Dr. Mike Evans releases new video: tackling childhood obesity and nutrition
He’s the University of Toronto professor whose face is best known as a comic-style image on a whiteboard.
His short videos on everything from flatulence to palliative care have captured more than 10 million views and his work has been discussed everywhere from network news broadcasts to the Netflix series Orange is the New Black. (See the video 23 1/2 Hours.)
Now, Dr. Mike Evans is taking on healthy eating – unveiling his latest video at the official campaign launch for the U of T Centre for Child Nutrition, Health and Development.
In the video, Evans highlights the challenges children and their families face in finding ways to eat healthily, as well as Canada’s growing childhood overweight and obesity problem.
“The centre is being built to rethink this cascade and build innovative solutions to help kids and their families eat better,” says Evans. As the centre’s chair in patient engagement in child nutrition, Evans is using his large online following and well-honed patient engagement skills to help the centre improve the health of children and families in Canada and around the world.
The video was presented during a meeting of the centre’s advisory council, attended by federal and provincial government officials including Ontario Deputy Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Dr. Bob Bell, senior leaders from the food industry, health-focused NGOs and academic institutions. Their discussion focused on exploring opportunities for the centre to have a national and international impact in child health.
“The researchers in our centre, together with our partners across disciplines and sectors, are working hard to answer key questions in child nutrition and health that continue to elude us,” said Dr. Harvey Anderson, the centre’s executive director and professor in the department of nutritional sciences. “These answers will help educate our health professionals, inform public policy, support better food production and processing and improve public awareness and engagement.”
For his part, Evans says he will continue to translate new discoveries made by his colleagues at the centre into engaging educational materials for kids and their families. The centre will share these resources through online channels, including its website.
“Food has a ripple effect in our society,” he says. “On the one hand, eating habits can lean towards too much, and too unhealthy. But on the other hand, food brings together families, builds communities and gives us health. The CCNHD wants to build a new platform that explores this balance, especially with respect to our kids, and tips it towards health.”
Vitaly Kazakov is a writer with the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto.