Is obesity a disease? Experts debate tonight in Ottawa (free to attend)

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Just a quick reminder that tonight at 7:30 we will be hosting a FREE debate between Drs Arya Sharma and Jacqui Gingras (Full details available here).  The debate will take place at the Richelieu-Vanier Center at 300 des Pères Blancs Avenue (see below map for directions – email subscribers can view the map at the blog). 

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The topic of the debate: Is obesity a disease?

The debate will be broken into 3 subsections:

  1. The health impact of obesity – does obesity cause increased health risk, or is it merely an innocent bystander?
  2. The medicalization of obesity – how has obesity come to be viewed as a medical condition, and is this a good or bad thing?
  3. Concluding statements: Should obesity be viewed as a disease?

Between each section there will be a moderated Q&A, with the hope being that the event is as much a discussion involving the audience as it is a debate between the panelists.

We’ve had a great response so far and we are hoping for a full house – no RSVP required (although seating and parking are first come/first serve, so you may want to come early if you want to snag a spot up front).  In addition to our expert debaters and moderator (Dr Mark Tremblay), we will also have a number of obesity experts in the audience as well, so we are expecting some excellent discussion throughout the event.

Anyone looking for some background info on the topic may want to check out an important new paper by Chaput, Doucet and Tremblay, titled: Obesity: a disease or a biological adaptation? An update.  It gives an excellent overview of this topic, and Drs Chaput and Tremblay will also be in attendance at the debate.  More on the issue can also be found in this previous post examining whether fat gain is a biological problem or an adaptive solution.

And for those who can’t attend in person, we hope to have video and audio recordings of the event online as soon as possible (hopefully early next week).

Hope to see you all tonight!


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