La Taille Hypertriglycéridémiante

Today’s post comes from Stéphanie LeBlanc. Stéphanie is a PhD candidate in Experimental Medicine at Quebec Heart and Lung Institute—Université Laval.  She is also the current National Chapter Representative of the CON-SNP National Executive. You can find more about Stéphanie here

Tissu adipeux abdominal

Le corps emmagasine le surplus d’énergie de différentes façons, mais la principale réserve demeure la graisse. On distingue deux principaux types du tissu adipeux : 1) sous-cutané et 2) viscéral. Alors que le tissu adipeux sous-cutané est généralement apparent étant localisé sous la peau, la graisse viscérale, entourant les viscères, peut être très peu apparente. Le tissu adipeux sous-cutané est peu délétère pour l’organisme, certaines études allant jusqu’à rapporter des propriétés protectrices contre les maladies cardiovasculaires1. Inversement, le tissu adipeux abdominal viscéral (intra-abdominal) est associé à des désordres métaboliques, augmentant le risque de souffrir de diabète de type 2, de dyslipidémie, d’hypertension et de maladies cardiovasculaires2, 3. La mesure de la quantité de graisse viscérale abdominale pourrait donc être très pertinente d’un point de vue clinique afin d’identifier les individus avec cette forme d’obésité à risque.

L’évaluation du tissu adipeux abdominal

La mesure de la graisse viscérale nécessite l’utilisation de méthodes d’imagerie couteuses pour lesquelles l’analyse requière des habiletés particulières (ex. imagerie par résonance magnétique ou tomodensitométrie). Il a été suggéré que la simple mesure de la circonférence de taille soit un outil efficace, informant sur l’excès de graisse abdominale, en plus d’être accessible à faible coût4. De plus, la circonférence de taille a été associée aux mesures de la graisse viscérale, soutenant son utilité clinique dans l’évaluation de surplus du tissu adipeux viscéral5. Toutefois, bien que la circonférence de taille soit un outil clinique très prometteur, celle-ci ne permet pas de différencier la graisse abdominale sous-cutanée de la graisse abdominale viscérale.


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One Size Does NOT Fit All: The Importance of Positive Body Image

Today’s post comes from Megan Lamb and Darcie Valois. Megan and Darcie both completed graduate studies in psychology at Carleton University. Darcie is a recent MA grad and Megan is currently a PhD student.



It’s time to come clean: many of us are guilty of letting a few of these phrases fall carelessly from our mouths from time to time. Whether it is a discussion with friends, or a conversation with yourself, negative self-talk and appearance comparisons are often present in our day-to-day lives. However, many people are unaware of the devastating impact these phrases and comparisons can have on the well-being of ourselves, and those around us.

Today, the majority of youth report being unhappy with their appearance or weight. Research suggests that children begin reporting body dissatisfaction between the ages of six and nine, which increases into middle and high school years, and may continue throughout life. These statistics are alarming, as research has shown that body dissatisfaction is associated with many negative outcomes such as lower self-esteem, disordered eating behaviours, increased symptoms of depression, substance abuse, and peer teasing. Given this, it is critical that parents, educators, and professionals aware of factors that can impact body image development in youth and demonstrate positive body image to aid in the healthy development of children. Here, I will first discuss why body image is important, then reflect on some things that influence body image development and provide tools to improve body image.

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Tackling Weight Bias in the Classroom: CON-SNP UW’s Weight Bias Module

Today’s guest post comes from Katelyn Godin and Amanda Raffoul. They are both in the School of Public Health and Health Systems at the University of Waterloo. 

Weight bias and discrimination permeate many aspects of daily life. We witness it in the workplace (Rudolph, 2009), in public health communications (recall the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s “Strong4Life” campaign?), in media representations of people with obesity (Ata, 2010), and even in healthcare settings, where it is perhaps most studied (Phelan, 2015).

But in spite of its well-documented associated adverse psychological, social, and health outcomes (Haines, 2009), weight bias represents an under-acknowledged public health problem.


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If Only We Knew Then What We Know Now

Today’s guest post comes from Leanne De Souza. Leanne completed her PhD at the University of Toronto. She is also an author, a former CON-SNP National Executive, and CON Obesity Summer School (formerly known as Boot Camp) alumni. You can find more about Leanne here

Tell it to the Marines!

Steven Van Loy

Actually, tell it to the children! And make sure that they are SMALL enough to make BIG decisions.

I often contemplate where my research into screening and prevention of diabetes and cardiovascular disease might make a substantial impact. One element of the ideal prevention model would identify risk early enough to markedly impede incidence and would be initiated long before there was any real infringement of risk. In less round-about terms- the focus would be on those in the community who are at least immediate risk, but greatest eventual risk.


