BlogsCanada.ca
Top Canadian Blogs and News Sites


 
 

LATEST POSTS !

 

 
0
comments
Children

Australian Food Industry Launches World’s Least Aggressive New Voluntary Self-Regulatory Effort

Posted  March 2, 2020  by  Yoni Freedhoff

Waiting for any industry to self-regulate itself is just plain dumb. Honestly, industry’s job is to protect and promote sales, and that’s of course true for the food industry as well.

Self-regulation tends to crop up not out of altruism or doing the right thing, but rather as a means to forestall legislative regulatory efforts which in turn would prove to be more damaging to sales.

Take this recent initiative out of Australia which will see the food industry not advertising their junk to kids within 150m (500ft) of schools. 150 whole metres! While certainly not likely to do anything at all, it’ll be especially useless perhaps in that the school buses themselves will be exempt, as of course will be the bus stops’ shelters.

Oh, and as toothless as it is, it’s also voluntary.

Really the only thing this initiative will do is provide the food industry with ammunition if and when facing calls for legislated regulation (something we’re hearing more and more calls for) and to pretend that they care about anything other than profits.

It’s always best to remember, as I’ve written before, the food industry is neither friend, nor foe, nor partner.

Full Story »

 
General

Why Service Provision Fatally Confounds All Diet Studies (5:2 Intermittent Fasting Edition)

Posted  February 11, 2020  by  Yoni Freedhoff

Last week I posted about a 5:2 intermittent fasting study that demonstrated terrible adherence with a 58% 5:2 drop out rate by the end of year one and where the average loss was 11lbs.

In response, Erik Arnesen shared another year long 5:2 intermittent fasting vs. continuous energy restriction study where the drop out rate at the end of year one was just 7% and the average loss was 20lbs! (and actually I blogged about this one in the past – tl;dr no difference in outcomes but 5:2 participants were hungrier)

If the diets were identical, why the tremendous difference in adherence and weight loss at a year?

Sure, could be different patient populations, but I’m guessing the much larger factor was the service provision. Because at the end of the day that’s a huge part of what’s being measured in any organized diet study. Not just in terms of how many visits or touch-points a particular program has, or what collateral materials and support they provide their participants, but also the rapport development, motivational ability, and teaching skills of the service providers themselves.

Having led an inter-professional team for 16 years, I can tell you that who you’ve got helping your patients/participants has a tremendous impact on their outcomes even within the same program’s delivery.

So the next time you consider the outcomes of any study’s diet arm, a question worth pondering is how much of those outcomes are consequent to the prescribed diet itself, and how much are consequent to the health care professionals administering it?

Full Story »

 
0
comments
General

Saturday Stories: This Week’s Worthwhile COVID19 Reads Roundup

Posted  April 18, 2020  by  Yoni Freedhoff
Dr. Huy-Hao Dao, 44,,who worked at Quebec’s Montérégie-Centre Integrated Health and Social Services Centre in Longueuil and sadly the first Canadian physician to die of COVID19, may his memory be a blessing.

Roxanne Khamsi, in Nature, on the incredible challenges we’ll face producing and distributing a SARS-CoV2 vaccine if/when we find one.

Michael Specter, in The New Yorker, with a profile of America’s real doctor – Anthony Fauci

Apoorva Mandavilli and Katie Thomas, in The New York Times, discuss what serology tests are, and whether they’ll help us all get back to work.

Ed Yong, in The Atlantic, on our pandemic summer and how the only way out is through.

Maggie Koerth, in FiveThirtyEight, on COVID’s destruction of our medical supply chains and how it’s not impossible the entire world’s supply of medical grade glass (used for vaccine vials for instance) has already been pre-purchased.

Terrie Laplante-Beauchamp, in the Globe and Mail, with her must-read 3 day diary of her experiences volunteering as an orderly in a Montreal based long-term care facility hit hard by COVID19.

Full Story »

 
0
comments
General

Louisiana Breaks Ground on Isle de Jean Charles Resettlement Project Amid Pandemic

Posted  May 23, 2020  by  Julie Dermansky
Chris Burnet outside of his home on the Isle de Jean Charles.

