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Your Chance to Support COACH

Founded in 2006 with support from the federal Networks of Centres of Excellence Program, the Canadian Obesity Network, with now over 6000 members, has grown into the largest national network of obesity researchers, health professionals and decision makers in the world.

In the past five years, the network has helped build capacity, promote consensus, foster discussion, disseminate research, and create a robust professional obesity community across Canada. Thousands of Canadian students, researchers, and health professionals have attended workshops, seminars, symposia, and conferences organised by the network and its many partners.

As one enthusiastic Network member recently remarked,

“The Canadian Obesity Network has accomplished the unlikely task of creating a strong sense of community amongst all Canadians who have a professional interest in obesity”.

Nothing reflects these developments more than the enthusiasm with which this new Canadian obesity community awaits the 2nd National Obesity Summit to be held in Montreal this Spring (April 28 – May 1). The organizers expect close to a 1000 attendees working on everything from school prevention programs to bariatric surgery, from cell biology to city building, from fetal origins of obesity to obesity management in the elderly.

But, so far, the Canadian Obesity Network has not included the people who matter the most: Canadian kids, families and adults struggling with excess weight.

This is about to change!

As recently posted, the Canadian Obesity Network is now working with its many partners to launch a Canadian Obesity Awareness and Control Initiative for Health (COACH) – a national initiative that will have two central objectives:

1) to provide Canadians with reliable information on obesity, its causes, its consequences, its treatment.

2) to help Canadians identify credible obesity management resources in their health systems and communities.

As Jim, a community Ambassador of COACH from Edmonton, who has battled obesity all his life succinctly states:

I kept going to my family physician and he kept telling me to lose weight, with absolutely no suggestions how to do so. I think out of utter frustration, for both of us, he finally referred me to my local Primary Care Network and the Weight Wise Clinic for some sort of guidance. I only wish COACH had existed when I was starting my weight management journey. It’s about time Canadians had one go-to resource for weight management help. It would have made my task and life infinitely easier.

In short, COACH hopes to change the landscape of obesity care in Canada – your voice will be heard.

If you believe (and I know many of you took the recent COACH survey) that it is time Canadians had a resource like COACH and would like to show your support for this initiative – please click here (or on the banner above).

The more people support this initiative – the more effective it will become.

Edmonton, Alberta


  1. An idea whose time is long overdue, Dr. Sharma!!

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  2. Hi there,

    Thank you to the CON for the chance to have one place to go to for weight loss/maintenance information.

    I just forwarded this post to everyone I know who I think will be supportive in my weight loss and healthy lifestyle changes.

    If we all forward this to those people we know, who may be supportive of our efforts, imagine how many supporters of COACH we could have!

    Please let your friends and relatives help get COACH rolling.

    Rosemary Dinsdale

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  3. “If we all forward this to those people we know, who may be supportive of our efforts, imagine how many supporters of COACH we could have!”

    Rosemary, if you and all my readers could just get all their family, friends and colleagues to sign up, we can hit over a 1000 supporters by the end of the day!

    Anyone who has a FaceBook account may want to post the link on FaceBook

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  4. Hi Dr. Sharma,

    “Rosemary, if you and all my readers could just get all their family, friends and colleagues to sign up, we can hit over a 1000 supporters by the end of the day!”

    The number was at 696 when I first looked less than half an hour ago. Now it’s already at 706!

    My thinking is that, if those 706 people all had 10 people support them… we could get to 7000 by the end of the week!

    Onward and upward!

    Rosemary Dinsdale

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  5. As you are probably aware, most people never succeed in permanently losing any significant amount of weight, regardless of the methods they employ.

    May I suggest that your network offer a weight neutral option? This would include assistance with fitness and nutrition, along with psychological support. However, habits would be all that mattered; weight loss would not be emphasized. This is known as HAES, or Health at Every Size, and for many people it is a more helpful and realistic approach than setting weight loss goals. It can improve cardiovascular health, lower blood pressure and blood sugars, improve mood, increase muscle percentage, and generally do most of the things that people think they need to lose weight to accomplish. It’s hard to imagine an organization that is genuinely interested in the health of obese people not offering this as an option.

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