Talking about obesity in a fun manner

Obesity is becoming such a large issue that one in four Canadians struggles with it.

Dr. Arya Sharma

Obesity is becoming such a large issue that one in four Canadians struggles with it.

One doctor uses humour and frank discussion to handle the problem.

The idea came to Dr. Arya Sharma, founder of the Canadian Obesity Network, after dealing with many patients who struggled with obesity. Rather than speaking with people individually, Sharma decided to speak to a larger audience.

He has toured Alberta presenting some of the misconceptions of obesity in a show called A Lighter Look at the Ups and Downs of Weight Loss. “People have a lot of need for information.”

Sharma believes people are more likely to remember a fun presentation rather that a scientific one. His goal is to dispel myths about obesity and weight loss. Closing the gaps in that knowledge is an important first step for someone who struggles with obesity.

He wants people to know there is no one “fix” to the issue and will present his findings July 30 at the Kinsmen Community Centre at 7 p.m. The response to his shows has been positive.

“A lot of people have said, ‘I’d like to come back,’” said Sharma. “The biggest hope is a better public understanding of this issue.”

Rather than laying blame on a person or one issue, Sharma is empowering people with knowledge. “I try to get them to think differently about stuff.”

Tickets can be purchased at the door or on Sharma’s website at: www.drsharma.ca/events.

Dr. Arya M. Sharma, MD/PhD, FRCPC is professor of medicine and chair in Obesity Research and Management at the University of Alberta. He is also the clinical co-chair of the Alberta Health Services Obesity Program.

Dr. Sharma is founder and scientific director of the Canadian Obesity Network, a network of over 6,000 obesity researchers, health professionals and other stakeholders.

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