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Pharma company gives $250,000 to pediatric obesity clinic


Saint John, NB – Pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline is giving $250,000 to the University of New Brunswick’s campaign in support of the Pediatric Obesity Clinic at UNB Fredericton.

“The Pediatric Obesity Clinic is a perfect example of the power of UNB research and education at work,” said John McLaughlin, UNB president and vice-chancellor. “It will create not only a centre for much-needed treatment and learning for obese children and their parents, but also conduct the research necessary to find long-term answers.”

Led by the faculty of kinesiology and involving the faculties of nursing and education, the Pediatric Obesity Clinic provides treatment and prevention programs for obese children ages five through 12, and conducts research. UNBF’s kinesiology program is one of the strongest undergraduate programs in health, wellness and human performance in Atlantic Canada. Faculty members have published or presented more than 50 papers in the last five years in the exercise psychology area alone.

“Obesity is a significant health issue for our children, and is a major risk factor in the development of diabetes, heart disease and other serious medical conditions,” says GlaxoSmithKline’s vice-president, public affairs, Geoff Mitchinson. “Funding for research, prevention and management in this area is critical. GlaxoSmithKline is committed to making a positive contribution to the communities in which we live and operate. As such, we hope that our investment will contribute to sustainable improvement in the health of New Brunswickers.”

The prevalence of overweight children in Canada has increased nearly three-fold over the last two decades. In a recent Statistics Canada survey, New Brunswick was rated as having one of the highest childhood obesity rates in the country, 33.8%, as well as the leading rate of physical inactivity. Obesity levels are a concern for the provincial government.