Leadership Centre

Supporting leadership capacity building within Ontario.

Leadership Centre website

Enhancing leadership competencies, facilitating thoughtful discussion and examination of leadership issues for public health professionals.

Visit site

Community Food Advisor

Promoting safe and nutritious food selection, preparation and storage practices.

Community Food Advisor website

Community Food Advisors work in their community to improve and promote safe and healthy food selection, preparation, and storage practices.

Visit site

Public Health and You

Your questions about public health answered...all in one place.

Public Health and You website

Learn about why public health plays a vital role in ensuring the health of communities across Ontario!

Visit site

Ontario Public Health Association

Committed to improving the health of Ontarians.

OPHA website

Since 1949, OPHA has served as a catalyst for development in the Public Health sector.

Visit site

Nutrition Resource Centre

Credible public health nutrition at your fingertips.

Nutrition Resource Centre website

Strengthening the capacity of health professionals across all care settings and in all communities across Ontario.

Visit site

Guest Post: What I Learned at "Eat Less, Eat Better ..is it that simple?"

Guest Post: What I Learned at "Eat Less, Eat Better ..is it that simple?"
This guest post was written by Heather Thomas, RD, PhD, Public Health Dietitian at the Middlesex-London Health Unit. Thank you for your submission!

Recently, I had the pleasure and opportunity to attend the NRC conference "Eat Less, Eat Better ..is it that simple?" and boy did I learn a lot...in a sentence, this conference inspired as many questions as answers and to me, that is a good thing and the benchmark of a successful engaging professional development opportunity. 
As a public health dietitian, I often use that lens when learning at a conference. This time, I found it interesting to reflect on the health equity lens when considering messaging about healthy eating and obesity prevention, the overarching topic of this conference. Obesity is as complex an issue as it ever has been and it can become more complicated when the "wrong" way to message about it is implemented.
Here are some things for consideration when it comes to obesity messaging in a public health context:
  • Our current frame(s) on obesity may actually be more harmful to health. We need to reframe our approach.
  • There are many factors outside the control of individuals that impact their weight.
  • Unintended consequences need to be mitigated with a balanced approach philosophy of health.
  • We need to consider targeted strategies for priority populations within a universal approach such that we have an individual focus within a socio-environmental context.
  • Finally, the core concept with respect to obesity messaging is respect. People are more amenable to improving their lifestyle when the focus is on health, not weight.
I will be reflecting on my own learning with respect to my approach to obesity prevention. My language, practice, and lens with which I see this issue has definitely changed.


comments powered by Disqus