Canada gets a failing grade on access to obesity treatments for adults

The Canadian Obesity Network (CON) recently conducted an investigation into Canadians’ access to publicly and privately funded medical care for obesity. The results of the research have been published as a “Report Card on Access to Obesity Treatment for Adults in Canada 2017” and reveal a number of shortcomings when it comes to patient access to adequate obesity management options. The report covered 4 key areas: Access to specialists and interdisciplinary teams for behavioural intervention…

Continue reading


Sugar taxes for the win

Today’s post comes from friend and colleague Dr Allana LeBlanc.  You can find more on Dr LeBlanc at the bottom of this post. When will the sugar tax come to Canada? It’s become a question of when and not if we will start taxing sugar sweetened beverages like Coke and Pepsi. Let’s just hope Canadians are a bit quicker on jumping on the bandwagon for this than they were for the implementation of banning trans…

Continue reading


Aerobic exercise keeps you alive, resistance exercise helps you change your own diapers

I’ve never been a huge resistance training person.  I don’t hate it, but I’d much rather go for a jog or bike ride.  And yet I’m making an effort to lift weights on a much more regular basis.  I’ve also been promoting it pretty hard for my parents and other retirement-age folks in my life. Why am I so bullish on resistance training?  The aerobic exercise that I enjoy so much is great for reducing…

Continue reading


Is 15,000 steps really the new 10,000?

Over the years, the notion of 10,000 daily steps has been frequently espoused as a healthy goal, including by this very blog. However, a new study out of Scotland, published in the International Journal of Obesity, suggested that a whopping 15,000 daily steps may be required to ward off poor health. In the cross-sectional study, 111 non-smoking Glasgow postal workers (55 office workers and 56 walking/delivery workers) had their activity level assessed by wearing activPAL…

Continue reading


You should work out in jeans (I do)

At various points over the past few years, I have been fortunate to basically have a gym as my office.  I’ve worked near treadmills, exercise bikes, light free weights, and a bunch of machines (bench press, leg press, a chin-up bar, etc).  The gyms have always been for research and data collection, but there were plenty of opportunities for those of us working in the lab to pop out and do a quick set almost…

Continue reading


Standing desks will not help you (or your kids) lose weight

I like standing desks.*  I have a real one in my office, and am using a homemade one as we speak.  The research on standing desks is still in its infancy, but I think it is quite plausible that they will lead to some health benefits (we’re doing a couple projects on this in my lab at the moment).  The most likely health benefits of a standing desk are improved blood sugar, although research is just…

Continue reading


Detrimental health consequences of daylight savings

Did you know that adjusting the clock up by an hour in accordance with daylight savings time increases you chance of a heart attack? Circadian rhythms are biological cycles that occur in humans, animals, insects, plants, and even bacteria with a period of approximately (circa) one day (diem). These rhythms are determined internally by a part of our hypothalamus and are synchronized perfectly to our 24-hr days by the sun and other cues. This internal…

Continue reading


7 myths about physical activity

Myth 1: A child’s time is better spent focusing on the three R’s than on performing physical activity People sometimes worry that time devoted to physical activity comes at the expense of academic achievement.  Luckily, that’s not the case. Here is a summary of some of the evidence showing that physical activity actually improves academic performance, taken from the 2009 Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card on the Physical Activity of Canadian Children and Youth: …a comprehensive…

Continue reading


New report calls on government to ban food advertising to children and youth

Today the Heart and Stroke Foundation released a new report on the harms of advertising food to kids, and calling on the government to restrict such advertising, as is already happening in the province of Quebec.  I’m all for this – food ads are a likely reason why screen time is so strongly associated with excess weight gain in kids, as I’ve outlined previously. The Heart and Stroke report points out that in addition to…

Continue reading


Unsolicited screen time advice for parents of young children

Over the holidays the topic of children’s screen time came up in a variety of conversations.  It was often the topic of discussion amongst members of our extended family, but it also keeps popping up in the news and in online think pieces.  It’s a bit strange to see how screen time has gone from a relatively small research topic 5-10 years ago to a massive cause of parental angst.  As a researcher and blogger…

Continue reading