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Preventing Obesity ‘To Infinity and Beyond’

Today’s post comes from Taniya S. Nagpal. Taniya is a PhD candidate at Western University. She is also the current Special Events Coordinator of the CON-SNP National Executive. You can find more about Taniya here

What if there was a way to prevent obesity before birth and what if there was a way to prevent obesity for not just one but potentially two generations? Research has shown that there is a way: Physical activity and nutrition behaviour change during pregnancy! Pregnancy is known as a “teachable moment” because women are thinking about changing lifestyle habits to improve their health and the health of their future child (Ruchat and Mottola, 2012). In fact, pregnancy is known to increase the likelihood of smoking cessation and abstinence from alcohol without an intervention (Nagpal et al., 2017, Pollak et al., 2010, Ockene et al., 2002). Women may also think about making healthy behaviour changes by increasing physical activity and improving their eating habits (Ruchat and Mottola, 2012). Pregnancy is not a time to “eat for two” but to “eat twice as healthy” (Quote from Dr. Michelle Mottola, American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting 2017).


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Living the Life of a Person Living with Obesity

Today’s guest post comes from Marty Enokson. Marty is chair of the Canadian Obesity Network’s Public Engagement Initiative. You can find out more about Marty here.

Margo Brodowicz

Okay, so this problem had plagued me for many, many years.

One of my biggest concerns for years was whether or not I could fit into a bathroom on a plane – especially for the incredibly long trips like the one that I am currently on to Copenhagen, Denmark. Seven hours without relieving oneself is an incredibly challenging proposition.

But, it is something I have worried about every single time I have flown.  I have never used the bathroom on a plane because I was always worried about being a spectacle: the overweight guy who couldn’t get into the bathroom. That, or I’d worry if I got in the bathroom I would get stuck. The horror of those images and the ridicule I would have suffered has traumatized and scarred me for a lifetime – so much so that I have never gone to the bathroom on a plane. Ever.  I am now 50 years old.


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On World Obesity Day

Today’s guest post comes from Jodi Krah. Jodi is an artist and activist, a community representative on the Canadian Obesity Network’s Science Committee, and a former member of the Canadian Obesity Network’s Public Engagement Committee. You can find out more about Jodi here.

I feel World Obesity Day is a moment of validation that obesity is indeed a disease; a moment that I can stop feeling so horrible about myself and my inability to cure my own disease. It says to the medical community and politicians that this classification is 100% supported by the World Health Organization and the Canadian Medical Association.

For decades, I subscribed to the commonly held belief that I had to heal myself. The cliché of “I made my bed, I can lie in it” comes to mind. However, I, like millions of others living with obesity, am gaining a clearer understanding of exactly just how improbable or monumental our health success is under the current opportunities afforded to us. Just look at the report card issued by The Canadian Obesity Network in the spring of 2017.  It is very clear to me, and would be to anyone reading it that has obesity, that our options are abysmal, especially when compared to access and options available to treat other diseases.  People living with obesity are listening and watching to see if this status quo is going to continue.

World Obesity Day calls upon our health systems, our politicians and philanthropic investors to think ‘big picture’, creatively and with fresh eyes to end the decades of suffering we have faced alone.


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Waiting For Change

Today’s guest post comes from Ian Patton. Ian is the Vice Chair of the Canadian Obesity Network’s Public Engagement Committee. You can find out more about Ian here.

A while back, an American colleague of mine was asking about life in Canada. “Are you all really that nice? What is the deal with Tim Hortons? And is healthcare really that great up there?” My initial thought to the last question was a resounding “oh yeah”.  Our healthcare is publicly funded – if you are sick, you get treated.  We don’t have absurd price gouging and regardless of socioeconomic status, you have access without fear of bankruptcy.  We also have some of the finest medical professionals in the world. Oh yeah, we do it way better.  Go Canada Go.

I then reflected a little deeper.  As proud as I am of being Canadian and some of the rights and privileges we have, we are far from perfect and we have much room for improvement.

I am sick. I have a chronic pervasive and recurring condition from which there is no known cure.  My condition is one that is exceedingly complex – there are genetic factors that are slowly becoming more and more known, but the research is not complete.  My condition has environmental factors that strongly influence the disease.  My condition, like many other chronic diseases, is also influenced by behavioural factors.  What is not widely understood is the physiological and psychological components that make my condition so challenging to live with and more importantly to treat.


