Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Help COACH Canada in healthy, ethical, evidence-based weight management!

One of the many bees in my bonnet is Canada's wholly unregulated weight loss industry. My friend and colleague Arya Sharma and I penned an editorial a few years back, and that in turn has spurred some preliminary research by the Public Health Agency of Canada into the problem, but sadly on the street, nothing has changed.

Of course Arya and I aren't folks who like to sit back and wait. On my end I've helped, along with Arya and 11 other Canadian clinicians and researchers, to found a new non-profit organization to help steer Canadian policy makers to weight-related evidence (more on that in a month or so) and Arya, we'll he's gone and applied to create a new National Centre of Excellence specifically geared towards helping Canadians help themselves in their weight management efforts.

It's to be called COACH and it stands for Canadian Obesity Awareness and Control Initiative for Health. It's aim will be to provide consumer-friendly guidance to help Canadian kids, families and adults find and use available resources to manage their weight.

It's an idea that's long overdue. It'll draw not only upon the knowledge of the professional members of the Canadian Obesity Network, but also on yours.

We need to give Canadians who battle their weight a voice. COACH will be their megaphone.

Now it's not exactly a done deal and to see it happen, COACH needs your support.

To steal directly from Arya's blog:

The Network is looking for your help:

1) If you are willing to step up and support this proposal with your name and personal story, or if you can speak for someone struggling with obesity (e.g. yourself, a close friend or family member, a patient group, etc.), or represent an organisation that can reach and engage Canadians living with obesity - we want to hear from you!

2) As “Ambassador” for COACH, your job is to help determine the direction and nature of COACH initiatives and to carry the torch for COACH into your communities and organisations.

3) You can help fine-tune the proposal - make a compelling case, tell a convincing story, and ensure that COACH truly addresses a need that will help Canadians better deal with this complex and unforgiving condition that destroys self-esteem, relationships, health, and wealth.
If you would like to support this initiative, please click here and add your name.

The more names and stories, the greater the potential for federal funding.

Please forward this post to anyone you think may help with this initiative

If you love this blog, please consider voting for Weighty Matters in Reader's Digests' Best Health Magazine's 2011 blog awards by clicking here. Voting's open through March 21st and you're welcome, if you're so inclined, to vote daily.