U of T news
  • Follow U of T News

Mats Sundin promotes children's health at U of T

Tweet your questions to Sundin before March 25

Former Toronto Maple Leafs Captain Mats Sundin will take questions about nutrition, health, children's health, and fitness (photo courtesy of Mats Sundin)

Hockey legend Mats Sundin built a career around healthy living, good nutrition, exercise and physical fitness.

Now, the former Toronto Maple Leafs captain is pairing with the University of Toronto’s Fraser Mustard Institute for Human Development to stamp out childhood obesity – and all the chronic, lifelong health problems that result from it.

“Obesity robs kids of their chance at a happy, healthy life, and that’s something that all children deserve,” says Sundin. “To tackle this very serious issue, we need to explore all the factors that put kids at risk for obesity – from fitness and nutrition to genetic and environmental influences – and that is exactly the type of game-changing research that’s happening at the Fraser Mustard Institute for Human Development.”

To raise awareness about childhood obesity and the Institute’s cutting edge, cross-disciplinary research, Sundin is participating in a social media campaign to take questions about health and fitness.

Using the hashtag #UofT, fans are encouraged to tweet their questions for Sundin to @UofTNews and @UofTMedicine before Monday, March 25. Fans can also find the Faculty of Medicine or the University of Toronto on Facebook and post their questions for Sundin.

Sticking to the theme of health, children’s health, fitness and nutrition, Sundin will answer the ten best questions next week when he’s in town promoting the Institute.

Childhood obesity is a major research priority for the Institute because so many lifelong health and wellness issues stem from it, says Executive Director Stephen Lye, of the Faculty of Medicine’s departments of obstetrics and gynaecology and physiology. With backing from key supporters like Sundin, researchers can track the origins of obesity in a child’s early years and figure out how to stop it.

“We know that obesity at a young age leads to a slew of physical and mental challenges later in life, from serious chronic illnesses like diabetes and heart disease to disabling emotional and psychological issues,” says Lye. “Our researchers are looking at the first 2,000 days of a child’s life from a variety of perspectives - medical, nutritional, genetic and social - to understand how we can best intervene to set kids on a healthy path.”

Want to know Sundin's’ fitness regime? Dying to try his favourite healthy recipe? Eager to know what his favourite sport was when he was young? Using the hashtag #UofT, send your questions to @UofTMedicine or @UofTNews or find the Faculty of Medicine or the University of Toronto on Facebook and post your questions there.

Submit your questions by Monday, March 25. Sundin will answer the top ten questions next week when he’s in Toronto to promote the Institute.