Developing a Research Agenda for Bariatric Care

This week, I am co-hosting a workshop to develop a research agenda for bariatric care in Canada.

This National Workshop is co-organised by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research’s (CIHR) Institute of Nutrition, Metabolism, and Diabetes (INMD) and the Canadian Obesity Network.

As readers may be well aware, CIHR is the federal agency that funds health research in Canada while the Canadian Obesity Network represents over 5000 researchers, health professionals and other stakeholders working to reduce the mental, physical and economic burden of obesity on Canadian children and adults.

The objective of this workshop are as follows:

1) To identify strengths, gaps and opportunities in Canadian bariatric research.

2) To develop a Canadian bariatric care research agenda that can ultimately improve health services available to obese patients.

3) To identify opportunities for international collaborations in the areas of bariatric care.

4) To engage potential research funders that can support an emerging bariatric care research agenda in Canada.

The 2-day workshop features presentations from Canadian researchers on topics ranging from behavioural, medical and surgical treatments to issues related to health systems and health care delivery for patients with excess weight.

The workshop also specifically addresses some of the ethical, legal and gender barriers to bariatric care as well as the needs of special populations, who may be disproportionately affected by obesity and its many consequences.

But the attendees will also hear from patients, who themselves have had to cope with excess weight and are wiling to share their personal stories, wishes, hopes and needs to inform this important research agenda.

Hopefully, the research themes and topics that will be identified at this workshop will not only lead to new research funding and projects but will ultimately result in addressing the very real needs of the over 11,000,000 Canadian adults and over 1,000,000 Canadian children already suffering the dire consequences of excess weight.

As blogged before, efforts targeted at obesity prevention are unlikely to help the people who already have the problem – they will, unfortunately, need treatments – treatments that will hopefully be based on the best scientific research and evidence.

Montreal, Quebec