Posts Tagged "Experts"


Coronavirus face mask exemption cards are being sold online. Experts say they’re fake – National

by BBG Hub

As mandatory face mask bylaws pop up across Canada and the United States in order to deter the spread of COVID-19, so are fraudulent cards claiming to exempt people from the rule.

If you do have a medical condition preventing you from wearing a mask, you do not need to prove it with a card, health officials say.

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READ MORE: Phony medical face mask exemption cards confound Ontario and Toronto officials

Toronto and Ottawa recently made it mandatory to wear masks in all indoor places. Quebec plans to make it mandatory on July 18. And Calgary’s mayor said he’s contemplating similar legislation for the city.

The World Health Organization on July 7 acknowledged “evidence emerging” of the airborne spread of the virus. In areas where COVID-19 is spreading, health experts agree that wearing masks or other face coverings in public helps reduce the risk of spreading the virus when people can’t socially distance.

But there are groups of people in Canada and the U.S. pushing back against the rules. Some are even selling fake cards for individuals claiming to be exempt from wearing masks due to a medical condition.

The cards in Canada are allegedly created by an “anti-lockdown group” that opposes mandatory mask bylaws.

Poll: Most Canadians support mandatory masks, vaccines

Poll: Most Canadians support mandatory masks, vaccines

On the group’s Facebook page a post added on Monday reads:

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“Over 2000 Face Mask Exemption Cards mailed out today! To get a card, you can attend the Toronto, BC or Manitoba protests or you can order online after July 16, 2020.”

The post then asks for a donation of $5 per card.

READ MORE: All U.S. Walmart stores, some Canadian ones, to require face masks

The Canadian Human Rights Commission is listed on the back of a card, claiming to give the holder an exemption from wearing a face mask.

“These are fake. The Commission has not and would not produce posters or cards claiming that the cardholder has an exemption from wearing a face mask in closed public places. We strongly recommend to Canadians that they do not share or use these fraudulent cards,” the commission said in a Twitter statement.

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The card is also stamped with the Canadian Red Cross emblem, which did not approve its use.

“This happens quite often actually, and our approach is to use an educational and voluntary removal from its use,” a spokesperson from the organization told Global News in an email statement. “Most organizations do comply. We contacted the organization and all images of the Red Cross have been removed from social platforms and the organization has told us that they will not distribute any further cards with the emblem.”

Municipalities face struggles mandating face masks

Municipalities face struggles mandating face masks

On Wednesday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford was asked about the province’s response to the fake cards.

“This isn’t the time to use fraudulent cards and to get away and be able to go into a store, don’t be a scammer. To say you can’t wear a mask and make up some fraudulent cards, it’s unacceptable. Everyone else is wearing a mask, wear a mask,” Ford said.

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Do not need to show proof

According to Toronto Public Health (TPH), if you have a valid medical reason to not wear a mask you do not need to show proof of exemption.

“It is important to protect people’s privacy. We encourage businesses to be respectful of people who are unable to wear a mask due to health, age or other reasons,” TPH said.

Ottawa Public Health also states on its website that a person who doesn’t have to wear a mask due to medical reasons is not required to provide proof.

Read more:
Where to buy face masks online in Canada and how to choose

“There is no card that needs to be shown [for] those medical conditions that might actually prevent somebody from safely wearing a mask. It may be a question of breathing or heart troubles or it may be a question of a developmental or cognitive issue that makes it difficult to take on and off the mask,” Toronto’s chief medical officer of health said at a media conference Wednesday.

Coronavirus: Psychologists break down why some aggressively oppose mandatory mask rule

Coronavirus: Psychologists break down why some aggressively oppose mandatory mask rule

U.S. investigates fake cards

Some U.S. states and major cities have introduced rules requiring face masks to be worn.

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Last month, fake cards and other documents saying the holder is exempt from wearing a mask, also popped up. One of the cards is marked with the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) seal. The cards and flyers are fraudulent, according to the DOJ.

A photo of a fraudulent ’face mask exempt’ card released by the U.S. Department of Justice.

A photo of a fraudulent ’face mask exempt’ card released by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Photo courtesy of the U.S. Department of Justice

An example of one of the fraudulent cards.

An example of one of the fraudulent cards.

Kristie Mancino/Facebook

The text on the “Face Mask Exempt Card” reads: “I am exempt from any ordinance requiring face mask usage in public. Wearing a face mask poses a mental and/or physical risk to me. Under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA), I am not required to disclose my condition to you.”

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The card threatens penalties against business owners who deny access to people who don’t wear face masks.

Read more:
Winnipeg man arrested after refusing to wear mask on plane from Vancouver

The cards were being sold online in boxes of at least 500 for USD$49.99, according to the New York Times.

The DOJ said not to rely on the information included on the card and instead to visit the Americans with Disabilities Act website.

— With files from Reuters

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Panic over coronavirus is ‘very human,’ but experts say the risk is low – National

by BBG Hub

On Monday, Ontario health officials announced the province’s second “presumptive” case of the new coronavirus, which also marks the second case in Canada.

The female patient has been in “self-isolation” since arriving in Toronto from Wuhan, China last week and the risk to Ontarians and the rest of the country remains “low,” according to a statement from public health officials.

The message was the same after Canada’s first presumptive case of the coronavirus was confirmed on Jan. 25 — Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, said person-to-person transmission had been reported in close contact only.

However, fear and misinformation continue to spread. In fact, some B.C. pharmacies told Global News that they sold out of surgical face masks after the first “presumptive” case was announced.

