5 Fascinating Stories in Health Science News
We live in the age of the 24-hour news cycle. Stories come and go so fast that it’s important for Canadians to not miss a single story that concerns their health, diets and wellbeing. Recently, five stories were reported with little fanfare, even though they presented key information for Canadians and their health.
In this article, we’ve pulled five fascinating health science stories that cover aspects of our daily health and that we feel are important for everyone to know. We’re excited to present these stories and help you understand why they matter and how they could impact your life.
A New Canada Food Guide
Last year, Health Canada announced a plan to roll out a strategy to urge Canadians to eat healthy. Despite the good intentions, this plan has drawn the ire of some industry groups. The new strategy could see warning labels and greater nutritional information added to foods like milk and cheese, which could dissuade consumers from eating them despite their health properties. In addition, there is a fear that this proposed action plan will cost $2 billion and not produce the positive results required to justify the hefty investment.
Health Canada argues that these measures will result in fewer Canadians developing chronic diseases like diabetes. These proposed changes will be reflected in a revised Canada Food Guide, which looks to add nutritional information and warnings to the front of packaging instead of the side or back where it currently resides. Currently, they are using focus groups to decide on a new warning symbol that can instantly alert the consumer. The new warning symbol could wind up on the packaging of homogenized milk and sweetened yogurts. Dairy farmers have been vocal in opposition and believe that Health Canada’s fight against fat content ignores the nutrients and vitamins found in many of these foods.
Check out the Federal Food Guide changes article on the CBC.ca website, and stay tuned for more information as this story develops in 2018.
Women and Heart Disease
The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada released a groundbreaking report recently which states that women are at a greater risk than men of not having their heart disease diagnosed. Men have been commonly linked to heart disease, receiving a lot of the resources when it comes to detection and treatment. According to the new report and contrary to popular belief, women are five times more likely to die from heart disease than they are from breast cancer.
Men and women experience different warning signs of a heart attack. Unlike men, women could experience unique symptoms like shortness of breath and fatigue. Healthcare professionals need to be more attuned to the symptoms that women could experience and how they express it. Women are at a greater risk of heart disease due to weakened hearts caused by pregnancy, menopause and hormonal changes.
Read the full article on women & heart disease.
Cheerios Feels the Gluten Sting
People with celiac disease or who have children with celiac disease are constantly searching for “safe” gluten-free options. Cheerios was one of those options, but unfortunately, that is changing. CBC News reported that iconic cereal brand, Cheerios, can no longer promote itself as being gluten-free, something it has done for years. The product already sitting on shelves will remain despite the label of gluten-free, but General Mills, the manufacturer, will immediately correct the issue for any future cereal boxes.
Cheerios was first labelled gluten-free in 2016 despite apprehension from the Canadian Celiac Association. The resistance was due in part because General Mills was unwilling to release enough information about its testing practices to satisfy requirements. Cheerios is made from oats, which are naturally gluten-free, but they could encounter wheat, barley or rye during processing. An acceptable result from gluten testing should register less than 20 parts per million of gluten. Cheerios met this mark without satisfying that it was comprehensively keeping its product from contamination. It seems that General Mills has given in and will abide by the standards and practices. For the time being, it cannot safely say that this line of cereals is free of gluten.
Explore the article and learn the details on this announcement from General Mills.
Corporations Tackling Mental Health
In the workplace, where pressure and stress are common, Canada is still figuring out how to best deal with mental health. Some progress has been made but there is still a large mountain to climb, resulting in far too many Canadians having to cope in silence and without resources.
KPMG, a leading Canadian company, created the role of Chief Mental Health Office (CMHO) as part of its mental health strategy. This unique position is held by Dennis Trottier, an auditor who has found success while battling clinical depression. KPMG has been one of the more active companies to embed a mental health strategy into their human resources mission, and to empower their managers to talk to their employees about this important issue.
Learn more about KPMG’s innovation approach to mental health in the workplace by clicking here.
Canadians Need to be Careful with Pain Relievers
It feels completely normal to deal with a headache or sore joint by popping some type of medication containing ibuprofen. These types of pain reliever are available over the counter and can be found inside most of our medicine cabinets. It’s important to know that many people who use ibuprofen and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories like Advil or Aleve are likely using them too often. This, based on a recent U.S. study but Canadians need to heed the warning as well, because the message is universal: read the warning label on medication.
If you take medication but the pain persists, it is not a sign to take more medication. You should seek other methods to relieve the pain or consult with a doctor. Health Canada recommends that ibuprofen has a daily maximum recommended dose of 1,200 milligrams. It also recommends that a person should not take the medication for more than seven days in a row. Medical professionals are starting to lobby that certain NSAIDS should not be available without a prescription.
Check out the full story for more information on ibuprofen dosages.
Stories concerning nutrition, exercise and medication are fascinating and important for every Canadian to follow. We hope highlighting these five stories inspire you to follow health in the news more closely, so that you can make informed decisions and understand what the medical community and the federal government are doing to keep you healthy and safe.