Making a strong case for more phys-ed in Canadian schools

Students with daily activity requirements are physically and emotionally healthier and perform better academically

Making a strong case for more phys-ed in Canadian schoolsJosh Fullan is the executive director of Maximum City, a national education and engagement organization based in Toronto. He recently wrote a compelling opinion piece on the need for more physical education in schools for The Globe and Mail. Fullan outlines the physical, mental and academic benefits of regular exercise. He emphasizes the academic and…

Study challenges the link between obesity and junk food advertising

Banning junk food advertising may have little effect on reducing obesity

Study challenges the link between obesity and junk food advertisingA new study from the University of Alberta challenges the notion that advertising junk food is at the root of the obesity epidemic. Growing up in a low social-economic environment is more of a precursor to obesity later in life than junk food advertising, according to the report, with adults who grew up in a…

New treatment for obesity, Type 2 diabetes?

Researchers working to identify drug combinations to treat people with obesity, Type 2 diabetes

New treatment for obesity, Type 2 diabetes?Canadian and German researchers are teaming up to identify new drug combinations to treat people with obesity and Type 2 diabetes. The goal is to develop personalized prescriptions that are more effective than single drugs and that can potentially replace more invasive treatments such as bariatric surgery, especially for children. “As a pediatric endocrinologist, I…

Weight loss points to better outcomes for women with uterine cancer

Fewer surgery complications and shorter hospital stays

Weight loss points to better outcomes for women with uterine cancerWomen with obesity and endometrial cancer who lose weight in advance of surgery have fewer complications and shorter hospital stays, according to preliminary study results so promising that they are already changing the standard of care. Sophia Pin, an assistant professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Alberta and physician at the…

Better lifestyle choices will help repair our health-care system

Throwing more money into the existing system won't work

Better lifestyle choices will help repair our health-care systemCanada’s medical system is one of the defining benefits of living in this country, but we have learned from the pandemic that our medicare is nowhere near as strong and resilient as we might wish. Waiting lists have long been an indicator that the capacity of our clinics and hospitals was insufficient to meet our…

Just stop talking about weight with kids, says public health PhD grad

Research explores the impact of obesity-related stigma on young people – and how to end it

Just stop talking about weight with kids, says public health PhD grad“We should just keep weight out of everyday conversation with our kids.” That’s the conclusion Alexa Ferdinands came to after interviewing young people about their experiences with obesity-related stigma for her PhD in health promotion and socio-behavioural sciences in the University of Alberta’s School of Public Health. “When it comes to nutrition, there are so…

Obesity, Type 2 diabetes leading risk factors for severe COVID-19

Link could hold the key to improving immune responses against COVID-19 and other viruses

Obesity, Type 2 diabetes leading risk factors for severe COVID-19A little-understood link between insulin resistance in cells and obesity could hold the key to improving immune responses against COVID-19 and other viruses, according to University of Alberta researcher Sue Tsai. “We hypothesize that insulin resistance in immune cells such as B cells is a major link between obesity and an impaired antiviral response, leading…

COVID-driven physical inactivity crisis hits school-age children

Active students have better grades, enhanced memory, lower absenteeism and better behaviour

COVID-driven physical inactivity crisis hits school-age childrenThe physical activity levels of our young people were already trending downward when COVID-19 hit. The pandemic made things worse. Kids around were stuck at home, forced to try to learn virtually. An online math class is one thing. A physical education class at home is nearly impossible. During the pandemic, physical education has been…

Nutrition researcher gets funding to find out why diet affects immunity

Immunology is at the centre of virtually every chronic disease

Nutrition researcher gets funding to find out why diet affects immunityTwo decades ago, Catherine Field’s University of Alberta nutrition lab showed that specific fatty acids in breast milk during the crucial first period of life could program how the immune system responds to food allergens. Her group looked at milk, egg and soy allergies – the ones babies tend to grow out of but can still…

The kids are not all right when it comes to what they eat

It’s time for Canada to regulate marketing food to kids. But regulating marketing is no cakewalk

The kids are not all right when it comes to what they eatMost people would agree that protecting children should be our country’s utmost priority. Protecting children from unhealthy food products and fast-food chains has been the subject of many conversations. Ads for sugary food products geared towards children have been contested for years and some countries have opted to ban them, one way or another. The…
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