Obesity is the single most important health issue in medicine driving health care costs. It is a complex chronic disease that needs to be managed with long-term plans that involve the patient and caregiver. People with obesity face stigma and discrimination not only in general society but in healthcare settings where it is a barrier to treatment. I want to advance our understanding and approaches to obesity so that people receive the most effective treatments for their disease.
Dr. Arya Sharma is Canada’s best-known obesity and cardiometabolic health expert, recognized as an innovator in patient care. He is professor and chair in Obesity Research and Management and medical director of the Alberta Health Services adult obesity program. In 2016, he received the Killam Annual Professorship. Dr. Sharma believes that managing obesity is achieved through evidence-based approaches supplemented by awareness and education. In addition to publishing hundreds of scientific articles and lecturing the world over, he is frequently featured on national and global TV and radio, and posts about obesity management on his weekly blog. His one-man show “Weighty Confessions of an Obesity Guru” was part of Edmonton’s International Fringe Festival in 2014.
Dr. Sharma was recruited to the University of Alberta in 2007 from McMaster University. Born in Germany and raised in India, Dr. Sharma took his university and medical training in Germany before moving to Canada.
Leadership and Collaborations
Dr. Sharma is founder and scientific director of Obesity Canada (formerly known as the Canadian Obesity Network), a charitable organization focused on improving the lives of people affected by obesity, which has transformed the landscape of obesity research and management in Canada. He is a co-founder and a past-president of the Canadian Association of Bariatric Physicians and Surgeons. In 2002, Dr. Sharma was awarded a Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Cardiovascular Obesity Research and Management.
Dr. Sharma’s 2016 Ted Talk
Weight Wise Program
Dr. Sharma is the author of more than 400 scientific publications. His research focuses on obesity as a complex chronic disease with environmental and neurobiological causes that require comprehensive medical treatment. He is also involved in education and training for physicians to recognize and appropriately treat obesity. His work is funded by international, national and provincial funding bodies and industry.
Dr. Sharma treats patients through the AHS Adult Bariatric Specialty Program at the Royal Alexandra Hospital. He developed the Edmonton Obesity Staging System to help physicians determine appropriate medical interventions for patients. He regularly posts his ideas and thoughts on obesity prevention and management on his popular blog, Dr. Sharma’s Obesity Notes.