Jiminy Crickets! The truth about bugs as food

Loblaw selling cricket flour under its precious President’s Choice label is a big deal. But in a lot of ways, it makes a great deal of sense

Jiminy Crickets! The truth about bugs as foodSelling cricket flour is a sign that the protein wars in Canada have reached a new level. Loblaw, the largest food distribution company in the country, is now selling cricket flour. The product isn’t new – speciality stores have been selling it for a few years. But Loblaw is the first major retailer to sell…

Let’s lift all Canadians out of poverty

The time has come for Canada to have a dialogue about a national basic income program

Let’s lift all Canadians out of povertyA basic income guarantee has been back in the news a lot lately, thanks to Mark Zuckerberg, Richard Branson, Elon Musk and other tech giants who have publicly endorsed the concept. But it’s not just talk in Canada. Ontario is piloting a basic income across three cities, Quebec has brought in a basic income for…

Coping with borderline personality disorder

For the two per cent of Canadians with this disorder, life is chaotic – often moving from one crisis to the next

Coping with borderline personality disorderAngry outbursts, unstable relationships and mood swings could describe symptoms of several psychiatric conditions. Bipolar disorder, discussed in last week’s column, is just one of them. Another particularly troublesome condition often associated with these traits is borderline personality disorder (BPD). For the two per cent of Canadians with this disorder, life is chaotic – often…

Are you suffering mood swings or bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder affects between one and two per cent of the adult population

Are you suffering mood swings or bipolar disorder?Many of us have a friend or family member we wonder about because they seem to shift unpredictably from one mood to another. We are often worried or in awe of them because they can be on a high one day and despondent the next. While it certainly isn’t always the case, people like this…

The diet shell game

Stick to the evidence when reporting on – and endorsing – food studies. We need real solutions to obesity and Type 2 diabetes, not sales jobs

The diet shell gameTwo of the best-known American food journalists have been telling readers lately that the DASH and Mediterranean diets aren’t best for our health. But the evidence tells a different story. The journalists are Gary Taubes, the author of The Case Against Sugar, and Nina Teicholz, the author of the bestselling The Big Fat Surprise. In their recent…

The fundamental fallacy of universal drug coverage

A program to provide prescription drugs to all Canadians is wasteful and wrongheaded. We should simply be targeting those who need help

The fundamental fallacy of universal drug coverageAs a parliamentary committee in Ottawa drafts its report on the possibility of a national drug plan, a new study estimates that roughly one out of every 12 Canadians who required a prescription in 2016 had difficulty paying for it. The authors also estimate that one million Canadians reduced spending on food and heat due…

Not all hallucinations or delusions are caused by mental illness

Psychotic episodes can occur for a variety of reasons, not all of them having to do with mental illness

Not all hallucinations or delusions are caused by mental illnessHallucinations and delusions are the first things many people imagine when they hear about mental illness. They think of people who hear voices, see imaginary people or think they are someone they’re not. While hallucinations and delusions are not the hallmark of every mental illness, they can occur as a symptom of several disorders. Schizophrenia…

The power of the placebo effect

A patient sometimes perceives a positive result, even from a fake drug

The power of the placebo effectMedical knowledge and treatments have advanced more quickly in the last 50 years than ever before, but the powerful effects of placebo treatments are still reported and are not fully understood. Simply put, a placebo is a medicine or medical treatment that has no active pharmacological ingredient. The term often refers to the inactive treatments…

Increase in counterfeit drugs a danger to Canadians

As the trade in counterfeit drugs grows, so do the risks to Canadian patients and the costs to legitimate manufacturers

Increase in counterfeit drugs a danger to CanadiansThe threat of counterfeit pharmaceutical drugs is on the rise in Canada. From April 2016 to March 2017, Health Canada seized close to 5,500 packages of counterfeit drugs – mainly sexual enhancement drugs such as Viagra – on their way to patient hands. In a single week last year, Health Canada confiscated $2.5 million worth…

The family that reads together, thrives together

Almost nine million Canadians can’t read well enough to perform everyday tasks. We need a cultural shift to a family-centred approach to literacy

The family that reads together, thrives togetherBy Erin Schryer and Nicole Letourneau EvidenceNetwork.ca Two out of five Canadian adults – nearly nine million people – can’t read well enough to perform everyday tasks. Reading difficulties start early. Children who aren’t reading well by the end of Grade 1 are never likely to read well. Reduced literacy puts these children at a…