Read time: 8 mins

The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t changed life much for Chris Burnet, a lifelong resident of Isle de Jean Charles, a quickly eroding strip of land among south Louisiana’s wetlands. Though the island, about 80 miles southwest of New Orleans, can’t be saved from the sea-level rise and coastal erosion that’s been intensified by climate change, Burnet is happy he still lives there, even though his days there are numbered. Besides loving life on the island, he believes its remoteness has kept him and the remaining island residents safe from the coronavirus. 

Full Story »


 
0
comments
General

The Syrian Job: Uncovering the Oil Industry’s Radioactive Secret

Posted  April 29, 2020  by  Anonymous
oil pump and radioactive warning

Read time: 27 mins

Cancerous lesions have developed across Keith MacDonald’s body and his son is dead from leukemia. His life has disintegrated, and in his eyes fault lies with the third richest company on earth. It is headquartered in the Netherlands, incorporated in the United Kingdom, and is an entity (thanks to the Parliamentary Pension Fund) that every single British MP has a stake in — Royal Dutch Shell.

The story of how MacDonald got here is a tale of adventure and tragedy fit for a Hollywood thriller, only it is real. Even with many unknowns, MacDonald’s case unearths a shocking part of the world’s most powerful industry that somehow has remained hidden for generations.

Full Story »

 
0
comments
General

Saturday Stories: The COVID files

Posted  May 23, 2020  by  Yoni Freedhoff
Dr.Sudheer Singh Chauhan, Internal Medicine Physician and Associate Program Director IM Residency Program at Jamaica Hospital, New York, died of COVID19 on May 19th. May his memory be a blessing
Kai Kupferschmidt, in Science, on why only some people are COVID super spreaders 
Natalie Kofler and Françoise Baylis, in Nature, on the perils, pitfalls, and disparities of “immunity passports”. 
And if you don’t follow me on Twitter or Facebook, here’s a segment I did with CTV’s The Social on the very real impact these scary times has on our physical and mental well being
Full Story »

 
0
comments
General

What It’s Like Becoming Homeless During a Global Pandemic

Posted  June 5, 2020  by  Anonymous

Closed libraries and drop-in centres. Water fountains shut off. Ace Lovell found himself living on the street at the worst possible time.

Full Story »

 
0
comments
General

Saturday Stories: Some Of This Week’s Most Important #COVID19 Reads

Posted  March 28, 2020  by  Yoni Freedhoff

Jennifer Yang, in The Toronto Star, speaks with 3 of Toronto’s health care heroes.

Adam Rogers, in Wired, explains what convalescent plasma is and how it might help treat COVID19.

Ed Yong, in The Atlantic, being Ed Yong and writing an incredible piece on how this pandemic might end.

David Enrich, Rachel Abrams and Steven Kurutz, in The New York Time, on the sewing army rising up to help.

Helen Branswell, in STAT, summarizing all the we’ve learned to date about the SARS-CoV2 virus.

Daniela J. Lamas, in The New York Times, writing as a critical care physician in Boston on the unfathomable reality she’s facing there.

Siddhartha Mukherjee, in The New Yorker, on how the coronavirus behaves inside of our bodies.

Full Story »

 
0
comments
General

Saturday Stories: Coronavirus Edition

Posted  February 29, 2020  by  Yoni Freedhoff

James Hamblin, in The Atlantic, on how yes, you’re probably going to get the coronavirus.

Peter Daszak, in The New York Times, welcomes you to the age of pandemics.

Vivian Wang, in The New York Times, with the bad good news that most coronavirus cases are likely to be mild.

Zeynep Tufekci, in Scientific American, on what you can do to prepare for when the coronavirus spreads to your country.

Full Story »

 
General

Oh My God The Nutrition World Is Painful

Posted  February 19, 2020  by  Yoni Freedhoff

Short post to say that watching people aggressively argue about their preferred diets of choice, and seeing reputable people willing to prop up the most shameless of medical hucksters if they happen to share a nutritional belief, and the endless debates about physiology, and meal timing, and breakfast, and fasting, and macronutrients, and lipids, and anti-science shilling, and multi-level marketing, and so much more, is so very tiresome.

