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Fighting Obesity

The Role of Communities in Fighting Obesity

How can we start fighting obesity. Obesity has become a major issue affecting a large number of the population, and this number is increasing year after year. But what is causing this?

If everyone is involved, communities can support each other in the fight against obesity. Obesity has become a major issue affecting a large number of the population, and this number is increasing year after year. But what is causing this? Is it the food industry creating more and more unhealthy foods? Is it because we are becoming lazy? Is it the lack of self-control and commitment to a healthy life?The truth is that the obesity epidemic is a result of the way we, as a society, live today. Our collective lifestyles are contributing to the development of overweight and the health concerns it ensues.

This is why the solution lies in our hands. We must work together and involve everyone in our community. We created this unhealthy lifestyle, and we can change it.

This is what was done in two small towns in northern France in an initiative started in 1992. Everyone in these two communities got involved in the project: mayors, scientists, business and restaurant owners, families and citizens, schools, sports associations, government officials and media outlets.

What they did was they built sporting centers with professional coaches, outdoor playing areas, and made walking routes. All of this was done in an effort to inspire children as well as adults to eat better and exercise more.

The results of this initiative are quite pleasingly surprising. In 2005, 13 years after the beginning of this initiative, obesity rates in the children of these communities had decreased by 9% in contrast with other neighboring towns, the obesity rate at which had increased by over 17%.

Because of the success of this experiment, it has also been adopted in several other communities such as Spain, Greece and Australia.

There is no doubt that the fight against obesity must begin with each individual examining his or her way of life and making personal changes. However, it can be much easier and more successful in the long run if we all work together to support each other as one community.

Author Info

Dr Nagi Safa

Dr Nagi Safa is a Metabolic and Bariatric Surgeon (Weight-Loss Surgeon) at the Advanced BMI in Lebanon and at the Sacred Heart Hospital of Montreal, and holds an academic appointment at the University of Montreal. Furthermore, he is involved in the training of residents and surgical fellows on how to perform advanced laparoscopic obesity surgery. In 2010, he launched the Advanced Bariatric and Metabolic Institute (Advanced BMI) in Lebanon, and has been helping hundreds of patients from all over the Middle-East through his expertise in obesity surgery. Education: Dr Safa completed his residency training at the University of Montreal General Surgery Program. He then performed a fellowship in Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, and Minimal Invasive Surgery (Laparoscopic and Robotic Surgery), at the Sacred Heart Hospital of Montreal, which is the largest Weight Loss Surgery center in the Montreal area, and one of the busiest in Canada. Experience: During his training, and throughout his practice, Dr Safa performed more than one thousand laparoscopic procedures, including Roux en Y gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy, gastric banding, gastric plication and many other abdominal surgery procedures. He has a particular interest in LaparoscopicRevisional Surgery including banding, bypass and sleeve. With a keen interest in the advancement of obesity surgery and newer minimally invasive surgical techniques, Dr Safa gained experience in the single incision laparoscopic surgery (SILS), and offers Single Incision gastric banding and Sleeve Gastrectomy Surgery. Research: His current research interests include clinical outcomes from various bariatric surgery procedures and investigations on the impact of bariatric surgery on Type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome X. Memberships: Dr Safa holds professional memberships with the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, Canadian Association of Bariatric Physicians and Surgeons, Canadian Association of General Surgeons, Canadian Medical Association, Canadian Association for Surgical Oncology, Quebec Medical Association, Trauma Association of Canada, Association Quebecoise de Chirurgie, International College of Surgeon, and the College des Medecins du Quebec.