The theme for the final morning of the conference was Resilience, and featured presentations on various aspects of that topic by Dr. Rod McCormick (Thompson Rivers University), Dr. Christine Wekerle (McMaster) and Dr. John Walker (Manitoba). A clear theme in all three talks was the importance of connection in its numerous forms, including family, community, culture, and history, among others.
Dr. Allison Dart (Manitoba) presented data from the Manitoba-based iCARE study of kidney disease among youth with Type 2 Diabetes. This cohort study is unique because of its aim to understand the influence of psychological health on physical and physiologic outcomes in youth. Some key early findings include the paramount importance of stress and distress in the lives of kids with type 2 diabetes. Preliminary results suggest significant relationships between stress and physiological measures of HPA axis activity, and inflammatory processes (another novel feature of the study). The results also connected to the resilience theme ...continue reading →
Dr. Stuart Shanker of York University opened the second day of the conference today with his refreshingly interactive and compelling keynote on the concept of self regulation and how it is related to obesity. He stressed that self-regulation is not the same as self-control; self-regulation is has deeper physiological roots, and is not at all about 'willpower' or similar concepts. Identifying and working to resolve the causes of the underlying stressors that are interrupting self-regulation is the key to addressing this issue, according to Dr Shanker. He spoke about the pervasive and inter-generational impact of toxic stress, which really resonated with conference participants, creating considerable buzz for conversations thereafter.