Lab-grown meat is worthless unless consumers see a benefit

The issues surrounding the technology – and the payoffs – need to be clearly explained to get public support

Lab-grown meat is worthless unless consumers see a benefitCultured meat is an interesting concept that could hit stores soon. But this new science needs to make a case for consumers, not just for the industry.  According to a recent survey by Dalhousie University, fewer than 19 per cent of Canadians would willingly ditch their favourite steak for a lab-grown version. But even if…

Federal drug-pricing plan threatens access to new medicines

There’s no escaping the fact that discovering, developing and testing new drugs costs a lot of money

Federal drug-pricing plan threatens access to new medicinesBy Bacchus Barua and Steven Globerman The Fraser Institute It seems quite clear that the current Liberal administration wants the federal government to become the public insurer for prescription drugs, in part to contain drug costs. It’s a wrongheaded plan. In 2017, the government proposed changes to the way it limits drug prices in Canada.…

Education has positive impact on your mental health

Studies show that higher levels of education increase the likelihood of being happy and healthy in later years, and improve self-esteem

Education has positive impact on your mental healthResearch has provided another reason to stay in school, pursue post-secondary education and continue learning – education is good for our mental health. In earlier columns, I have highlighted the importance of keeping the mind fit in order to prevent Alzheimer’s as we age. Education (formal and informal) is a good way to do this.…

Why you need to talk to your teens about sex

Early sexual activity puts children at risk of pregnancy and sexually-transmitted diseases – and it can damage them emotionally

Why you need to talk to your teens about sexThe sexual behaviour of teenagers can strike fear in the hearts of most parents. Media reports and documentaries routinely tell us that today's teenagers are more sexually active, at younger ages, than ever. It's not uncommon for 13- and 14-year-old kids to experiment sexually. But what does this mean and what are the implications, if any,…

Address your fear of dying, express end-of-life care wishes

As physicians, we see death made worse and more painful every day by poor advance care planning

Address your fear of dying, express end-of-life care wishesBy Paul Hébert and George Heckman Canadian Frailty Network Are you or a loved one aging, perhaps with a chronic heart or lung condition that limits daily activities? Do you have an older parent in a nursing home or who needs assistance with daily living activities? If so, read on and make the pledge. As…

Do vegan cheese and fake meat represent food appropriation?

The massive rise in consumption of alternative proteins has put huge pressure on the livestock and dairy industries

Do vegan cheese and fake meat represent food appropriation?The overpowering plant-based narrative is clearly helping lentils, chickpeas and soya win the proteins wars. The livestock and dairy industries feel the pressure. With the publication of the new Canada’s Food Guide, we have officially ended more than 70 years of state-endorsed fascination for animal proteins. Let’s face it, the change was necessary. The guide…

The psychiatric implications of thyroid disease

Both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can cause psychotic symptoms such as delusions and hallucinations, plus depression

The psychiatric implications of thyroid diseasePsychiatric conditions such as depression and anxiety disorders are often mistaken for physical illnesses because of shared or confusing symptoms. Making a correct diagnosis can be tricky. But sometimes the situation is reversed – a physical illness is mistaken for a psychiatric one due to overlapping symptoms. One excellent example occurs in the presence of…

Don’t turn away when you see potential for suicide in others

As many as 90% of people who commit suicide experience depression, substance abuse or other mental health disorders

Don’t turn away when you see potential for suicide in othersSuicide is the darkest and most tragic face of mental illness – but we can reach out and help. When a person cuts his or her own life short out of desperation to end mental and emotional suffering, there is little that can comfort families and loved ones. One in 25 Canadians will attempt suicide during their…

Schizophrenia a frightening and misunderstood disease

Schizophrenia, which affects one per cent of the population, is the result of an organic problem in the brain

Schizophrenia a frightening and misunderstood diseaseSchizophrenia is a frightening disease that is not well understood. Although it has been well characterized in some movies such as A Beautiful Mind, this illness is more often thought of in vague and uncertain terms. Some would say they think a person with schizophrenia is ‘crazy’, or that they have multiple personalities, or that…

Canada’s Food Guide is a good first step but more must be done

We need clear warning labels on the front of unhealthy food products and legislation that protects children from marketing

Canada’s Food Guide is a good first step but more must be doneBy Andrew Pipe and Yves Savoie Heart & Stroke The new Canada’s Food Guide has the potential to help challenge the impact of diet on Canadians’ health. But more must be done to realize that potential. The updated version of this vital document, the first such major change to the Food Guide since 2007, has been…