Canadians have never had more access to information about healthy eating, nutrition and the benefits of exercise. Yet for a significant portion of the population, staying physically healthy is an ongoing challenge.
According to the Canadian Health Measures survey released by Statistics Canada in 2018, 60 per cent of adults in Canada are either overweight or obese. And according to the non-profit National Initiative for Eating Disorders, approximately one million Canadians meet the diagnostic criteria for anorexia nervosa and other eating disorders, mental illnesses that can cause life-long mental and physical health struggles.
In an era dominated by social media, where unrealistic body images and fad diets abound, maintaining a healthy body weight has become even more challenging. Meanwhile, our population is aging, putting a further strain on our health care system.
Improved health outcomes need next-generation thinking. Researchers at Concordia University in Montreal are looking at health through a fresh lens, tackling some of the country’s most pressing health concerns using new concepts and tools. And while some of this work takes place in the lab, it has the potential to affect real world diagnoses and treatments in the near future.
Here is a look at some of the cutting-edge health research happening at Concordia, and why it matters.
Could obesity be considered an age-related condition?
People with obesity live, on average, about seven fewer years than those who are normal weight.
Sylvia Santosa, Canada research chair in clinical nutrition at Concordia University in Montreal, is proposing that the health community frame obesity as an age-related disorder.
“It’s a new way of looking at it,” says Santosa, who is also associate professor at the department of Health, Kinesiology and Applied Physiology at Concordia.