Confused about the mixed messages on GMO foods? Here’s what the evidence says

Genetically modified foods have been met with consumer backlash since they were first introduced in the 1990s. Recently, however, calls for non-genetically engineered options have gotten even louder. In April, Major North American fast food chain Chipotle announced it would endeavor to provide non-genetically engineered menu options (which is, albeit, not 100% possible). This past

Health Canada’s nutrition label changes still need improvement

Rosie Schwartz

When federal Health Minister Rona Ambrose announced proposed changes to nutrition labels this summer, dietitians and the public were excited. With the current labels, shoppers looking for healthier products needed to be either a biology expert or a math whiz to succeed. But will the new ones solve the problem? Here are five of the proposed

Does non-celiac gluten sensitivity really exist?

Gluten sensitivity: bread

When Linda Kerr’s son’s growth flatlined, a doctor suggested the teen might benefit from a gluten-free diet. In support, she tried the diet with him. Her son eventually decided he wasn’t going to follow it, but it did have an unexpected effect: after about a month, Kerr herself found her health improved. “I’d been struggling all

Are food labels more sell than science?

Front-of-package labels

Probiotic ice cream. Antioxidant 7Up. Cupcakes that are “a good source of iron.” Grocery store shelves are lined with products that claim they’re good for you. Some food labels say they’ll help you dodge health conditions – like oatmeal boxes that say “oat fibre helps reduce cholesterol.” Others let shoppers infer the benefits of vitamins or minerals,

Childhood obesity: it’s about more than banning marketing of junk food

Steve Barnes blogger

The media had a field day recently with the proposal from Ontario’s Healthy Kids Panel to ban marketing of junk food to kids under 12. Sadly, this covereage missed a number of the panel’s crucial recommendations that would address the biggest contributors to childhood obesity. Childhood obesity rates are increasing across Canada. Over a quarter if children and

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,

The challenges of improving hospital food

The saying “you are what you eat” has taken on more meaning in Canadian society, with growing interest in the quality, origins and farming practices of the food we eat. For some hospitals, this phrase is “you are what you serve” with food service being increasingly scrutinized, and there are many Ontario hospitals with efforts

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