health promotion

Hype in science: It’s not just the media’s fault

Ground-breaking. Life-saving. Revolutionary. Health journalists like André Picard of The Globe and Mail and Julia Belluz of often see such words splashed on press releases about new studies in medicine. “When I see those words,” says Belluz, “my little alarm bells go off.” Journalists have come under fire for sensationalizing health science. But research

Postpartum depression is a family affair

PPD is a family affair

At long last, people are talking about postpartum depression. Dismissed for years as no more than a touch of the baby blues or else unheard of entirely, postpartum depression — or PPD, as it is often known — has become an open subject. Healthcare providers are aware of it, many nurses and physicians routinely screen mothers for

High users of health care: are we asking the right questions?

Chris Stone healthy debate blogger

There is little doubt that system transformation is necessary to achieve sustainable and high-quality health care for Canadians. In recent years, the care and management of high users (HU) of health care has emerged as a focal point for developing a sustainable health care system.  Despite the focus on this group, one question has received

Family Care Clinics – filling a gap or costly duplication?

During her campaign for reelection in 2012, Alberta premier Alison Redford promised to create 140 Family Care Clinics (FCCs) over three years. She articulated a vision of primary care that would be one-stop, with many different health care providers under one roof. These clinics would have expanded hours to improve patient access, and would focus

“Chronic blindness” to health impact of alcohol policies

Health Impacts of Increased Availability of Alcohol

It’s a political football. Whenever the prospect of privatizing the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) is placed on the agenda, the result is a heated and polarized debate. Tax revenues, employment, competition and consumer convenience—these are the concerns that dominate discussion. But when it comes to any changes in alcohol policy, explicit consideration of the health

The talk the food industry couldn’t bear to hear

Yoni Freedhoff healthydebate blogger

A little over a month ago I was invited by the Ontario Medical Association to give a talk at a food industry breakfast. I was asked to speak about what I thought the food industry could do to help further public health. 3 days prior to the talk, after my flights and hotel were booked,

Breastfeeding is falling between the cracks of our health care system

Karen Born

There is a major gap between public health messages, women’s intentions and actual practices when it comes to breastfeeding. I’ve experienced this first hand as a new mother.  The major topic of conversation amongst new mothers tends to center around breastfeeding and ensuring that our babies’ needs are being met. Whether your baby is getting

A sobering lesson about prevention

Zayna Khayat Healthydebate blogger prevention

By all accounts, Kaiser Permanente (a non-profit healthcare insurer and provider in the United States) is one of the best performing health care systems in the world.  Shouldn’t it follow then, that its health plan members fare better as a population in terms of their health status?  Not quite. A few weeks ago, Kaiser Permanente

Assault on salt: should Canada actively reduce salt consumption?

Three quarters of our daily salt intake comes from prepared and manufactured foods. Experts suggest that the most effective approach to reducing salt consumption in a population is to more actively regulate the amount of salt in prepared foods. However, there is a debate about the best strategy to curb salt intake in Canada. Does

Are Canadians too salty?

Salt intake is difficult for individuals to control, because more than three quarter of the salt we consume comes from processed foods, like bread, deli meats and dairy products. Most Canadians are consuming more than double the daily recommended amount of salt. While there is a link between salt consumption and heart disease and stroke,