Symposium Speakers

Keynote Speaker

Robert Lustig, M.D., M.S.L.

Robert Lustig, M.D., M.S.L.

A leader of the “anti-sugar” movement to improve health world-wide, Robert H. Lustig, M.D., M.S.L., is an American pediatric endocrinologist and Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where he specializes in neuroendocrinology and childhood obesity. He is director of UCSF's WATCH program (Weight Assessment for Teen and Child Health); president and co-founder of the non-profit Institute for Responsible Nutrition; and Chief Scientific Officer of EatREAL, a non-profit dedicated to reversing childhood obesity and diabetes by impacting the global food supply.

Dr. Lustig graduated from MIT in 1976, and received his M.D. from Cornell University Medical College in 1980. He completed his pediatric residency at St. Louis Children’s Hospital in 1983, and his clinical fellowship at UCSF in 1984 before spending six years as a research associate in neuroendocrinology at The Rockefeller University. In 2013 he received his Masters in Studies of Law from UC Hastings.

His clinical research has focused on the regulation of energy balance by the central nervous system. Currently, he investigates the contribution of biochemical, neural, hormonal, and genetic influences in the expression of the current obesity epidemic both in children and adults.

The author of many academic works, he has also written the popular book Fat Chance: beating the odds against sugar, processed food, obesity, and disease, the Fat Chance Cookbook, and The Hacking of the American Mind: Inside the Sugar-Coated Plot to Confuse Pleasure with Happiness, to be released in the North America this September.

Featured Speakers

Chef Michael Smith

Food Network Host, Nutritional Activist, Food Media Producer, Innkeeper

Chef Michael Smith, one of Canada’s best-known chefs, is a passionate advocate for simple, sustainable home cooking and an inspiration for families creating their own healthy food lifestyle. He’s the host of Chef Michael’s Kitchen, Chef at Home, and Chef Abroad — seen on Food Network Canada and in more than 100 other countries. He’s a judge on Chopped Canada and traveled the world for his innovative web series, Lentil Hunter.

Chef Michael and his wife Chastity are the proprietors of The Inn at Bay Fortune on Prince Edward Island. They’ve recently re-launched the property where Michael gained international fame in the 90s with a new spirit of five-star hospitality and an in innovative dining experience — FireWorks, featuring a 25-foot long brick-lined wood-burning oven built for live-fire cooking in every form including smokehouse, open hearth, grill, rotisserie, and plancha.

Michael is Prince Edward Island’s food ambassador, Canada’s best selling cookbook author, an innkeeper, educator, professional chef and home cook. He led the team of Sodexo chefs that cooked for the world’s Olympians in the Whistler Athletes’ Village in 2010. His ninth cookbook, Make Ahead Meals, launched in September 2015 while his 2014 cookbook, Family Meals, won the 2015 Taste Canada Award for Best English Cookbook. His food media production company and test kitchen, Culinart Limited, is breaking new ground and his social media platforms are Canada’s top choice for foodie fun.

While Michael is a true chef at large his favourite role is as a Dad at home on Prince Edward Island, with his wife Chastity and his children Gabe, Ariella, and Camille! Michael is an avid map collector, long-time windsurfer and novice kite sailor.


Gary Taubes

Gary Taubes is cofounder and senior scientific advisor of the Nutrition Science Initiative (NuSI). He's an award-winning science and health journalist, the author of Why We Get Fat and Good Calories, Bad Calories, and a former staff writer for Discover and correspondent for the journal Science. His writing has also appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, and Esquire, and has been included in numerous "Best of..." anthologies, including The Best of the Best American Science Writing (2010). He has received three Science in Society Journalism Awards from the National Association of Science Writers. He is also the recipient of a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Investigator Award in Health Policy Research. He lives in Oakland, California.


Carol Timmings

R.N. B.N.Sc., M.Ed. (Admin)
Director, Child Health and Development
Chief Nursing Officer
Toronto Public Health

Carol Timmings is currently the Director of Child Health and Development and Chief Nursing Officer with Toronto Public Health. She holds a Bachelor of Nursing Science Degree and a Master of Education Degree in Policy & Administration, both from Queen's University.

Carol is a highly developed nursing leader with demonstrated abilities in senior management, healthy public policy, program development and strategic system and service planning. She is a results-oriented executive with extensive experience spanning the areas of chronic disease and injury prevention, child and family health, environmental health, health planning and policy. Her commitment to the social determinants of health and reducing health inequities is consistently evidenced in her approach to public health leadership. As Chief Nursing Officer with Toronto Public Health, Carol is also responsible for nursing human resource planning, quality nursing practice and enhancing nursing contributions to organizational effectiveness related to improved health outcomes at individual, group and population levels.

Over her career, Carol has had extensive executive involvement with professional Associations and Advisory Boards provincially and nationally. She is currently the President of Registered Nurses Association of Ontario (RNAO) and member of the Advisory Board for National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health. Previous professional association involvement includes Past-President of Ontario Public Health Association (OPHA) and Past-President of ANDSOOHA - Public Nursing Management in Ontario.

In 2010, Carol received the Association of Local Public Health Agencies Distinguished Service Award in recognition of her outstanding leadership and contributions to public health in Ontario. OPHA also honoured Carol in 2015 with a Lifetime Membership Award, in recognition of her outstanding leadership and contributions to the Association.