media release

Café Scientifique brews heart health talk

October 13, 2011
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Contact:
Scott Lear, 778.782.7916; SLear@providencehealth.bc.ca
Diane Finegood, 778.782.6707; finegood@sfu.ca
Marianne Meadahl, PAMR, 778.782.9017; Marianne_Meadahl@sfu.ca

Scott Lear
Photos on Flickr

Central City Brew Pub is located at 13450-102nd Avenue in Surrey. Admission is free and appetizers will be provided.

Managing rural heart health via the internet, tracking ethnicity’s impact on body fat and heart disease, and targeting obesity in children in Canada and India are among ways Simon Fraser University researcher Scott Lear is taking health to heart.

Holder of the Pfizer/Heart and Stroke Foundation chair in Cardiovascular Prevention Research at St. Paul’s hospital, Lear’s research is aimed at developing cardiovascular disease prevention strategies for all ages and cultural groups.

And with heart firmly in mind, Lear will bring his expertise to SFU Surrey’s inaugural Café Scientifique on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 7:30 – 9 p.m. at the Central City Brew Pub. The general public is invited to participate in this free event, entitled Are You at Risk? Ethnic and Environmental Determinants of Heart Disease.

"Teaching awareness and supporting lifestyle changes is imperative at both the individual and societal level if we are to reduce the burden of these diseases,” says Lear, an associate professor in SFU’s faculty of Health Sciences and department of Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology (BPK).

Lear hopes to develop prevention strategies that help combat the prevalence of heart disease and address the underlying causes. Studies show, for example, that those of Indian heritage living in Canada have three to five times more incidents of cardiovascular disease than the general population. Meanwhile obesity, a prime contributor, is on the rise among children.

Lear is working with SFU BPK professor Diane Finegood on other obesity-related research, including a study on how differences in food intake and energy expenditure relate to changes in body fat.

Finegood is also the scientific director of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Institute of Nutrition, Metabolism and Diabetes. She will bring the issue of fast foods to the forefront at a Café Scientifique on Nov. 9 with her talk Big Food Companies: Friend or Foe in the Fight Against Obesity and Chronic Disease? Five cafes are planned, including three others early next year.

The cafés provide a forum for researchers and the community at large to share in informal discussions on health topics of shared interest. Researchers from SFU and professional experts from Fraser Health will join in the sessions.

Fraser Health’s Dr. Arun Garg, program medical director for laboratory medicine and pathology, will attend the café. Last year Dr. Garg chaired a major heart health conference co-hosted by SFU and Fraser Health.

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