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A research team, led by the University of New Brunswick’s Stacey Reading and Bo Miedema, has received a research grant of $386,726, over three years, to carry out work directed at improving the health of obese adults in New Brunswick.
The funding was awarded through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Partnerships for Health System Improvement (PHSI) program and the New Brunswick Health Research Foundation, a funding partner in the PHSI program.
Dr. Reading is an assistant professor in the faculty of kinesiology, and Dr. Miedema is an adjunct professor in the department of sociology at UNB and a professor in the department of family medicine at Dalhousie University.
“An estimated 29 per cent of adults in New Brunswick are considered obese,” said Dr. Reading. “Without proper intervention, these obese adults will likely develop serious cardiovascular and other chronic health problems. Health problems resulting from obesity can be controlled, modified, or avoided by adopting healthy lifestyle behaviours.”
The challenge, according to Dr. Reading, is that, unless obese adults have suffered a heart attack, diabetes or other chronic disease, many physicians have nowhere to send their patients for help in controlling and managing their obesity.
Part of the research study will be to determine what components are necessary to create a successful primary-based adult obesity intervention strategy, with the goal of improving body mass index, abdominal obesity, total cholesterol systolic and diastolic blood pressure and exercise tolerance.
The research team is made up of researchers from UNB and Dalhousie University, Horizon Health Network, family physicians, registered dieticians, and psychologists, and community groups in urban and rural New Brunswick.
Dr. Reading’s team is one of 25 research teams being funded under CIHR’s PHSI program.
“A funding program based on partnerships like PHSI offers Canada’s health-system decision makers evidence-based answers to pressing health system questions,” said Dr. Robyn Tamblyn, scientific director for CIHR’s Institute of Health Services and Policy Research. “This knowledge translation will in turn benefit Canadians by improving the quality and delivery of healthcare and Canadian health systems.”
“Building research and development capacity is key to advancing New Brunswick’s economic development goals,” said Energy Minister Craig Leonard, who was speaking on behalf of Economic Development Minister Paul Robichaud. “Our government is pleased to have the opportunity to support such worthwhile research.”
Created in July 2008, with a mandate to co-ordinate, support and promote health research in New Brunswick, the New Brunswick Health Research Foundation is a major partner in the CIHR PHSI grants.
“The success of Dr. Reading through the rigorous review process is an indication of the high-quality health research we undertake in this province,” said Roger Cole, acting executive director of NBHRF. “This brings our total number of projects funded to three since partnering with CIHR for this program in 2009. New Brunswick based researchers have received just under $1.4 million under this program, which not only gets invested in the local economy, but also helps to train the up and coming student researchers in health research.”
Established in 1785, UNB is one of the oldest public universities in North America. As the largest research institution in New Brunswick, UNB conducts over 75 per cent of the province’s university research.
Contact: Natalie Montgomery
CIHR Media Relations
(613) 941-4563 (o)
(613) 808-7526 ©