The Canadian Obesity Network

The Canadian Obesity Network

June 26, 2012 10:11 ET

Media Advisory: International Panel of Experts Collaborate on the Toronto Charter for Mental Health and Obesity

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 26, 2012) -

WHO: News editors, features editors, editors/journalists covering the health beat on: childhood and adult obesity, mental health, weight loss, body image, prevention, treatment, surgery, bias and discrimination, and more.

WHAT: The Hot Topic Conference: Obesity & Mental Health; experts in health care, research and public policy will develop a call to action for dealing with the health, socio-economic and personal costs of concomitant mental illness and obesity.

WHERE: Intercontinental Centre Toronto, 225 Front Street West, Toronto, ON.

WHEN: Charter development sessions run Wednesday, June 27th, 2012, 3:30 pm - 5:30 pm EDT. Full conference runs June 26th - 28th.

BACKGROUND: Although obesity and mental illness are major health issues that affect millions of Canadians, the links between them are not well understood. We know that excess weight, beyond it adverse physiological consequences, also affects self-esteem, body image and eating behaviours while promoting depression and anxiety. The opposite is also true - a disproportionate number of patients living with mental health challenges struggle with obesity, diabetes, heart disease and premature mortality, all of which are linked.

The sheer size and complexity of the issues underlying these conditions presents unique challenges for both clinicians and the research community.

The Canadian Obesity Network, the International Association for the Study of Obesity and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health have convened a three-day conference for health professionals and researchers to understand what can be done when mental illness and obesity overlap. As part of the Hot Topic Conference: Obesity & Mental Health, participants will develop the Toronto Charter for Mental Health and Obesity, a detailed call to action for health system funders, researchers and health practitioners to deal with this emerging issue.

The Hot Topic Conference: Obesity & Mental Health features more than 20 Canadian and internationally renowned experts from a variety of disciplines who will provide participants with a sound understanding of the scientific and methodological issues in obesity and mental illness research and practice.

About the Canadian Obesity Network - Réseau canadien en obésité (CON-RCO)

CON-RCO was founded in 2006 to link the research, policy and practice communities to advance the development and delivery of effective obesity prevention and treatment solutions. The network's core strategies focus on addressing the stigma associated with excess weight, changing the way policy makers and health professionals approach obesity, and improving access to prevention and treatment resources. Currently, more than 7,000 professionals in Canada are members of the network. CON-RCO is hosted by the University of Alberta, and is based at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton, AB. www.obesitynetwork.ca

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