Canada Obesity

Not One (Plus) Size Fits All

Timi Gustafson, R.D. | Posted 04.24.2015 | Canada Living
Timi Gustafson, R.D.

When it comes to treating weight problems, even experts believe that similar methods can be applied almost universally: Put your patients on a diet, have them engage in regular exercise, and, if all else fails, recommend some surgical procedure. What gets rarely looked at are the differences between overweight individuals that may have led to their unhealthy weight gain in the first place.

Understanding These 6 Obesity Types Might Help With Weightloss

AFP/Relaxnews | Posted 04.23.2015 | Canada Living

(Relaxnews) - There are six major types of obesity, according to a study conducted in the US and the UK. To battle the disease more effectively, the r...

Should Healthy Foods Be Marketed to Kids?

Bill Bogart | Posted 05.24.2015 | Canada
Bill Bogart

A campaign to advertise healthy foods to youngsters, fruits and vegetables has emerged from the Partnership for a Healthier America Summit. But, in reality, I fear that it may do more harm than good especially if it is taken up in this country. All promotions to children, because of their age and lack of development, can end up manipulating them.

The U.S. Is No Model on Marketing Food to Kids

Bill Bogart | Posted 05.10.2015 | Canada Living
Bill Bogart

Recently Healthy Eating Research (HER), in the U.S., released a report on food marketing to kids, an issues brief with recommendations. But its recommendations are disappointing. The report does little except tweak the U.S. food industry's voluntary guidelines regarding marketing to children.

Why Obesity Is Such a Huge Problem to Tackle

Timi Gustafson, R.D. | Posted 04.28.2015 | Canada Living
Timi Gustafson, R.D.

By the end of this decade, diseases stemming from poor diet and unhealthy lifestyle choices will top all other causes of death worldwide. At the same time, there are no effective policies in place to tackle the most pressing problems such as the obesity epidemic and other so-called non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

Should We Reward People for Healthy Living?

Bill Bogart | Posted 04.19.2015 | Canada Politics
Bill Bogart

Governments and the private sector should engage in more of these experiments, particularly in terms of promoting healthy choices. If incentives work they can save a lot of dollars over time for the health care system etc. Governments need to take the long term view, especially in terms of well being. But that's easier said than done.

Five Things Every Canadian Should Know About Obesity

Carolyn Shimmin | Posted 04.14.2015 | Canada Living
Carolyn Shimmin

There has been a dramatic increase in the number of Canadians living with obesity over the past few decades and it is often cited as a risk factor for other chronic health conditions including type 2 diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and some forms of cancer. This means that obesity is frequently a hot topic in the news. But media stories often miss the mark when it comes to informing Canadians about the complex factors that lead to obesity.

Eating More Of This Could Mean Weighing Less

The Huffington Post Canada | Joy D'Souza | Posted 02.12.2015 | Canada Living

The secret to slimming down might be hidden inside spicy chili peppers. Researchers at University of Wyoming believe the fiery capsaicin found in c...

To Make Canadians Healthier We Need the Law

Bill Bogart | Posted 04.03.2015 | Canada Living
Bill Bogart

A recent study in 43 countries concluded that children in schools where tobacco-free policies were firmly enforced were much less likely to smoke. However, anti-smoking lessons in classrooms had little impact on smoking rates. Not a surprise. Educational campaigns seeking to change people's behaviour regarding consumption are notoriously unsuccessful, by themselves, whether in terms of tobacco, alcohol, gambling, drugs, or non-nutritious eating. The claims of education can sometimes be pretty grand.

Why Canada Needs Better Nutrition Labels on Our Food

John Millar | Posted 04.01.2015 | Canada Living
John Millar

As January comes to an end, those who vowed to eat better in 2015 have probably already given up. Not very surprising, considering that most people grossly underestimate the amount of calories they consume, and underestimate their fat, salt and sugar consumption, even after consulting nutrition labels.

Why Is KFC Trying To Give Us New Ways to Kill Ourselves?

Theresa Albert | Posted 03.30.2015 | Canada
Theresa Albert

It's shameful, really, that KFC keeps finding new ways for us to kill ourselves. Double down dog. Go on, I double dog dare you to ingest it. It is onl...

There Is More to Obesity Than 'Calories In, Calories Out'

Bill Bogart | Posted 03.28.2015 | Canada Living
Bill Bogart

A recent study has tied body mass index (BMI) to pollutants. That investigation suggests that exposure to second hand smoke and roadway traffic may be linked to increased BMI in children and adolescents. Several other studies and reports also raise fears about pollutants and other chemicals and their links to obesity.

A 'Pacemaker' Can Help Obese People Lose Weight

AFP/Relaxnews | Posted 01.23.2015 | Canada Living

U.S. regulators on Wednesday approved a new kind of pacemaker-like device that aims to help people lose weight by stimulating a nerve that runs from t...

