Register Now for the Canadian Summit on Weight Bias and Discrimination

On January 17th, 2011, the Canadian Obesity Network is hosting the first National Summit on Weight Bias and Discrimination, at St. Lawrence Hall, Toronto.

This summit should be of interest to all health professionals, policy makers, legislators, educators, media and anyone with an interest in understanding and ending the stigma against excess weight.

The meeting is open to anyone who has experienced or is concerned about weight bias and discrimination.

As regular readers of these pages are well aware, weight bias and discrimination is widespread among the public, health professionals, media, policy makers and employers. Overweight and obesity are often viewed as the result of simply making poor choices or a lack of willpower and self control, and not as the complex conditions they are.

The direct implications for the health of those struggling with excess weight are profound.

The Canadian Obesity Network seeks to address this important issue by engaging influential thought leaders representing media, education, employers, healthcare systems, law and decision makers to review the evidence on the extent and consequences of weight bias on Canadians.

The meeting will be moderated by André Picard, one of Canada’s top health and public policy observers and commentators and columnist for the Globe and Mail.

The Council members include:

  • Hon. A. Anne McLellan, Officer of the Order of Canada, who has formerly served as Canada’s Minister of Health, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
  • Ben Barry, CEO of the Ben Barry Agency, the first modeling agency in the world to challenge the status-quo beauty ideal by representing models of all ages, sizes, backgrounds, and abilities.
  • Merryl Bear, Executive Director of the National Eating Disorder Information Centre
  • Chris Burton, Chief Commissioner at Girl Guides of Canada
  • Bruce Ferguson, Director of the Community Health Services Resource Group at The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto
  • David Sculthorpe, business leader and Chair of PREVNet, a national research network committed to stopping bullying in Canada.
  • Hugh O’Reilly, head of the Pension Benefits and Insolvency Practice at Cavalluzzo Hayes Shilton McIntyre and Cornish, who has also successfully represented patient advocacy groups on human rights issues.
  • Louise Forand-Samson, Artistic Director of the Club musical de Québec and Chair of the Board of the Laval University Research Chair on Obesity.
  • Myles Ellis, director with the Canadian Association for the Practical Study of Law in Education (CAPSLE) and Co-Director of the Research and Information Division at Canadian Teachers’ Federation.
  • Timothy Caulfield, Canada Research Chair in Health Law and Policy and Research Director of the Health Law Institute at the University of Alberta.

Expert speakers include Rebecca Puhl, Director of Research and Weight Stigma Initiatives at the Rudd Centre for Food Policy and Obesity, Yale University, Shaheen Azmi, Director of the Policy, Education, Monitoring and Outreach Branch, Ontario Human Rights Commission, Diane Finegood, Professor, Simon Fraser University, and a number of other well-known Canadian researchers and experts.

The Council will also hear statements from a people who have experienced weight bias or are concerned about its impact on Canadian’s health and well-being.

The Summit is co-hosted with PREVNet (the Promoting Relationships and Eliminating Violence Network) and supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Click here for more information and to register for this event (limited seating available so register early).

Edmonton, Alberta