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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


  1. As a recent member of the Canadian Obesity Network and a person who has had a weight problem all his life, who now is facing a lot of the challenges of dealing with a society that makes the obese buy two seats to fly some place why not build seats on airplanes over the wings that are large enough based on the number of large people that fly on their planes and not just given to anyone. That is just a pet peeve of mine or have a stewardess ask you if you would be more comfortable seat in business or 1st class and try to charge you for it.
    That was a little off topic but it is medically a disgrace that there is not one MRI machine in Ontario for Large or Obese people or just a normal person who is claustiphobic. If I understand correctly there is 3 or 4 in British Columbia, 1 in Alberta, none in Saskchewan or Manitoba, Ontario 2 in Quebec, and none in the maritimes. So there is our universal healthcare, It costs you out of pocket to go and have one taken in another province. People feel guilty when they become Obese, if your poor it’s because of the cost of nutricious foods are out of their budget. There is a mental side to being Obese you are scard from a young age by childrens who verbally and physically abuse anything they don’t understand and their parents don’t have the where with all to displine them for their behaviors as they believe they will out grow it. Then they become adults and the cycle continues.
    I grew up taking verbal abuse from parent/s worried I might run over their child in the sports arena or fields as I played hockey, baseball, football. I even ran the 100 yard dash at my High school and placed second, I needed another event as I wanted to be the track and field champion as I always won shot put and discuss. I thought it would be congratulations from my peers but they had to make fun of me, or said I took up too many running lanes. I was 6′ 4″ weighed 285 in Grade 12. the first time I was called Obese was this last year and 3/4’s by the Cppd (Canada pension plan disability) and by my neurologist doctor, I have always been angry but until this year the chronic pain and my DDD, 5 discs to be exact, was placed on a MRI waiting list in September of 2009 and finally in end of March 2010 I went and would not fit in it. They quickly scrambled to give me an appointment the next night at 10 pm. did I ever feel like a second class citizen. I have been off work since September 3, 2009 with no insurance of any kind. So I had to apply for sick benefits from EI. They ran out in end of February 2010 so my wife makes enough that I wouldn’t a candidate for Welfare but I had to start cashing in my retirement savings into RIFs. I was diagnosed with depression I thought it had to due with lost of mobility, pain but I believe it is because of the pain of being treated like an Obese person on a permanent basis, CPPd said i didn’t get it because my weight affected my joints which caused my chronic pain, there is no pathology( which means no scientific evidence to render me totally dis abled and my doctor reported I had tenderness in my knees and spine and I have no neurological deficits.I believe they read and saw my weight at 350 lbs.. There was nothing about my body taking years of abuse from playing professional football with the Hamiton Tiger-Cats of the CFL and who had to retire because of Tarsal tunnel release that never worked because first noone had done the operation and the nerve in my opinion had been pinched to long( 11/2 years). They now refer to Offensive and Defensive linemen in the NFL as Obese and there are close to 300 X 300 pound plus men playing football in the United States where there Obese population is worse than ours. It is of epidermic proportions in both countries. There definitely needs to be a large research start immediately but the spokesperson needs to be some who is there in the trenches has tried all the weight loss agencies and stop trying to make billions of dollars on their shoulders and put in place a positive meaningful way to help the largest of the large reduce and acheive a more healthful life not a model who has never Known Obesity.

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  2. Best wishes & good luck in this critical project. Please let us know about your deliberations as soon as possible. Doug

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  3. Every single WLS is a much bigger mistake than anyone can imagine. The mechanism of weight loss induced by Weight Loss surgeries is misunderstood. People do not lose some percentage of excessive body weight (in the best case, they lose 60 – 80% of excessive body weight) because they are eating less. By the way, there is no reliable evidence that people eat less after WLS than before. Even if some of them or a majority of them, after WLS eat less, they do not lose weight because of a restriction in food intake.

    The mechanism underlining weight loss induced by weight loss surgeries is identical to the mechanism of involuntary weight loss induced by certain types of injuries like (weight loss after injury).

    The mechanism underlining weight loss induced by WLS is explained in the article: “Weight Loss Surgeries, Weight Loss, Diabetes and the Biomechanics of Sitting and Walking”. The same article explains the mechanism underlining remission/cure of Type 2 Diabetes. The link to the article is:

    The human society has to confront with the terrible blunder in medical science and medical practice.

    Any WLS is a medical practice based on a misunderstanding.

    It needs to confront with the fact that the basic science of weight loss/weight gain is wrong. It is impossible to explain in fewer words, but the two main points are:
    • 1. Human body does not convert unused calories as fat mass. Weight gain is not about increased food intake and/or decreased physical activity.
    • 2. Human body does not burn fat mass. Weight loss is NOT about burning more calories than you eat.
    An extensive explanation of the “Biological basis” of weight gain and weight loss is on my website: Biomechanics and Health

    Luke Tunyich

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