We’re letting Canadian kids eat themselves sick

A bill that would protect children is languishing in the Senate. We need it to tackle childhood obesity and chronic diseases

We’re letting Canadian kids eat themselves sickIf you’ve ever watched the hit TV series Mad Men, you’ll remember that everybody smoked. Everyone. Everywhere. It was a great show, in part, because it was like a trip back in time, showing us what life was like in the American advertising industry in the early 1960s. Smoking was just a part of normal…

Weight gain common side effect of some psychiatric medications

Lack of energy, lack of motivation and sedating medications are all contributing factors

Weight gain common side effect of some psychiatric medicationsAn unfortunate reality sometimes associated with mental illness and its treatment is unwanted weight gain. Some psychiatric illnesses such as mood disorders and anxiety disorders can cause changes in appetite and motivation that can lead to weight gain on their own. However, weight gain is also a fairly common side effect of some psychiatric medications.…

The Senate at its best – and worst – in the fight to protect children

How Canada's upper house can work across party lines and stop the marketing of junk food to kids

The Senate at its best – and worst – in the fight to protect childrenBy Tom Warshawski Childhood Obesity Foundation and Yves Savoie Heart & Stroke The crops grown by Canadian farmers and the livestock they raise are of the highest quality. In many cases, however, when these healthy foods are industrially processed, harmful amounts of salt, sugar and saturated fat are added. Consumption of excessive quantities of these…

A sedentary lifestyle is worse for you than smoking

Leading a sedentary lifestyle is equivalent to having a major disease

A sedentary lifestyle is worse for you than smokingThe United States is considered a sports mad country. But the reality is that Americans enjoy watching sports, reading about them and talking about them. When it comes to the actual sweating part of sports – you know, participating – we’d rather sit on our couches, remote control in hand. As a whole, the United…

Public health must become a priority

But across Canada a system that can help ensure a healthy population is being denied funding and support

Public health must become a priorityBy Trevor Hancock and Art Eggleton Contributors Troy Media In 2010, Canada’s ministers of Health stated in a Declaration on Prevention and Promotion that “the promotion of health and the prevention of disease, disability and injury are a priority and necessary to the sustainability of the health system.” So you would think that public health…

Canada’s new Healthy Eating Strategy will pay huge dividends

Proposed new Food Guide and nutrition labelling policies are crucial to helping Canadians achieve better health

Canada’s new Healthy Eating Strategy will pay huge dividendsThe long process of updating Canada’s Food Guide and reforming nutrition labelling will soon become a reality. And that’s good news. Collectively called Canada’s Healthy Eating Strategy, the proposals by Health Canada have been open to public consultation – and, unfortunately, industry lobbying. No one is arguing with the rights of all Canadians to be…

The diet shell game

Stick to the evidence when reporting on – and endorsing – food studies. We need real solutions to obesity and Type 2 diabetes, not sales jobs

The diet shell gameTwo of the best-known American food journalists have been telling readers that the DASH and Mediterranean diets aren’t best for our health. But the evidence tells a different story. The journalists are Gary Taubes, the author of The Case Against Sugar, and Nina Teicholz, the author of the bestselling The Big Fat Surprise. In their recent Los…

In the fight for kids’ attention, parents don’t stand a chance

Study shows Canadian kids see more than 25 million online food and beverage ads a year – mostly for junk food. It's time for that to end

In the fight for kids’ attention, parents don’t stand a chanceDear Parents, I’m writing you because you may be in the dark about the amount of unhealthy food and beverage marketing your children and teens are viewing. This isn’t your fault. It’s our reality. We’ve let food and beverage companies have a huge influence on our children. Twenty-five years ago, a parent might be expected…

Breaking technology’s pernicious grip on our children

The formative years with our children only come once. When we make them the highest priorities in our lives, we give them the message that they’re worthwhile

Breaking technology’s pernicious grip on our childrenTechnology is everywhere. But is it all good for us and – particularly – is it good for our children? The last 50 years have seen tremendous technological advancement. The 1960s television comedy Get Smart featured a mobile phone that the main character wore in his shoe. We laughed because it seemed impossible. Today, 95…

Junk food ads bombard teens, putting them at risk

Proposed restrictions on food and beverage advertising to kids should include youth up to age 16. We need to give healthy eating habits a fighting chance

Junk food ads bombard teens, putting them at riskWe shield our children and young teenagers from many things: overt portrayals of sex and violence on TV and in movies, drinking alcohol, smoking, owning guns and signing contracts, to name a few. The reasons are sound: we hope to keep our youth from physical and psychological harm, prevent them from falling into bad habits…