Obesity Prevention and Management Strategies in Canada: Shifting Paradigms and Putting People First
Purpose of Review
The purpose of this study was to review public and private sector obesity policies in Canada and to make recommendations for future evidence-based obesity prevention and management strategies.
Synthesis of obesity prevention and management policies and research studies are presented in three primary themes: (1) Increased awareness about the impact of weight bias and obesity stigma in Canada; (2) Inadequate government obesity prevention and management policies and strategies; and (3) Lack of comprehensive private sector obesity prevention and management policies.
Findings suggest that in Canada, obesity continues to be treated as a self-inflicted risk factor, which affects the type of interventions and approaches that are implemented by governments or covered by private health plans. The lack of recognition of obesity as a chronic disease by Canadian public and private payers, health systems, employers, and the public, has a trickle-down effect on access to evidence-based prevention and treatment. Although there is increasing recognition and awareness about the impact of weight bias and obesity stigma on the health and social well-being of Canadians, interventions are urgently needed in education, healthcare, and public policy sectors. We conclude by making recommendations for the advancement of evidence-based obesity prevention and management policies that can improve the lives of Canadians affected by obesity.
KeywordsObesity Prevention Management Policy Weight bias Stigma
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
Arya M. Sharma has received compensation from Novo Nordisk and Valeant for service on advisory boards, and has received compensation from Novo Nordisk and Merck for service on speakers’ bureaus, as well as travel reimbursement from both.
Ximena Ramos Salas declares that she has no conflict of interest.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance
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