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About Sickkids
About SickKids

November 11, 2011

Science Rocks!

Café Scientifique weighs in on childhood obesity in Canada

SickKids scientists were the headliners at the Hard Rock Café Toronto on Tuesday, November 7, where community members gathered to take part in Café Scientifique: Tipping the Scales – Weighing the Health Impacts of Obesity on Canadian kids.

The community based discussion focused on the causes, prevention and treatment of childhood obesity. Dr. Catherine Birken  kicked off the conversation with revealing statistics that obesity rates among Canadian children have almost tripled in the last 25 years, meaning approximately 26 per cent of kids aged 2-17 are overweight or obese, according to The Childhood Obesity Foundation. Through the TARGet Kids! program, her research group aims to identify prevalence, predictors, outcomes, and effective strategies for prevention of overweight and obesity in children under five.

Dr. Jill Hamilton
added to the tune with her research on the health risks associated with obesity. She works to understand the physiology of children with obesity and the trajectory of weight gain. Hamilton also discussed a group of children who have suffered from a specific type of brain tumour called craniopharyngioma. About half of these kids develop very serious weight gain because the tumours are often located right near the appetite centre of the brain and the site that regulates body weight.    

As soon as the speakers concluded, the moderator, Mohamed Awad, Couchiching Institute on Public Affairs managed the questions that flooded in until the end of the evening. This Café attracted a broad group of people who were engaged in the discussion and offered their varied perspectives on childhood obesity.  

This Café Scienitifique reflects SickKids dedication to tackling childhood obesity and our ongoing commitment to Healthier Children. A Better World. By facilitating community based discussions, through Café Scientifique, SickKids engages in knowledge translation of child health issues.

Planning is underway for the next Café Scientifique to be held in the summer. Be sure to sign up for to receive notifications of our upcoming Café Scientifique’s by sending an email to: cafe.scientifique@sickkids.ca

By Daniel Puatti