Books, Awards, and Thank Yous

Yesterday, the Canadian Obesity Network officially became a publishing house by releasing its first book: Best Weight: A Practical Guide to Office-Based Weight Management.

This is a short (less than 100 pages!) book co-authored by my friend and colleague Yoni Freedhoff (Ottawa, of Weighty Matters fame), which he so fittingly describes as, “the book we wish we had when we first set up our obesity practices“.

Rather than being an encyclopedic compendium of text-book knowledge on the vast evolving science of obesity, Best Weight is a rather personal and concise overview of what Yoni and I would consider the absolute minimum knowledge that anyone in clinical practice needs to digest in order to move beyond the notoriously nonsensical mantra of “eat-less-and-move-more”.

Best Weight is available to health professionals for free and can be downloaded from the Canadian Obesity Network website. You do first have to register as a CON member, but that is free too.

For anyone wanting a hard copy, Best Weight will soon be available through all major book retailers for the paltry sum of $10 or so (believe me, no one is getting rich with this one). In fact, Best Weight can already be ordered from Barnes & Nobles by clicking here (if you hurry up, you could even be the first to write a review – or the first to resell a used copy!).

Obviously, Yoni and I are hoping that we will make the medical bestseller lists (if there is such a thing) and that copies of the book will end up in the hands of every last practicing health professional in Canada and beyond.

We are of course more than happy to receive comments and feedback and I can already see us working on an update if Best Weight is well received.

While I doubt very much that Best Weight will win us any awards, I personally was deeply honoured to receive the 2010 Outstanding Health Professional Award from the Canadian Diabetes Association’s Regional Awards Committee (Northern Alberta & North West Territories), at a ceremony held here in Edmonton last night. Interestingly, it turns out that I am actually heading out to Peace River in Northern Alberta this morning to present a talk on setting up an obesity program in the region.

Although my award did not come with the $250,000 accompanying the 2010 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award that will be given today to Douglas Coleman of Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine and Jeffrey Friedman of Rockefeller University in New York City for discovering leptin, a hormone that regulates appetite and body weight, I am most definitely as proud and privileged for having been selected for this 2010 CDA Outstanding Health Professional award.

I hope that Best Weight will help improve the care of patients with obesity (many of whom have diabetes) and hope that the recognition bestowed on me with this CDA award will make me even more determined to help my patients avoid and alleviate the mental, mechanical, metabolic, and monetary consequences of excess wight – may they find and enjoy the Best Weight they possibly can.

Edmonton, Alberta