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Medical Director

Dr. Yoni Freedhoff MD, CCFP

Dr. Yoni Freedhoff MD, CCFP graduated with honours from the University of Toronto medical school where he received the Betty Stewart Sisam award, given to the graduating student who, "has shown the greatest human understanding and care for the welfare and health of patients".

Very early in his medical career Dr. Freedhoff realized that the medical community, himself included, was not adequately managing obesity. Though many patients requested weight-loss advice he had very little to offer as the management of obesity is simply not taught during medical school or during medical residency.

Consequently, Dr. Freedhoff pursued training from the American Board of Obesity Medicine (ABOM), the only medical organization in North America to offer certification in Bariatric medicine, and in March of 2005 he became one of only three physicians in Canada to be board certified by the ABBM. In 2007 the Canadian Obesity Network recognized him as a national obesity expert and in 2010 he served as their inaugural Family Medicine Chair.

Since dedicating his professional career to the treatment and management of overweight and obesity, Dr. Freedhoff has been a sought after speaker and teacher. In 2011 the University of Ottawa appointed him an Assistant Professor of Family Medicine and he regularly supervises both medical students and residents in his office. For a list of his most recent speaking engagements, scroll down to the bottom of the page.

Dr. Freedhoff has been referred to as Canada's most outspoken obesity experts and the Canadian Medical Association Journal once dubbed him a Canadian "nutritional watchdog". His advocacy efforts in both obesity and nutrition policy have landed him speaking at the Canadian House of Commons regarding his concerns surrounding Canada's Food Guide and as a member of multiple stakeholder groups run by the Public Health Agency of Canada. In 2010 Dr. Freedhoff helped to co-found Reality Coalition Canada, a non-profit group of diverse Canadian experts whose mission is to promote evidence-based obesity prevention and treatment policies and messages.

Dr. Freedhoff is quoted regularly in the national and international press, appears frequently on television including CTV, CBC, the A Channel, and he has made more guest appearances on CBC's award winning investigative journalism show Marketplace (five) than any other of their content experts.  Dr. Freedhoff's award winning blog, Weighty Matters, has at times been ranked the world's top health blog by blog ranking service Technorati.  Not content with just his own blog, Dr. Freedhoff also writes a weekly column for US News and World Report and is a guest blogger for both Psychology Today and the Huffington Post.

In an effort to help his colleagues learn more about how to help their patients with weight management, Dr. Freedhoff co-authored a medical textbook on the office-based management of obesity, Best Weight: A practical guide to office-based weight management which is available at online booksellers and at the insistence of Drs. Freedhoff and Sharma, available freely for download from the Canadian Obesity Network.

Dr. Freedhoff's first book for the public, The Diet Fix: Why Everything You've Been Taught About Dieting is Wrong and How to Fix It, will be published by Random House Crown Harmony in March 2014

Public Appearances

Upcoming

  • New Brunswick Heart Centre Symposium (Multiple lectures)

2013

  • Nourish Nova Scotia (Lecture)
  • Injury Free Nova Scotia 2013 Knowledge Exchance (Lecture)
  • University of Ottawa's Alumni Week (Lecture)
  • Sydney's Annual Clinical Cardiology Day (Public and Professional Lectures)
  • Personal Trainer Development Centre (Lecture)
  • Canadian Association of Bariatric Phsyicians and Surgeons (Lecture)
  • University of Vermont Food Systems Summit (Lecture)
  • 3rd Canadian Obesity Network Summit (Lecture and Debate)
  • Weight Loss Surgery Foundation of America 2013 Meet and Greet (Keynote Lecture)
  • American Heart Association's Epidemiology and Prevention/Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism 2013 Scientific Sessions (Debate)
  • Nutrition Resource Centre/Ontario Public Health Association, Marketing Towards Children (Speaker and Panelist)

2012

  • Science Media Centre of Canada (Webinar)
  • University of Alberta Law Centre (Lecture)
  • McGill's Lorne Trottier Symposium (Roundtable Participant)
  • Trench Talks Obesity 2012, Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto
  • The New Brunswick 22nd Annual Heart Symposium (Plenary lectures)
  • Picchione Lecture, Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation
  • 2012 Carleton University Spectrum Conference (Keynote)
  • The Pediatric Oncology Group (Lecture)
  • Health Canada, Bureau of Nutritional Sciences Seminar Series
  • Using and Abusing Evidence in Science and Health Policy, University of Alberta
  • The Ontario College of Family Physicians 49th Annual Scientific Assembly (Plenary session)

2011

  • The Canadian Conference on Physician Health (Workshop)
  • The New Brunswick 21st Annual Heart Symposium (Lecture and Workshop)
  • The Obesity Society Annual Scientific Meeting, Orlando, Debate
  • Canadian Obesity Network 2nd National Obesity Summit (Workshop and lecture)
  • New Brunswick Medical Society, Annual Celebration of Medicine (Lecture)

2010

  • Centre for Science in the Public Interest, Championing Public Health Nutrition (Panel on calorie labeling)
  • University of British Columbia, Recent Advances in the Prevention and Treatment of Childhood and Adolescent Obesity (Debate)
  • Cardiac Wellness Institute of Calgary, Climbing to New Heights in the Prevention of Heart Disease (Lecture)
  • Ontario College of Family Physicians, 48th Annual Scientific Assembly (Plenary session and seminar)
  • Canadian Obesity Network Annual Student Meeting (Distinguished keynote speaker)

2009:

  • Ontario College of Family Physicians, 47th Annual Scientific Assembly, Toronto ON (3 Lectures)
  • Ontario Pharmacist's Association, Obesity Certificate Program (Clinical instructor and lecturer)
  • Canadian Obesity Network,1st National Obesity Summit, Kananaskis Alberta (Lecture and Session Chair)
  • Health is Wealth Fair, Ottawa ON (Lecture)
  • Ontario Medical Association (Press Conference)
  • Academy of Medicine Ottawa Annual Clinical Day. (Lecture)
  • Ottawa Heart Institute, Rehab Rounds (Lecture)
  • New Brunswick Heart Centre, 2009 New Brunswick Heart Centre Health Improvement Challenge (Keynote lecture)

2008:

  • College of Family Physicians of Canada Family Medicine Forum (2 Lectures)
  • Canadian Physicians Health Network, Professional Education Day (Lecture)
  • Ontario Pharmacist's Association, Obesity Certificate Program (Clinical instructor and lecturer)
  • Ottawa Heart Institute, Nurses Week (Lecture)

2007:

  • Ontario College of Family Physicians 45th Annual Scientific Assembly (2 Lectures)
  • Women's College Hospital, Women's Health Matters Forum and Expo (Lecture)