"The Pulse of Canada "



A Bunch of Photos of Coca-Cola Not Marketing to Kids

Posted April 21, 2015 by Yoni Freedhoff
Coca-Cola Vienna City Marathon (Austria)

Or maybe they are marketing to kids.

Clearly they’re photos of Coca-Cola’s involvement and sponsorship of kid sport. But marketing?


Not that it’s exactly news that corporations sponsor sport because it’s good marketing, but it was news to me at least that Coca-Cola was transparent about their involvement therein calling it quite plainly, “sports marketing“.

So here are some more photos of Coca-Cola’s sports marketing. Marketing that’s clearly targeting the kids they always deny targeting (though it’s true, some of the kids here look 12 years old, which according to Coca-Cola, means they’re no longer children and hence fair game).

Coca-Cola’s Powerade Final Four Dribble Event (USA)

Coca-Cola Soccer Camp (Brazil)

Coca-Cola “What’s Your Sport” Campaign (Serbia)

Coca-Cola Cup (Poland)

Coca-Cola WNBA Fit (USA)
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Epode’s Canada Obesity Forum

Posted April 17, 2015 by Arya M. Sharma, MD

As part of the 4th Canadian Obesity Summit, EPODE Canada presents its first Canadian Regional Forum. This one-day workshop is designed for program managers, local community coordinators or program advisors of childhood obesity prevention programs, and to share knowledge and practical advice between EPODE and Canadian programs. Senior members of the EPODE global team including program managers from… Read More »

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Climbing Stairs Isn’t About Burning Calories

Posted April 16, 2015 by Yoni Freedhoff

Have you seen the photo up above floating around your Twitter or Facebook feeds?

I sure have.

And yes, you do burn calories climbing and descending staircases. 0.17 calories per stair climbed, and 0.05 calories per stair descended, according to one source I found. Given there are 12 steps in the average flight of stairs, heading up and then back down would burn you somewhere between 2.5 and 5 calories. So for instance, if you wanted to climb the stairs enough to burn the calories of a Snickers bar, you’d need to climb 122 or so flights.

The message that calories can be burned through stair climbing (or parking in the furthest spot, or getting off the bus one stop sooner, etc.) in quantities enough to be exciting is problematic in that it reinforces the erroneous notion exercise burns boatloads of calories which in turn might lead a person to more readily believe that taking stairs burns enough calories to justify treats or portion sizes they’d otherwise not consider. It also runs the risk of a newly motivated person deciding to stop taking the stairs and parking further away when their weight inevitably doesn’t change as a consequence.

And stopping taking the stairs would be a shame given that when it comes to health, exercise is the world’s best drug – it’s just not a weight loss drug – and tying stair climbing (or any exercise) to calorie burning rather than health, misinforms the public about both.

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More Evidence That School PE Isn’t The Ticket Out Of Childhood Obesity

Posted April 8, 2015 by Yoni Freedhoff

And really, why would it be? Putting aside the depressing fact that exercise burns far fewer calories than would be fair, singular interventions can’t possibly be expected to have any demonstrable impact on obesity rates, as obesity is a highly complex problem. Highly complex problems aren’t solvable by means of simple, singular solutions.

But there’s no denying that exercise is crucial to health, and that at least on paper, it should help with obesity as well. I’ve discussed this a bunch in the past, but putting it simply, perhaps one of the main reasons exercise doesn’t have the impact on weight that it ought, is that as a society we seem to have this bad habit of eating because we exercised. Sometimes we do this to reward our good behaviour. Other times we do this because we’ve been fed a steaming load of food-industry marketing that we need to “recover” or “refuel“. And sometimes we do this because of exercise-induced hunger.

The problem with the promotion of PE to help combat obesity, when studies to date have nearly uniformly demonstrated that it will do nothing of the sort, is that doing so further promotes the message to parents, children, and the public, that exercising more is the answer and that the primary driver of childhood obesity is not a dietary one, but one of fitness.

Now my take of the literature of forks vs. feet as the base drivers of societal weight woes is that the lion’s share comes from the forks, but even putting that aside, I worry about the longevity of increasing or improving school based PE and physical activity if those increases and improvements are rolled out in the name of childhood obesity. If the intervention doesn’t lead to the desired primary outcome, then that intervention will undoubtedly risk reversal or removal. And yet PE in schools does provide real benefits to children – in terms of health, physical literacy, learning, and attention.

Here in Canada a large meta-analysis found that PE had no impact on participating kids’ weights, and now those findings have been echoed in a large European meta-analysis published last month where the researchers found,

While few studies showed a decrease in BMI, positive results were achieved on other outcomes, such as metabolic parameters and physical fitness“.

By continuing to link PE to childhood obesity, we’re doing a disservice to both PE and childhood obesity.

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Living The Good Life (With GoodLife Fitness)

Posted March 5, 2015 by Loukia

Spring is finally—finally—in the air.

Oh, just writing those words feels amazing! It has been a long, harsh winter, and despite a ten day beautiful vacation to Miami and Orlando, winter still dragged on, which meant I spent more time than usual sitting on the couch wishing the snow would go away so I could get outside with my children to do the things we love to do. (I’m sorry, but fun winter activities like skiing and skating are not that enjoyable to me because -30C is the worst!)

Anyway, now with warmer days in our forceast, it’s time to get back into shape. (Unless, of course, you’ve been smart and have kept up your workout routine even when all you’ve wanted to do is stay home, eat chips, and marathon-watch the new season of House of Cards.)

I have been with GoodLife Fitness for years, probably from the first year they opened in Ottawa. I loved that I could go the gym whenever I wanted to work out, I loved that there was always a location close to where I was, whether home or at work, and I especially loved the classes—like Body Pump.
I stopped going and tried another gym for a while, but I missed all that GoodLife offered me. Just as I started thinking about re-joining, I ws contacted by GoodLife Fitness to see if I wanted to work with them as a Brand Ambassador. Instantly, I said yes—there was no reason to say no to this parternship, especially because I knew it would help me achieve my fitness goals.

As a mom of two young (and very active) boys, I like to set a good example. Long walks after dinner, playing tennis, going on bike rides, and days spent swimming for hours on end in the summertime or when we’re on vacation, are just some ways we stay active while having fun. For me, though, I need more. I like the challenage of a good class, like spinning or Body Pump at GoodLife, and I love putting on my headphones and getting lost in my music as I work out on the elliptial machine. Every bit counts—that’s what I tell myself when I’m working out—and when I’m working out, I feel amazing. It’s so true, what they say, it’s like the magic cure-all. When you’re working out and burning calories, your body changes, you feel better, and you look great, too.

I love being part of the GoodLife Fitiness Blogger Ambassador Program because I have no excuses for not going ot the gym now—and the more I go, the more I love it and the more it becomes part of my daily routine. And with summer around the corner, I can’t think of a more perfect time to get in shape. After all, vacations for me are spent mostly in a bikini and I feel most confident when I’ve taken the steps to achieve a healthy body that can do it all.

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