McMaster University

McMaster University

Faculty of
Health Sciences

Healthy communities, healthy people - a public forum

Published: May 2 , 2007
Avi Friedman
Avi Friedman, professor of architecture and director, Affordable Homes Program at the McGill University School of Architecture

Obesity is a global epidemic closely linked to an increase in diabetes.

The common tendency is to blame people’s dietary choices and sedentary habits, yet, it can also be argued that poor urban planning practices have also contributed to lack of active lifestyles.  Low density urban sprawl, long commutes, diminishing land for green area and elimination of sidewalks from local streets have led to reduced activity, primarily among suburban dwellers.

The decline of community planning that promotes healthy lifestyles will be highlighted at a community health forum that will look at conquering the diabetes epidemic, on Tuesday, May 15.

Avi Friedman, professor of architecture and director, Affordable Homes Program at the McGill University School of Architecture, will be a guest speaker at the forum. In his presentation, Friedman will discuss measures that can be reintroduced to foster active lifestyles, and the need to reverse course and regard the community and the home as exercise machines. 

Integration of public transit, commercial hubs within walking distance, jogging tracks, bike paths and play spaces should become mandatory features of new residential development.

Friedman is the recipient of several research awards, including the Progressive Architecture Research Award, the J.-Armand-Bombardier Prize for Technological Innovation, and the Manning Innovation Award of Distinction.

Hertzel Gerstein
Dr. Hertzel Gerstein, professor in the departments of Medicine and Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics, and director of the Division of Endocrinology & Metabolism and a diabetes specialist with Hamilton Health Sciences

He has published extensively in both academic and trade publications. Since the year 2000, he has written a syndicated column called Forward Thinking for the CanWest chain of daily newspapers.

Dr. Hertzel Gerstein, professor in the departments of Medicine and Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics, and director of the Division of Endocrinology & Metabolism and a diabetes specialist with Hamilton Health Sciences, will also be presenting at the forum.

He is a physician and researcher concerned about preventing and treating diabetes and improving the health of diabetics. Gerstein helped to establish Diabetes Hamilton (2000), whose mandate is aimed at improving diabetes health by providing information resources to people with diabetes, their physicians and other health care providers to help them better manage the condition.

Gerstein holds the Population Health Institute Chair in Diabetes Research at McMaster and was one of the finalists in the Maclean's magazine Readers' Choice Poll for Achievement of the Year in Healthcare.

The community forum will be held at Liuna Station at 360 James Street. N., Hamilton, from 7 to 9 p.m.  Plenty of parking is available and everyone is welcome. There is no admission fee.  To register call (905-546-2489).

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