McMaster Children’s Hospital: Providing obesity management closer to home

Image of group at mcmaster training
McMaster CENC logo

What we are doing

Distance to health care services can be a barrier to receiving necessary care for children with obesity. The Children’s Exercise and Nutrition Centre (CENC) at McMaster Children’s Hospital hopes to better support patients in the regions outside of Hamilton through working with local health care centres and creating partnerships with health care providers in the Niagara region.



The team is using educational resources developed as part of the Meant2Prevent initiative to support health care providers and enable teams to develop partnerships in other parts of Canada to establish shared care.


What’s Been Happening

  • The McMaster team has started delivering training on obesity assessment and management to Niagara health care providers with a full-day workshop
  • Health care providers received 4, one-hour “booster” sessions in fall 2020.
  • Using Meant2Prevent resources, the team has been creating educational social media posts to disseminate knowledge to the community and promote awareness of the Meant2Prevent initiative


Cooking Videos

  • The Children’s Exercise and Nutrition Centre is creating 12 short and engaging cooking videos, utilizing the Meant2Prevent Kitchen recipes. One video will be released on social media each month for the next year.


“This training will help in my practice as I engage with kids aged 4 to 6 years and their parents, and I will be able to provide them better assistance in living healthy lifestyles.”

– Niagara area healthcare provider

health professionals standing together

Response to COVID

With the current pandemic situation, many of the plans for expansion have been put on hold. The CENC team at McMaster has decided to take our education virtual. Our plan for in-person cooking classes has shifted to a series of 12 short and engaging cooking videos that will be released monthly over the next year. The videos will demonstrate the steps for each recipe and highlight nutritional benefits in a simple format.


Main Project Spotlight:

What is it? Short 30 to 90 second cooking videos


Created by Registered Dietitian and Dietetic Interns, with the input of the entire Children’s Exercise and Nutrition Centre team


Includes: demonstration of recipe, nutritional highlights



  • To create short, fun, and colourful videos in order to gain the attention of adolescents.
  • To use popular social media platforms as an effective way to connect with the public
  • To introduce new recipes, foods, and cooking techniques
  • To improve youth self-efficacy in food skills