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“Eat Less, Eat Better”…is it that simple? Rethinking our message about healthy eating and obesity


Will we solve the obesity crisis by simply telling people to “eat less and eat better”? A one-day health professional forum was held in Toronto on April 28th to rethink our messages about food and obesity. The event featured key leaders in obesity research/treatment and health communications:

  • Dr. Ayra Sharma (Chair for Obesity Research and Management, University of Alberta)
  • Ted Kyle (Founder, ConscienHealth)
  • Sue Mah (President, Nutrition Solutions and Co-Founder, Nutrition for NON-Nutritionists)

Here’s what these experts were saying…


Dr. Ayra Sharma
Chair for Obesity Research and Management, University of Alberta

  • Obesity is a complex chronic disease.
  • Simplistic messages about obesity are misleading, can promote unhealthy weight obsession and promote bias and discrimination.
  • Prevention and intervention strategies should focus on improving health behaviours rather than on just changing body weight.

Ted Kyle
Founder, ConscienHealth

  • Use respectful, people-first language that is free of bias and stigma – e.g. “unhealthy weight” or “high BMI” instead of “fat” or “morbidly obese”.
  • “Obese” is a harmful label. “Obesity” is a disease.
  • Shift the conversation from “being obese” towards health.


Sue Mah
President, Nutrition Solutions and Co-Founder, Nutrition for NON-Nutritionists

  • “Eating better” means cooking, eating together and enjoying food.
  • Consumers are bombarded with food/nutrition messages that simply don’t “have the scientific muster to present as fact” (quoting Dr. Oz here!)
  • Health and nutrition communications needs to be creative to capture consumers’ attention.
  • From celebrities and chefs to dietitians and politicians, everyone has a role in being a champion for change.