New Publication – RIPPLE

Over the past few years, we published several papers related to developing and refining an eHealth intervention for parents to prevent obesity in children. Our Resource Information Program for Parents on Lifestyle and Education (RIPPLE) Study was led day-to-day by Jill Byrne (Avis; PhD Graduand, Dept of Pediatrics, UAlberta). Continue reading

I Need To Walk HOW MANY Miles To Burn Off A Cupcake!?!

A number of studies have examined how front-of-package (FOP) information and menu labeling can influence the purchasing decisions we make in different settings and circumstances (in a grocery store, at a restaurant, standing in front of a vending machine). The underlying assumption is that ‘knowledge is power’; people will make informed, rational decisions at the point-of-purchase and make healthy food choices. While this might work for some people, some of the time, in some settings, this only represents part of the story….not to mention that most people don’t make food purchasing and eating decisions in the absence of emotion.

Continue reading

A New Twist on an Old Idea

On March 25th, I’ll be helping to moderate a journal club discussion on the most recent Cochrane systematic review of interventions to prevent obesity in children. The twist? It’s all done on Twitter via the Cochrane Child Health Journal Club, which is part of a pilot study to test the use of social media to enable knowledge translation and exchange. For reference, the most recent Twitter Journal Club on asthma is archived here.

What: Twitter journal club on interventions for preventing obesity in children

When: Wednesday, March 25th, 2:00pm Vancouver | 3:00pm Edmonton & Calgary | 5:00pm Toronto | 9:00pm United Kingdom | 8:00am Thursday March 26, Melbourne, Australia

Where: Follow #CochraneChild on Twitter and join in the discussion by including #CochraneChild in all your posts. See these tips for participating in a Twitter chat.

Link to paper: Interventions for preventing obesity in children 

Thanks for helping to spread the word!


Learning from Outliers

In a recent study (see pdf below), researchers mined anthropometric and demographic data from electronic health records (>22,000) collected during well-child visits to calculate the number of children with obesity (n~4,000; BMI >95th percentile) that reduced their weight status over time.

A sub-set of those children who had a reduced BMI trajectory were interviewed (with their parents) to explore their experiences, decisions, and motivations to make healthy changes. Drivers of change, common strategies across families, and how findings from these ‘outliers’ can be applied to obesity prevention and management interventions and services are highlighted.


Sharifi et al., 2014