This year The Canadian Obesity Student Meeting (COSM) took place in June at Western
University in London, Ontario. Students across the country engaged in obesity related research
got together for three days of discussions, events and presentations. The conference began with
an outstanding presentation by two members of the Public Engagement Committee, Dr. Ian
Patton and Brenndon Goodman. They shared their story and motivated the students to continue
to try and make positive advancements in the field of obesity, but also encouraged them to
consider various perspectives. The next two days of conference included poster and oral
presentations focusing on a wide range of topics addressing obesity prevention, treatment and
This year COSM put an emphasis on Women in Science. To do this, two special events
were organized and were very well received. First, students had the opportunity to participate in
Networking Mentorship Breakfast. Female mentors from Western University joined students for
breakfast and discussion. Students signed up in advance for where they would like to sit based on
the following topics: 1. Jobs outside of academia; 2. Post-Doctoral fellowships; 3. Tips for
success in graduate school; 4. Preparing yourself for a job in academia. Next we had a Women in
Science panel where students got the opportunity to first hear one tip for success from our female
scientists then ask any questions they have.
In addition to these special events, there was also a great panel discussion that brought
together physicians who specialize in obesity care. The ‘Physician’s Perspective on Obesity’
brought together a family physician, bariatric surgeon and obstetrician. Following both panels,
students had the opportunity to meet the panelists and continue conversations. Finally, COSM
invited Summer School alumni, Dr. Margie Davenport, from the University of Alberta to share
how Obesity Canada contributed to her academic career. The student meeting emphasizes
networking and building connections across the country.
We did all this and added in many fun activities including a leadership workshop,
morning hike, bootcamp class, evening socials and healthy meals provided by the staff at Brescia
College. Overall the conference went very well and in fact some students expressed that this was
one of the best conferences they had been to. Western’s organizing team would like to thank the
great support they received from the Obesity Canada staff and the Students and New
Professionals executive council. The next student meeting will be in 2020 and we are already
looking forward to it!

Western University Canada – OC-SNP
August 2018