Arya M. Sharma, MD
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In 2002, Arya M. Sharma was recruited from the Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany, to a Canada Research Chair (Tier1) in Cardiovascular Obesity and Management at McMaster University. In 2007 he accepted a position as Professor and Chair in Obesity Research and Management at the University of Alberta, where he is also the Medical Director of the Provincial Bariatric Program. In 2006, he spearheaded the launch of the Canadian Obesity Network, which, with almost 10,000 members, has remarkably transformed the landscape of obesity research and management in Canada. He is currently also President of the Canadian Association of Bariatric Physicians and Surgeons. His research focuses on an evidence-based approach to managing obese patients and includes the development of the Edmonton Obesity Staging System. Dr. Sharma has authored or coauthored more than 300 publications and has lectured widely on the aetiology and management of hypertension, obesity, and related cardiometabolic disorders. Dr. Sharma is regularly featured as a medical expert in national and international TV and print media including the CBC, CTV, New York Times, and MSNBC. Dr. Sharma maintains a widely-read blog where he regularly posts his ideas and thoughts on obesity prevention and management: http://www.drsharma.ca.

Entries by Arya M. Sharma, MD

Actual Things Doctors Have Said to Overweight Patients

(53) Comments | Posted November 6, 2013 | 5:32 PM

That we have a widespread anti-fat bias and discrimination out there is no secret. But when this comes from the very people who should be there to provide help and support to those struggling with excess weight, I guess we really have a problem.

So recently, I posed...

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Do Organised Sports Interfere With Healthy Living?

(2) Comments | Posted October 28, 2013 | 1:26 PM

Physical activity is the best medicine and we certainly have an epidemic of sedentariness in Canada.

But is this an argument in favour of encouraging kids to participate more in organized sports?

Not if you also care about healthy eating and perhaps other aspects of life-work balance according to a study...

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How Trying to Control Your Weight Is like Running Down the Up Escalator (Part 3)

(0) Comments | Posted October 23, 2013 | 8:56 AM

In the last couple of posts, I used the analogy of running down the up-escalator to describe the challenge of weight management.

I also noted that trying to run down that escalator without first addressing the reasons you ended at the top in the first place,...

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How Trying to Control Your Weight Is Like Running Down the Up Escalator (Part 2)

(0) Comments | Posted October 22, 2013 | 12:32 PM

Yesterday, I noted how losing and keeping weight off is like trying to run down an escalator that is moving up and, the minute you stop running, will take you back to the top.

I also shared the rather depressing analogy that as you get further down the...

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How Trying to Control Your Weight Is like Running Down the Up Escalator

(2) Comments | Posted October 20, 2013 | 9:57 PM

One of the games I used to play as a kid was to run down the up escalator.

To get to the bottom, I had to run down faster than the escalator was moving upwards. If I ran any slower, the escalator would gradually but steadily take me back...

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The Five Stages of Living With Obesity

(39) Comments | Posted October 15, 2013 | 1:14 PM

Some readers may be well aware of the five stages of grief, the natural process of grieving, which, according to Kubler-Ross, move from denial to anger to fear to grief and finally to acceptance.

As others have pointed out, the same five stages apply to virtually every serious...

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To Commit to Losing Weight, You Must Be in Control

(8) Comments | Posted October 11, 2013 | 1:29 PM

Recently I saw Betty* in my clinic. She is 44 years old and never had a "weight problem" till her eight-year-old only son met with a fatal road accident.

That was 12 years ago. Since then she has steadily gained almost 10 pounds a year, which is why she is...

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Losing Weight is Not a "Behaviour" in the Way That Quitting Smoking Is

(35) Comments | Posted October 9, 2013 | 6:11 PM

Last week, I gave the plenary key note talk at the 2013 Obesity Help Conference in Anaheim. I also held a standing-room-only workshop in which I discussed behaviour change.

One of the points I made at the workshop was to remind the audience that weight loss is not...

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How "Pay As You Weigh" Shames the Obese

(46) Comments | Posted April 24, 2013 | 9:22 AM

This week the wires were active with suggestions that people with obesity pay more for airline travel. This discussion was prompted by a Samoan airline announcing that they would begin charging passengers by the pound. It was also stimulated by Bharat Bhatta, an economist from Norway suggesting that...

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If You Hated the Violin, You Wouldn't Play, Right?

(4) Comments | Posted January 5, 2013 | 8:28 AM

Now that we've kicked off a new year, not a day passes without some news outlet asking me for tips on healthy living. What do I need to eat more (or less) of? What type of exercise is best and how many minutes a day do I need?

My answer...

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Fat Chance Rob Ford, Diets Don't Work

(11) Comments | Posted January 30, 2012 | 10:31 AM

Few issues have received as much media coverage as the recent public announcement by Toronto mayor Rob Ford (and his brother Toronto councilman Doug Ford) to lose 50 pounds in the next six months. This has prompted a wide range of responses, including from media celebrities like Dr....

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Can You Be Fat and Healthy? Yes, But Most People Are Not

(0) Comments | Posted January 5, 2012 | 12:57 PM

To many readers, the very idea that you can carry excess weight and still be healthy may sound like an oxymoron. After all, is excess body fat not strongly associated with a wide range of health problems from diabetes to sleep apnea and from arthritis to cancer?

Yes it is,...

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Should Childhood Obesity Programs Treat the Parents?

(4) Comments | Posted June 21, 2011 | 12:52 PM

This post is not about offering to 'involve' parents in the treatment of their overweight and obese offspring.

No! This post is actually about whether, instead of the kids, their overweight or obese parents should themselves be seeking treatment.

I pose this question simply because it appears to me...

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Shifting to Second Gear in Obesity Prevention

(8) Comments | Posted May 29, 2011 | 10:18 AM

Today, I am going to throw out a bold statement on the state of overweight and obesity in Western societies: The time for primary prevention is over!

With two-thirds of the population now overweight or obese, we must accept that primary prevention has failed, the obesity horses are out of...

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