• The Latest

    Public acceptance of sin taxes on sugar or fat not dependent on evidence

    It’s easy to assume that public health measures, such as taxing unhealthy foods, are most successful when they are based on the best available evidence. However, research suggests that evidence-based policy-making doesn’t always dictate public response. Researchers have also noted tensions between different types of evidence when establishing the legitimacy of a policy. We study taxes placed on foods that are deemed unhealthy, and find scientific evidence has not dominated the debates over the legitimacy of these measures. Instead, a food tax’s chances of survival are based on the ability of political interests to create a successful narrative surrounding the policy’s purpose. We compare [...]
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    Colorful sweets may look tasty, but some researchers question whether synthetic dyes may pose health risks to your colon and rectum

    Early-onset colorectal cancer incidence among the young, defined as those under age 50, has been rising globally since the early 1990s. Rates for colon and rectal cancers are expected to increase by 90% and 124%, respectively, by 2030. One suspected reason behind this trend is increased global consumption of a Westernized diet that consists heavily of red and processed meats, added sugar and refined grains. Sixty percent of the Standard American Diet, also known as “SAD,” is made up of ultra-processed food such as industrial baked sweets, soft drinks and processed meat. SAD is associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer. One aspect of ultra-processed foods I’m concerned [...]
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    Canadians want home care, not long-term care facilities, after COVID-19

    The COVID-19 pandemic has shed light on the precarious living conditions of the elderly in nursing homes in Canada. During the first wave of the pandemic, from March to August 2020, more than 80 per cent of Canadian COVID-19 deaths were tied to nursing and seniors’ homes, according to the Canadian Institute for Health Information. The pandemic put nursing homes in the spotlight in terms of how they’ve been managed, their lack of staff and COVID-19’s impact on the living conditions of the dependent elderly people who reside within them. COVID-19 and the media coverage of the crisis in long-term care [...]
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    How metacognition — thinking about thinking — can improve the mental-health crisis

    In these times of virtual meet-ups, negative news overload and widespread uncertainty, it’s fair to say it has been a tough time for our brains. If you’ve been feeling mentally subpar, you may be floating around the edges or caught in the middle of the cognition crisis. And don’t worry, you’re not alone. Our world is facing a global mental health crisis, one that is unique to modern times. Neuroscientist and neurologist Adam Gazzaley calls this a problem of “ancient brains in a high-tech world.” Our brains evolved for a very different environment, and our biological instincts are struggling to keep [...]
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    Virtual care still has a place in post-pandemic health care

    The delivery of health care has dramatically shifted due to the COVID-19 pandemic causing a move from in-person visits to some form of virtual care. In support of this move, provincial governments implemented new physician billing codes. On Sept. 3, 2021, the B.C. Ministry of Health and College of Physicians and Surgeons sent a letter asking physicians to return to in-person patient visits. This was followed on Oct. 13, 2021, by Ontario’s top health officials also urging physicians to do the same. Their concern was that some physicians had not yet returned to giving their patients the option of in-person visits. The letters indicated that [...]

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