 1st, 2011 at Le Centre Sheraton, Montréal, will provide an excellent opportunity for all party leaders to learn more about obesity prevention and treatment – and to discuss how their government will approach the issue going forward.
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