As a clinician I know that what actually matters is how to help the person sitting in front of me, remembering that science, meal patterns, macronutrients, and physiology, may not always matter the way some study says they could or should in the face of an individual’s life and personal preferences. Ultimately, and regardless of what I think is “right” on paper or right for me, my job is to help patients make sustainable changes that in turn lead them towards the healthiest life that they can actually enjoy.

Similarly, as a public health advocate, I know that if there were any amount of education, or a brilliantly crafted public health message, that in turn would effectively drive societal behaviour change we’d have all already changed all of our behaviours. I can also tell you that energies spent on initiatives relegated to personal responsibility, including but not restricted to those promoting one person’s diet tribe, pale in importance to energies spent on initiatives relevant to changing the food environment. And there’s no shortage of targets that span all dietary dogmas – from advertising to kids, front-of-package health claim reforms, junk food fundraising, the provision of free cooking skills to kids and adults, national school food programs and improvements, tax incentives and disincentives, and more.

All this to say, it’s my opinion that these two flawed foci, that there’s one best or right way and that personal responsibility will be our salvation, are the two main reasons why we can’t have nice things in nutrition and nutrition related public health.

        
Full Story »

 
0
comments
General

Courage is found in unlikely places

Posted  March 18, 2020  by  Anonymous

Things are awful and they’re going to get worse – the economy is going to tank, maybe worse than it did in 2008, and hundreds of thousands of people are going to lose their jobs. 

To understand why the world economy is in grave peril because of the spread of coronavirus, it helps to grasp one idea that is at once blindingly obvious and sneakily profound.
One person’s spending is another person’s income. That, in a single sentence, is what the $87 trillion global economy is.That relationship, between spending and income, consumption and production, is at the core of how a capitalist economy works. It is the basis of a perpetual motion machine. We buy the things we want and need, and in exchange give money to the people who produced those things, who in turn use that money to buy the things they want and need, and so on, forever.
What is so deeply worrying about the potential economic ripple effects of the virus is that it requires this perpetual motion machine to come to a near-complete stop across large chunks of the economy, for an indeterminate period of time.

In spite of the billions that governments will spend to prop up the economy, our standard of living is going to decline. Or at least it will FEEL like it is declining — we won’t have the restaurants around anymore that we used to love, we won’t be getting the variety and quality of food we are used to seeing in grocery stores because the agricultural and shipping industries are going to be in such disarray, we won’t have sports or new TV shows or new movies or touring theatre companies or concerts or community events. For many of us, our retirement savings are taking a hit that we won’t be able to recover. 
Not to mention, of course, the hundreds of thousands around the world who will get sick, and the tens of thousands who will die in the next 18 months to two years, before a COVID vaccine can be developed and put into production and reach the market.
Goodbye yellow brick road, yes indeed.
Someday maybe we will say “I remember when you could walk into a store and buy bananas any time of the year”.
So in the meantime, I can only keep my spirits up by searching out some “good news” stories. Because once again, in a crisis, people have a remarkable way of pulling together, pushing though, helping themselves and each other to cope and to manage and to survive.

“But where shall I find courage?” asked Frodo.
“That is what I chiefly need.”“Courage is found in unlikely places,” said Gildor.
“Be of good hope! Sleep now!”

Beautiful. King Street, right? https://t.co/LkN6dqdqnj

— David Frum (@davidfrum) March 18, 2020

@CoronavirusCast

You wanted some positive stories.
Here you go. This man must be a listener.

Sask. First Nation chief prepared for COVID-19 pandemic weeks before it hit https://t.co/1zRd7e74O3

— Raptor Girl SK- We the Champs! (@raptorgirlSK) March 17, 2020

While our doors may be closed, we’ll still bring the Gallery to you online.

