"The Pulse of Canada "



Why You Need to Divorce Your Products

Posted January 28, 2015 by Anonymous

By John Mansour This divorce isn’t a case of irreconcilable differences. It’s a case of “love is blind.” Your unconditional love for your products is making you blind to the real needs of your target customers. A swift and simple divorce benefits you and your products. No need to split the assets though. You’ll be […]

Full Story »


4 Rules for Better Customer Visits

Posted January 23, 2015 by Anonymous

by Saeed Khan We all visit customers. There are many goals to such visits: to gain deeper insight into how they are using the product to understand what benefits they are seeing to identify what issues they are facing to convey product direction to learn about the problems they need to solve (and thus enhancements […]

Full Story »


What I Learned By Actually Reading that New School Chocolate Milk Study

Posted January 19, 2015 by Yoni Freedhoff
Image Source

I was amazed by the uproar the publication of a Dairy Farmers of Canada funded chocolate milk study inspired last week. The study, “Impact of the removal of chocolate milk from school milk programs for children in Saskatoon, Canada“, at least according to the breathless press release and the resulting press coverage apparently concluded, “it’s chocolate milk, or no milk at all for many children“, and while it’s no surprise given the funding that the spin was chocolate milk positive (including the study’s mind-numbing use of the word, “enhanced” to describe sugar-sweetened milk), after reading the actual study, I’m beyond gobsmacked.

The study methodology was pretty straight forward. For 4 weeks they offered elementary school children both chocolate milk and white milk and measured how much of each they drank and how much went to waste. Next, they stopped providing the chocolate milk for 4 more weeks and kept measuring. Lastly, they brought back the chocolate milk option for a final 4 weeks of measurements.

Now hold onto your hats. As readers of the press are likely to already know the study found,

the children waste more milk when it’s plain.

How much more waste you ask? Just 4/5ths of a tablespoon more a day. Yup, if you actually read the study you find out that when chocolate milk disappeared the kids drank a scant 12mL less per day than they did when chocolate milk was available. If these numbers continued, kids who drank milk would drink about a cup less milk a month for a grand total of just 9.6 fewer cups over the course of their entire chocolate milk free 200 day school year.

Or would they? What about the kids who stopped drinking milk altogether because they could no longer get chocolate? Well when the researchers tried to quantify total daily consumption of milk for all students they found,

that students’ total milk intake at home, or milk consumption at school, did not change across the study phases.

The researchers also found,

that on average students were meeting the 3–4 servings per day recommended by Canada’s Food Guide for 9- to 13-year-olds

and that school milk only accounted for 13%–15% of total dairy consumed.

What else did the researchers find? Well if you want a non-Dairy Farmers of Canada “enhanced” spin on things, the researchers also found that in just the first month following the removal of school chocolate milk the number of students drinking white milk increased by 466%! A number which might well have increased further over time as palates and norms in the schools changed. And what happens to former chocolate milk drinkers when they swap Beatrice 1% chocolate milk for Beatrice 2% white? Well over the course of each week they’ll drink 22 fewer teaspoons of added sugar and over the course of a 200 day school year, 14,000 fewer calories and 19 fewer cups of added sugar.

So to sum up. The study found that taking chocolate milk out of schools did not affect the students’ total daily milk or dairy consumption, that on average all students were meeting their daily recommended amounts of dairy (recommendations which by the way are almost certainly higher than the evidence would suggest they need be), that kids who swapped from chocolate milk to white milk drank pretty much the same amount of white as they did chocolate (unless you think 4/5ths of a tablespoon of milk is a lot), and that by removing chocolate milk from the school, in the first month alone nearly half of the initial chocolate milk drinkers switched to white and in so doing, saved themselves piles of calories and the nearly 2 full cups of monthly added chocolate milk sugar.

If anything this study lends very strong support for those thinking schools shouldn’t be offering sugar sweetened milk to students.

Clearly the reporters didn’t bother to actually read the study. Shouldn’t they have?

Full Story »


ADHD Drug Vyvance for Binge Eating Disorder?

Posted January 15, 2015 by Yoni Freedhoff

Yesterday a study was published in JAMA Psychiatry. In it researchers looks at the impact of 14 weeks of 3 different doses of lisdexamfetamine (Vyvance) on binge eating disorder and weight in 260 patients via a randomized, double-blind, parallel-group, forced dose titration, placebo-controlled trial. Eligibility for the study included meeting the DSM-IV criteria for binge eating disorder, having a BMI between 25 and 45, and being between the ages of 18 and 55. There were a boatload of exclusion criteria with perhaps the most important being having any other eating or psychiatric disorder, having had a history of substance abuse, or having been recently treated with a psychostimulant, or having had a recent psychological or weight management treatment history.

The study’s primary endpoint was the number of self-scored binge eating days, and among the secondary endpoints was weight.

The results were striking, especially in those taking the highest dose who nearly stopped binging.

Weight loss was also not insignificant, again, especially with the higher dose, with those folks losing an average of nearly 10lbs over the 11 weeks (versus an average loss of 1/5th of a pound for those taking a placebo).

Unfortunately there were also side effects with dramatically more people in the highest dosing arm reporting dry mouth, and insomnia. All told 5% of the highest dosing arm dropped out due to adverse effects.

While far from conclusive, this study is promising. Binge eating disorder is a tremendously difficult condition to endure. Psychologically it can be devastating due to overwhelming feelings of guilt which in turn can lead to decreased self-esteem and decreased perceived self-efficacy. Right now treatment for binge eating disorder involves cognitive behavioural therapy, and indeed, there’s fair success, but were there a safe medication that could be used as an adjunct to counselling, speaking personally, I’d be thrilled.

There’s still lots of work to be done to prove long term efficacy, safety, and tolerability. Fingers crossed.

Full Story »


Study Finds Teens Are Less Reliant On Social Networks

Posted January 6, 2015 by Anonymous

Social networks, the term has come to mean more than one thing in our society. And this particular study can really throw you for a loop if you focus on what most of us now think of when we say […]

Full Story »

The Latest