Edmonton, AB, June 9, 2020 - Obesity Canada is pleased to announce that Desjardins Insurance has joined its growing roster of organizations dedicated to improving the lives of Canadians living with obesity.

Desjardins is the first insurance and employee benefits provider to join the national charity's FOCUS partnership program, which leverages resources from Canadian leaders in research, business and the public sector to fund obesity research, education and advocacy initiatives.

"We are thrilled to welcome Desjardins as a leader in the employee wellness space, which is a critical area for us as we prepare to roll out new clinical practice guidelines later this year," says Dr. Arya M. Sharma, scientific director for Obesity Canada. "They have demonstrated a commitment to improving employee health through innovative programs developed for plan sponsors, and we look forward to learning from and collaborating with Desjardins to ensure obesity care becomes a top priority in the workplace."

Obesity is a progressive chronic disease, similar to diabetes or high blood pressure, which is characterized by abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that impairs health. One in four adults and one in 10 children in Canada are now living with excess weight -- which means as many as six million Canadians may be affected by obesity. Beyond its effects on overall health and well-being, deeply ingrained weight bias and stigma can increase morbidity and mortality, and often translates into significant inequities in employment, healthcare and education.

"At Desjardins, overall health management is a priority and that's why we decided to partner with Obesity Canada. It's another way we can support Canadians and help them improve their health," says Marc Bertossini, Director, Marketing, Group and Business Insurance. "Over the years, Desjardins Insurance has developed numerous tools and this partnership will enhance Obesity Canada's services to the benefit of people who live with obesity."

About Desjardins Insurance

Desjardins Insurance offers a wide range of flexible life and health insurance and retirement savings products and has been providing innovative services to individuals, groups and businesses for over a century. Desjardins Insurance ensures the financial security of over five million Canadians from offices across the country. It is one of the top five life insurance companies in Canada and part of Desjardins Group, the leading cooperative financial group in Canada.

About Obesity Canada

Obesity Canada-Obésité Canada is Canada's authoritative voice on evidence-based approaches for obesity prevention, treatment, and policy. Our mission is to improve the lives of Canadians affected by obesity through the advancement of anti-discrimination, prevention, and treatment efforts. www.obesitycanada.ca

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