A new review of 372 patient group submissions to the Canadian Agency for Drugs or Technology in Health – about whether new medicines should be covered by public plans – reveals a total of 1896 conflicts of interest. (Shutterstock)

Big Pharma donations and public drug coverage

Governments worry that medical cannabis tax exemptions could tempt recreational users. Some might seek prescriptions to save money. Eliminating taxes on medical purchases of only cannabis oil could work as a compromise. (Shutterstock)

Most Canadians still use black market pot

A new body of research suggests that infections in childhood, along with antibiotic use, could impact the bacteria in our intestines and raise risks of mental health challenges in later life. (Shutterstock)

Infections, antibiotics and mental illness

Research using massive databases -- such as the Danish Psychiatric Central Research Register -- is enabling a whole new understanding of the links between life history, the gut and mental health.
Research shows that physical activity and avoiding screens before bed are both strategies to protect your teenagers’ sleep. (Unsplash/Andrea Tummons)

How much sleep do teenagers really need?

When teenagers sleep for less than eight hours a night, they are at increased risk of suicide, being overweight, high rates of injury, poor sustained attention and low school grades.
Shrimp cocktail: Tasty to some, potentially deadly for others. Legoktm/Wikimedia

Shellfish allergies: can they be treated?

Alongside with milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, soybeans and fish, shellfish are one of the eight allergens that account for 90% of food-related allergic reactions. What if a vaccine could exist?
Meat consumption is decreasing in Canada. But don’t look at vegans and vegetarians. In fact, it’s meat-eaters who are eating less than usual who are behind the trend. Yvonne Lee Harijanto/Unsplash

Meat consumption is changing but it’s not because of vegans

There are clearly changes happening in meat consumption. But it's not being fuelled by an increase in veganism and vegetarianism.
For many individuals with spinal cord injury, restoring autonomic functions – such as blood pressure control, bowel, bladder and sexual function – is of a higher priority than walking again. (Shutterstock)

Electrical stimulation technique helps patients with spinal cord injury

Researchers have successfully used 'epidural spinal cord stimulation' with patients to improve bowel function, restore blood pressure control and increase upper-body exercise capacity.
Today’s young people don’t play outside as much as their predecessors and are heavy users of electronics. (Shutterstock)

Too much screen time linked to myopia epidemic

Myopia is a major risk factor for serious eye diseases. It has become epidemic among children, particularly because of their heavy use of electronic devices.
Data from provinces varies, but it generally shows Canadian cannabis users prefer to buy dry flowers (to smoke or vape their weed), want high-quality products and prefer shopping in bricks-and-mortar stores rather than online. Sharon McCutcheon/Unsplash

How Canadians are buying legal weed

Government data outline what’s popular with Canadian cannabis shoppers. Among other things, they prefer smoke-able cannabis, high-quality products and in-store shopping.
In 2016, parents protested the previous Ontario Liberal government’s decision to cut therapy for autistic children aged five and older. Moves by Ontario’s Conservative government have also raised concerns. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Ontario Autism Program changes will hurt kids

An autism policy researcher and the mother of an affected child weighs in on the recent changes announced to the Ontario Autism Program.
Perfectionism often develops in childhood, is impacted by parenting and can lead to mental health struggles in later life. (Shutterstock)

Young people drowning in tide of perfectionism

New research shows that perfectionism has increased dramatically over the last 25 years, and that perfectionists become more neurotic and less conscientious as time passes.
Many cases of lower back pain are best managed through education, exercise and manual treatment. (Shutterstock)

Back pain? A physio may offer the best treatment

The over-medicalization of back pain is a global concern. New research in Canada shows that people with lower income as well as rural and remote dwellers are less likely to access physiotherapy care.
In 2016, drug company salespeople gave out almost 10 million pills to doctors. (Unsplash)

Free samples lead to costlier drugs

It takes about three years for safety problems to be identified in new drugs, newer drugs are almost always more expensive, and yet Canadian doctors still hand out hundreds of thousands of samples.
Three sisters (winter squash, maize and climbing beans) summer garden at the University of Guelph. (Hannah Tait Neufeld)

Indigenous researchers plant seeds of hope

Indigenous food and medicine gardens, and traditional manikin (wild rice) harvesting offer hope -- for the future health of humanity and the earth that sustains us.
Ninety-eight per cent of children now live in homes with internet-connected devices. (Shutterstock)

Screen time predicts development delays

A new study in JAMA Pediatrics suggests higher levels of screen time at two and three years of age predict poorer child outcomes at three and five years, respectively.
Dogs are more sensitive than humans to the psychotropic (mind-altering) effects of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in cannabis products. (Unsplash/Ana Martin)

How to keep your pets safe from weed

Pets are vulnerable to cannabis toxicity - by ingesting cannabis products and also by inhaling second hand smoke. In some cases this can be lethal.
Tax breaks or exemptions for those working in pharmacy, health insurance and pharmaceutical industries could help bolster support for a national pharmacare plan. (Shutterstock)

Tax breaks could soften the blow of pharmacare plan

Two community pharmacists suggest a way for improving the palatability of evidence-based universal pharmacare -- for those working in health insurance, pharmacy and the pharmaceutical industry.
The benefits of beans, lentils and other pulses go beyond the belly. (Shutterstock)

Benefits of pulses: Good for you and the planet

Today’s production of more, better food from the same amount land means that tomorrow’s population may not go hungry.
Vegetable prices are on the rise. How can Canadians cope? Scott Warman/Unsplash

Budget-friendly ways to get your veggie fix

Canada’s Food Price Report, recently published by Dalhousie University and the University of Guelph, predicts significant price hikes for vegetables this year.
Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor, right, and nutritionist Jessica Cole look over samples of some of the food groups at the unveiling of Canada’s new Food Guide, January 22, 2019 in Montréal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

New food guide fails on culture and sustainability

Canada's Food Guide is a political document. It does not represent those who are poor, culturally marginalized and most at risk for food insecurity.

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