During our closure, we’ll take you on a tour, gallery by gallery. Each day we’ll focus on one room and the works of art on view within it. #MuseumFromHome pic.twitter.com/VfI4Nm8kj5

— National Gallery of Art (@ngadc) March 14, 2020

We’re better than our political leadership. https://t.co/ez9K1RChDP

— John Pavlovitz (@johnpavlovitz) March 16, 2020

Louis Vuitton is switching all its perfume & cosmetic manufacturing factories to make hand sanitizer gels. https://t.co/p6I5QC1s4d

— Krishnan (@cvkrishnan) March 15, 2020

Hope they were able to find some TP https://t.co/3gBnXKJAKB

— Kevin Smith (@Global_Smith) March 15, 2020

Full Story »

 
General

Best moment at #SOTU

Posted  February 4, 2020  by  Anonymous
Full Story »

 
0
comments
General

Reddit Co-Founder Resigns, Says Company Must Replace Him With a Black Candidate

Posted  June 5, 2020  by  Anonymous

“To everyone fighting to fix our broken nation: do not stop,” Alexis Ohanian said in his resignation announcement on Friday.

Full Story »

 
0
comments
General

EPA Has Been Captured by Fossil Fuel Interests, Democratic Senators Tell Court

Posted  May 1, 2020  by  Anonymous
EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler

Read time: 6 mins

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Trump administration is run by fossil fuel allies determined to do polluters’ bidding, U.S. senators are telling the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. The group of Democratic senators calls out this extensive fossil fuel industry influence in a recent friend-of-the-court brief filed in a lawsuit challenging the Trump EPA’s replacement of the Clean Power Plan meant to regulate carbon emissions from power plants.

Full Story »

 
0
comments
General

Strange Days Indeed

Posted  April 4, 2020  by  Anonymous

I wonder if John Lennon ever realized how prophetic his words would be:Nobody told me there’d be days like theseStrange days indeed.I never understood how a pandemic would destroy the world economy.  Millions of people out of work. Millions w…

Full Story »

 
0
comments
General

Congress Investigates How Marathon Petroleum and Koch Network Influenced Clean Cars Rollbacks

Posted  May 29, 2020  by  Anonymous
Marathon gas station

Read time: 4 mins

On Thursday, May 28, several Democratic members of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, along with Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), sent a letter to Marathon Petroleum seeking information on the oil company’s involvement in the Trump administration’s rollback of clean car standards. The Congressmembers are also investigating Marathon’s coordination with, and financial ties to, various free-market groups and whether those relationships are compatible with the groups’ tax-exempt status.

Full Story »

 
General

Health Canada Fails Science And Canadians By Allowing Any Purported Weight Loss Supplements To Be Sold

Posted  February 24, 2020  by  Yoni Freedhoff

The latest of many systematic reviews and meta-analyses of herbal supplements for weight loss plainly makes the case that there is no justification for their sale.

They. Don’t. Work.

None of them.

None. Of. Them.

So why does Health Canada license and allow the sale of 1,128 natural products whose listed purported use is for weight management? Or of the 671 products that purport they’ll improve sexual enhancement? Or of pretty much any of them?

Maybe the answer lies somewhere in the taxation of the $1.8 billion annual Canadian sales of vitamins and supplements?

Maybe it lies in well-intentioned hope?

Maybe it lies is political contributions and lobbying?

But the one place where it doesn’t lie is in science. Shouldn’t that be the only place that matters?

Full Story »

 
0
comments
General

Colorado Plans to Eliminate Emissions from Road Transportation

Posted  May 6, 2020  by  Anonymous
traffic jam on Colorado highway

Read time: 4 mins

Colorado is moving ahead with a plan to get nearly 1 million electric vehicles (EV) on its roads by 2030 and, for the first time, has adopted a long-term goal of transitioning to 100 percent electric and zero-emission vehicles.

Full Story »

 
General

Saturday Stories: Gym Harassment, Toddler Milk, And Healthy Microbiomes

Posted  February 8, 2020  by  Yoni Freedhoff

Sirin Kale, in The Guardian, on how harassment in the gym stops women from working out.