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World Obesity Day

Today’s post comes from Janet See. Janet is a dietetics student at the University of British Columbia. She is also the current Communications Director of the CON-SNP National Executive. You can find more about Janet here


Oct 11, 2017 is World Obesity Day and the focus this year is prioritizing investments from governments, health care providers, insurers, and philanthropic organizations to tackle obesity.

  • By 2025, it is projected that 7 billion adults worldwide will be overweight or have obesity
  • On an individual level, having obesity may or may not be a health hazard; but from a public health perspective, obesity is responsible for a significant proportion of non-communicable diseases (e.g., heart disease, diabetes, liver disease, and many types of cancer)
  • If obesity is untreated, by 2025, the universal cost for treating the consequences is expected to reach US $1.2 trillion per year1


Hush Naidoo

In short, treat obesity now and avoid the consequences later. This means investing in:

  1. Treatment services to support people with obesity – those who want treatment receive access to the best services available
  2. Early intervention to improve the treatment success – those who want support should receive access to early interventions
  3. Prevention to reduce the need for treatment – meeting WHO targets by preventing weight gain and re-gain to ensure effective obesity treatment1

For more details, visit their website for concrete examples on what investing in these three streams might include.

What Can We Do to Get Involved?

Thunderclap: Call governments to action through social media (e.g., FB, Twitter, Tmblr) by clicking here.

Social Media: Raise awareness for #WorldObesityDay with tweet suggestions and LinkedIn group discussions here.

Add Your Activity: If you’re organizing an event or activity for World Obesity Day, let them know here and they’ll pin it to their map showcasing global support for World Obesity Day.

Write to Your Health Minister: Email World Obesity Federation and request a template letter for Health Ministries which you can adapt, personalize, and translate before sending out





Like this infographic? Want to try your hand at making your own and win some awesome prizes? Check out full details here.


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Contest: Infographic Competition

Today’s post comes from Lindsay Leduc. Lindsay is a Registered Dietitian and a medical student at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. She is also the current Recruitment Coordinator of the CON-SNP National Executive. You can find more about Lindsay here

Have you ever bumped into your PhD friend at a party and they would just go on and on about their thesis? Do you wish that they would just summarize it with a few key points and colourful graphics? Send them this blog and have them check out the CON-SNP Infographic Competition details (and awesome prizes) below.

But First…What is an Infographic?

An Infographic is a visual manner of presenting information, data, and knowledge. Infographics use a minimal amount of text along with pictures, graphs and charts that depict pertinent information to readers. They have become extremely popular in marketing as well as public health as they effectively convey important information to target audiences.


The use of graphics and visuals is a key factor in their effectiveness for those with low literacy skills. It has allowed for better translation of knowledge and more of the population to be able to comprehend scientific data or health care information.


Therefore, infographics are not only effective but also a popular method of disseminating information into the public for many reasons, including:

1. Appeal

First off, the use of colours, pictures, graphs, and charts improves the appeal of the information, thus increasing engagement and interest in the material (Vanichvasin, 2013). Therefore, even before presenting the information you have already captured your audience’s attention.

2. Comprehension and Retention

Infographics can also help enhance comprehension and retention of information in individuals as we retain information better when presented with visuals and graphics (Vanichvasin, 2013). Furthermore, because the information is relayed in a succinct and concise manner, the reader is more likely to understand and retain the main message that you are trying to convey (Long, 2013). The message becomes more impactful and thought-provoking when presenting in this manner.

3. Reach and Distribution

Infographics are easy to share on social media platforms (e.g., Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, blogs, etc.). They reach more people much quicker and are also more likely to be shared and viewed compared to ordinary text (Costill, 2013).

Why are Infographics Important?

Overall, as health care professionals, researchers, or public health workers, we need to become proficient at effectively sharing information to the general public while being inclusive to those of all educational and literacy levels. Infographics provide us with an effective manner of translating important information to the public. This is crucial to ensure that the general public is receiving important and accurate health information. We need to become experts at effectively disseminating information so that it can reach as much of the public as possible and have the most impact.

CON-SNP’s Infographic Competition

CON-SNP’s upcoming Infographic Competition is an excellent way to try your hand at creating an infographic with impactful and meaningful information related to obesity. The competition is open now and all infographics are due by Monday November 6th, 2017 (11:59pm ET).

If selected, your infographic will be shared on CON-SNP’s social media platforms and a winner will be chosen by the public. The grand prize winner will receive free registration PLUS travel allowance to COSM in June 2018 at Western University (or a travel award to attend another obesity-related conference). Runners up will win gift cards. Check out the full guidelines here and free tools to get started here.

Good luck to all participants! We cannot wait to see all of your infographics!

Last year’s grand prize winner by Marion Valle:



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