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COVID-19, Stress & Weight

Date: April 15th, 2021

If you are a Connected Insider, be sure to log in to watch this webinar recording at no cost.

During this webinar, an interdisciplinary panel discussion took place on how COVID-19 has impacted our mental health, stress levels, eating habits, and body image. During this session, experts provided practical insight into how you can help support your clients, family members, and friends struggling with their relationship with food during this challenging time.


Dr. Ximena Ramos Salas

Director of Research & Policy at Obesity Canada

Ximena Ramos Salas has a PhD in Public Health with a specialization in Health Promotion & Socio-Behavioural Sciences from the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada. She currently works as Director of Research & Policy at Obesity Canada. The network engages health professionals, researchers, policy makers, and patients affected by obesity and is Canada’s authoritative voice on evidence-based approaches for obesity prevention, treatment and policy. Ximena also works as a research and policy consultant with the European Association for the Study of Obesity – the leading voice of obesity science, medicine and community in Europe and she is a technical obesity consultant with the World Health Organization – Regional Office for Europe.
As a public health researcher her goal is to prevent the perpetuation of weight bias and obesity stigma through public health policies and strategies. She has authored and co-authored numerous scientific articles and lectured widely on the impact of weight bias, health inequalities, and patient-centered research, education, and policies. Ximena coordinated the development of the 2020 Canadian clinical practice guidelines for the management of obesity in adults and she is a co-author of the chapter on reducing weight bias and obesity stigma in healthcare settings. Ximena also represented Obesity Canada in the joint international consensus statement on ending stigma of obesity and led the development of the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe weight bias and obesity stigma report.

Dr. Erin Barker

Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Concordia University

Dr. Erin Barker is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology and member of the Centre for Research in Human Development at Concordia University, where she directs the Lifespan Well-Being Laboratory. She is a developmental scientist whose program of research examines patterns of emotional experience across developmental transitions. She is particularly interested in how stress and coping affect mental health and well-being during the transition to adulthood.

Cristel Moubarak

Registered Dietitian and Owner of Nutrifoodie

Cristel completed her dietetics degree at the University of British Columbia in June 2014 including an internship at Vancouver Coastal Health. Her diverse background of experiences in food service management, community nutrition, addiction recovery, private practice and business administration comes through in her practice.

As nutriFoodie’s dietitian & founder (, Cristel is passionate about helping people give up chronic dieting & weight cycling to cultivate a positive and peaceful relationship with their bodies and food through virtual group & one-on-one nutrition counseling & food coaching. The core belief in her practice is honouring and healing the relationships we have with one another, community, food, and body. This practice rises above number counting and idealistic (and unrealistic) expectations around food, eating and body image or size. We all deserve to respect the body we’re in, and we all have the right to eat and enjoy food, too.  

Cristel is greatly committed to dietetics advocacy and building community within, which is reflected in throughout her commitments across the board including being a preceptor to dietetics students & recruiting volunteers who are prospective dietetics students. Outside of nutriFoodie, Cristel teaches nutrition & food service management courses at Langara College in Vancouver, BC.


Trista Chan

Private Practice Registered Dietitian

Trista Chan is a Registered Dietitian who provides counselling and programming services to individuals and organizations. With a background in community nutrition and food security, she is a strong advocate for inclusive and equitable health care. In her private practice, she provides weight-inclusive and culturally appropriate nutrition care to women with PCOS.


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