Olga Khazan, in The Atlantic, on the repulsive rise of toddler milk.

Michael Eisenstein, in Nature, on the hunt for what even constitutes a healthy microbiome

Full Story »

 
0
comments
General

Yes, its about time

Posted  May 2, 2020  by  Anonymous
I was computerless for the last week+ so I didn’t post, but here I am again.
And I am so glad that Trudeau is banning assault rifles in Canada. I agree with @Dred_Tory:

Dear people who are pissed that AR-15s are set to be banned:

No one gives a shit.#ar15

— Sir Francis (@Dred_Tory) April 30, 2020

Here’s some funny stuff to end the week:

I must’ve watched this 50 times and I’ll probably watch it 50 more. pic.twitter.com/S7GjgMlH7j

— ѕυzу (@suzy_swears) April 28, 2020

Seals are just dogs of the sea pic.twitter.com/PcSz3mJQKe

— What’s Underwater (@UnderwaterVids) April 26, 2020

This is the best weather forecast in the history of television news pic.twitter.com/LhmoJDCkbZ

— Andrew Feinberg (@AndrewFeinberg) April 30, 2020

— Nick Heath (@nickheathsport) May 1, 2020

And a little Jann Arden to finish things off:

This could be the most Canadian-COVID19 tweet ever. 🇨🇦 https://t.co/t64WghKHCi

— Jeffrey Luscombe (@JeffreyLuscombe) April 27, 2020


Full Story »

 
0
comments
General

Tom Longboat, Indigenous self-determination and discrimination in sport

Posted  June 4, 2020  by  Anonymous

Cover of Reclaiming Tom Longboat: Indigenous Self-Determination in Canadian Sport and author Janice Forsyth

Janice Forsyth is Associate Professor of Sociology and Director of First Nations Studies at Western University in London, Ontario, and a member of the Fisher River Cree Nation. Her new book is Reclaiming Tom Longboat: Indigenous Self-Determination in Canadian Sport. (Photo courtesy University of Regina Press)

Sport is seen as the great equalizer, somehow immune from the discrimination that structures everyday life, writes Janice Forsyth in Reclaiming Tom Longboat: Indigenous Self-Determination in Canadian Sport

Full Story »

 
0
comments
General

Laugh and the world laughs with you

Posted  April 18, 2020  by  Anonymous

Joe Biden could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot Donald Trump and I would still vote for him

— doug wiser (@MyBigRedTruck) April 18, 2020

If you could pick one person to curse Donald Trump out on live television in that press room for one minute straight, right to his face, who would it be? I think I would go with Samuel L. Jackson.

— Jason Overstreet (@JasonOverstreet) April 8, 2020

What do ya bet if trump ever used an interpreter for the deaf they’d fuck up and get him a mime?

— George Carlin’s Ghost (@OldFuckGCG) April 16, 2020

My best friend sent me this. I can’t stop laughing. It’s spot on 😂 pic.twitter.com/ecTo5MtcaV

— Emmet Kelly (@EmmetSeanKelly) April 11, 2020

Americans dumbest criminal. pic.twitter.com/T39kWEomxw

— Only in America (@Crazzyintheusa) April 15, 2020

Most pointless colouring picture ever. pic.twitter.com/OFcQzoVUab

— You Have One Job, Stay Indoors (@_youhadonejob1) April 15, 2020


Full Story »

 
0
comments
General

Fossil Fuel Firms Linked to Trump Get Millions in Coronavirus Small Business Aid

Posted  May 6, 2020  by  guest
GOP rally with sign reading 'Trump digs coal'

Read time: 6 mins

By Emily Holden, The Guardian. This story was originally published by The Guardian, and is republished here as part of the Covering Climate Now partnership to strengthen the media’s focus on the climate crisis.

U.S. fossil fuel companies have taken at least $50 million in taxpayer money they probably won’t have to pay back, according to a review of coronavirus aid meant for struggling small businesses by the investigative research group Documented and the Guardian.

Full Story »