Canada Should Follow Finland's Example in the Fight Against Diabetes

Jan Hux | Posted 03.15.2015 | Canada Politics
Jan Hux

But there is an even greater danger with a simplistic understanding of diabetes that focuses exclusively on individual choice -- it diverts attention and resources from other approaches which may be more effective at addressing the diabetes epidemic. It is projected that by the year 2020, one in three Canadians will have either diabetes or pre-diabetes.

Why Obesity Shouldn't Be Considered a Disability

Bill Bogart | Posted 03.08.2015 | Canada Living
Bill Bogart

Obese people, perhaps especially women, face a lot of discrimination. A question that is increasingly asked is whether they should be legally protected from acts of prejudice. Shouldn't people who are obese be judged on their merits with regard to jobs, education, health care etc. and not on their size? As we discuss what should be the legal approach to bias against obese people, let's also change our attitudes. Let's salute nutritious eating/drinking and physical activity for everyone. But let's not allow the size of people to dominate our judgment of them. The Jazzercise instructor had it right: it's time to assess everyone "on my merits, not my measurements".

Can Pollution Cause Obesity?

Bill Bogart | Posted 02.20.2015 | Canada Living
Bill Bogart

At the same time there is more to obesity than "calories in/calories out." A case in point is a recent study tying body mass index (BMI) to pollutants. That investigation suggests that exposure to second-hand smoke and roadway traffic may be linked to increased BMI in children and adolescents. These studies and reports on pollutants and other chemicals contribute to the movement challenging the causes of obesity as simple caloric explanations. We have much more to learn about the complexities concerning excessive weight gain.

Study Suggests Obesity Can Shave Years Off Lives

CP | Helen Branswell, The Canadian Press | Posted 02.03.2015 | Canada Living

TORONTO - A new study suggests obesity can shave years off lives and — before it does — dramatically increase the time obese people spend dealing ...

Why Food Labelling Won't Lead to Sustainable Weight Loss for the Obese

Bill Bogart | Posted 02.02.2015 | Canada Living
Bill Bogart

Caloric labelling is a recent strategy in combatting obesity. It's been tried in the United States in various cities and states. Something similar, in fact, happened in the battle against smoking. No one intervention brought down the rate. Instead a variety of legal strategies (banning sales to children, restricting advertising, mandating warnings, imposing high taxes etc.) working together significantly cut the numbers who use cigarettes.

Posting Calorie Values on Menus Shows Long-Term Success

Timi Gustafson, R.D. | Posted 01.14.2015 | Canada Living
Timi Gustafson, R.D.

The idea that providing more information about food served in restaurants, such as calorie and fat content, would reduce the risk of weight problems has widely been greeted with skepticism and outright rejection. Now a new study presented at the Second Annual Obesity Journal Symposium in Boston showed that calorie labeling on menus can indeed influence the choices people make.

"The Shape We're In": Is the Sun Setting on 'Big Food's' Glory Days?

Bill Bogart | Posted 01.04.2015 | Canada Living
Bill Bogart

Sales of sugary cereals are declining, purchases of soft drinks have been sagging for some time. Of course, much more needs to change but these and other shifts are causing grumbling in the boardrooms of Junk Food Inc.

Germs Suffer "Jet Lag" And Can Make You Fat

Jason Tetro | Posted 01.02.2015 | Canada Living
Jason Tetro

One particular consequence of an altered circadian rhythm is altered glucose utilization leading to increases in weight gain, obesity and even diabetes. The reason for this has been examined at the molecular level and some paths to problems have been elucidated.

Pushing Back Against Fat-Shaming Is in Fashion

Bill Bogart | Posted 12.15.2014 | Canada Living
Bill Bogart

The lives of fat women are not easy. But there are hopeful signs that fat people and their allies are pushing back against the prejudice that surrounds them. And there are some interesting developments focused on young people, especially girls.

Weight Problems Can Stick With a Family for Generations

Timi Gustafson, R.D. | Posted 11.30.2014 | Canada Living
Timi Gustafson, R.D.

The question whether obesity is solely caused by diet and lifestyle choices or whether a person's genetic make-up plays a role as well has long been debated among scientists without producing conclusive answers. One recently completed study tried to shed more light on this issue by following entire families over several generations.

The Bad News About Artificial Sweeteners

Jason Tetro | Posted 11.21.2014 | Canada Living
Jason Tetro

It's been a rather tough year for artificial sweeteners. In that time, three new studies have been released suggesting they are poor substitutes for sugar. In the spring, an investigation into their use revealed a disconcerting association with the onset of depression. Then, a long-term analysis of their use revealed they may contribute to overall weight gain.

Why Mexico's Ban on Advertising Food to Kids Might Not Work

Bill Bogart | Posted 11.15.2014 | Canada Business
Bill Bogart

This summer Mexico put in place a ban of food advertising to children. The target is junk. Restricting advertising to children is good policy as one part of efforts to have our kids eat nutritiously right from the start. However, in this increasingly interconnected world it is harder and harder for any one society to effectively constrain such promotions.