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,

Addressing obesity epidemic requires a redesigned health care system

Arya Sharma healthydebate.ca blogger

There’s a common catch phrase used by those championing efforts to prevent childhood obesity: “This may be the first generation of kids to not outlive their parents.”  Sounds terrifying – except that so far, there is little evidence to support this idea. Over the past several decades we have seen a remarkable increase in adult

Weight loss surgery: what do we know about quality?

weight loss surgery Ontario costs Canada Alberta

Weight loss is a constant struggle for millions of Canadians, with one in four Canadian adults classified as obese. Losing weight is not easy. Many Canadians try to lose weight through diet, exercise, behavioral modification and medications. Bariatric, or weight loss surgery is often the final effort for many on a long, difficult road to

Do medical schools teach future doctors about weight management?

Yoni Freedhoff healthydebate blogger

In my day to day I often will supervise residents or medical students who have taken it upon themselves to learn more about obesity medicine. I say taken it upon themselves because despite diet and weight related/responsive conditions being huge contributors to a physician’s caseload, medical schools and residency programs don’t seem to think that

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

Steve Barnes healthydebate.ca 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,

Did the OMA go too far with its childhood obesity recommendations?

Yoni Freedhoff healthydebate blogger

The uproar has been furious. Literally. And I certainly understand why. But it’s not because the Ontario Medial Association (OMA) went too far, it’s because the OMA lost control of the message. For readers who aren’t aware, on Tuesday the OMA held a press conference where they outlined multiple initiatives that they hope if enacted,

Need & access to bariatric surgery in Ontario

The frequency of obesity has skyrocketed across Canada, and its treatment is a major challenge to the health care system.  Bariatric surgery is an effective treatment for obesity that appears to be good value for money.  Although Ontario is expanding bariatric surgery capacity, some are concerned that capacity remains below current needs.  What is bariatric

Do lessons from the fight against smoking apply to reducing obesity?

A multi-pronged strategy was needed to significantly reduce smoking rates across Ontario over the last few decades. Obesity is a current and worsening public health threat.  The obesity epidemic may also need to be attacked from many angles, but may be harder to effectively fight than smoking. Healthydebate.ca took to the street in December 2010