uManitoba researcher to study resilience and obesity in First Nations youth

February 11, 2015

A new Applied Public Health Chair, funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), has been awarded to a University of Manitoba researcher to study resilience and obesity in First Nations youth. Jon McGavock, associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics and Child Health, will receive $925,000 over 5 years to research the effectiveness of a resilience-building school-based program called Rec and Read on childhood obesity and health. “The theory behind this approach is that promoting a strong, healthy child is going to have a better effect than just focusing on diet and exercise,” said McGavock. “We need to start promoting resilience, which is thriving in the face of adversity, before we start promoting healthy eating. By studying the impact of resilience-based interventions on health outcomes like obesity and type 2 diabetes, we will provide important insight into the best approaches for preventing these conditions among First Nations children.” The Rec and Read program, currently being offered at several Manitoba schools, trains high school students to deliver after-school programs that focus on physical activity, nutrition, and education to elementary students. uManitoba News Release