Leveraging Data for Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes Prevention in Children: New Insights from Pediatric Cohorts

Monday, February 5, 2024 16:00to17:00

Soren Harnois-Leblanc, RD, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow |
Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute and Harvard Medical School

WHERE: Hybrid | 2001 McGill College, Rm 1140 | Zoom

NOTE: Dr. Harnois-Leblanc will be presenting from Boston


Pediatric obesity remains a major public health problem, with 27% of Canadian children and adolescents overweight. Obesity in childhood continues into adulthood, and in adults it is a major factor in healthcare spending, accounting for 3% of the Canadian healthcare budget. Given the complications and costs associated with obesity, the best approach is prevention. To achieve this, we need high quality longitudinal evidence on risk factors and on development patterns of obesity and associated complications. In this presentation, I will discuss my work on the developmental trajectories of obesity and type 2 diabetes during childhood and adolescence, as well as the roles of lifestyle habits and psychological factors in the development of these diseases using data from Canadian and US cohorts.

Learning Objectives

At the completion of this talk, attendees will:

  • Become acquainted with methods for representing developmental trajectories in cardiometabolic health;
  • Have a better understanding of potential factors associated with the development of pediatric obesity and type 2 diabetes;
  • Learn about new methods for strengthening evidence in observational studies.

Speaker Bio

Soren Harnois-Leblanc is a postdoctoral fellow in the Division of Chronic Disease Research Across the Lifecourse (CORAL) at Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute/Harvard Medical School supported by American Diabetes Association and Pyle Fellowships. She investigates the role of dietary habits on diabetes risk markers from early childhood to late adolescence in the Project Viva cohort using causal inference methods. Before this fellowship, she earned her PhD in Public Health with a specialization in Epidemiology at Université de Montréal and did a 1-year fellowship in health economy and epidemiology at McGill University focusing on healthcare costs of pediatric obesity. More broadly, her research focuses on the prevention of obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease in at-risk children and children from the general population.


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