This reaction is very “human,” said Steven Hoffman, director of the Global Strategy Lab, but it’s neither helpful nor proportionate to the current risk level.

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“Whenever there’s a situation where we don’t have the full information and … people are dying, there’s going to be fear,” he said.

“People are jumping to worst-case scenarios, which isn’t productive.”

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Although the respiratory illness has sickened at least 2,000 people and killed dozens around the world, Pierre Talbot maintains that the individual risk for Canadians remains quite low.

“The virus is not [doesn’t spread] as quickly as influenza — coronaviruses don’t spread very quickly in general,” said Talbot, director of the neuroimmunovirology laboratory at the National Institute of Scientific Research.

“And in this case, we have small cases, but it will be constrained by a quarantine.”

Coronavirus outbreak: Second ‘presumptive’ case of virus reported in Toronto

Coronavirus outbreak: Second ‘presumptive’ case of virus reported in Toronto

The coronavirus spreads the same way as influenza, “by coughing and sneezing from one person to the other,” said Talbot. Transmission of the virus requires being in very close in contact — less than two metres — with an infected individual.

The public reaction to the coronavirus is “far from” the relative risk, Talbot said.

“I think the epidemic will die out in the next few weeks.”

Below, experts explain the possible factors contributing to widespread fear of the coronavirus in Canada.

Humans aren’t good at ‘perceiving risk’

The threat of the coronavirus could seem more ominous than it is because it’s not isolated to one location or one group of people.

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“There is the sense that it could infect anyone and, indeed, it could,” Hoffman said.

He sees a similar phenomenon with terrorism, which scares people to a similar degree: “there’s public perception that it can happen anywhere, to anyone, without notice.”

2nd ‘presumptive’ coronavirus case reported in Ontario, 1st case confirmed

The important thing is for individuals, public health officials and the media to always put news and information about the coronavirus into the appropriate context.

“For example, we have more than 2,000 cases … but every year, the seasonal flu kills up to half a million people [around the world], and yet, how many people don’t even bother to get the flu shot?” he said.

“Humans are very bad at properly perceiving risk and acting on risk.”

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Placing these situations in perspective is “so important” for quelling fear, said Hoffman.

Devon Greyson, assistant professor of communications at the University of Massachusetts, said the same panic occurred during the H1N1 influenza pandemic.

“Unknown risks are difficult to weigh, and often feel scarier to people than actual known risks. We are seeing this now when people panic about the novel coronavirus but haven’t gotten the flu shot.”

“In Canada we usually see about 3,500 flu deaths each year, but influenza seems familiar to people so it does not feel as scary as a new virus.”

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Fear-mongering and misinformation

Sensationalist headlines and lack of regulation online could also be contributing to an inflated sense of fear.

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“There are certain media outlets that I’ve seen that have put crazy headlines designed to attract attention and cause harm,” said Hoffman. “There are also several other news outlets which are actually being really responsible and really helpful.”

Public awareness is needed in these circumstances, Hoffman said, but balance and responsible reporting are key.

Canadian coronavirus patient had symptoms on plane

Canadian coronavirus patient had symptoms on plane

“The fact that the person who was affected [in Canada] knew about the coronavirus and knew what to do if [they] developed symptoms … that’s because of measures implemented by the government at airports, as well as the media,” he said.

“It really highlights the important role journalists play in all of this.”

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Canadian public health officials are have expressed concern about the spread of misinformation, especially online.

China extends Lunar New Year to contain coronavirus as death toll rises to 81

Officials told The Canadian Press they were keeping an eye on social media because misinformation has become a threat to illness prevention.

“In health care in general right now, we are struggling a little bit to combat misinformation about health care from social media and from all fronts and I don’t suspect this will be any different,” said Dr. Sohail Gandhi, president of the Ontario Medical Association to the Canadian Press.

“We have a media staff that are actively monitoring different emerging trends … If they feel there is too much misinformation particularly on one matter, we will speak out against that.”

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Greyson said both misinformation and disinformation are a concern.

“We are already seeing fearful misinformation, including inaccurate conspiracy theories, spreading on social media. Some of this is deliberate disinformation on behalf of people who hope to make a profit off of this outbreak (such as those peddling unproven dietary supplements), but most of the volume is scared individuals sharing misinformation that can erode trust in public health, ultimately raising risks for spread of an outbreak instead of reducing risk,” Greyson said.

Greyson recommends Canadians instead rely on “scientific and trustworthy” sources of information, like the World Health Organization, the Public Health Agency of Canada, or the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Canada’s public health reaction

All things considered, Hoffman said the response by Canadian public health officials has been impressive.

“I make a living on criticizing government responses to public health issues, and in this case, there’s not very much to find fault in what they’re doing,” he said.

“They’ve developed protocols and they’re following those protocols to a tee. That’s exactly what you want to see.”

First point of contact for those concerned about infection should be Ontario Health: Sunnybrook

First point of contact for those concerned about infection should be Ontario Health: Sunnybrook

However, Hoffman hopes that in the future, the government will take steps to create protocols for slowing the spread of misinformation on social media.

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“To the extent that part of public health’s job is to manage the fear of outbreaks, then we need to develop even better approaches in light of the social media age,” he said.

“We probably need a new playbook to deal with the kind of pandemic of fear that we’re seeing [online].”

— With files from the Canadian Press

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© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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How awarding perfect attendance can backfire on children: experts – National

by BBG Hub

Awards for children who never miss a day of school are commonplace in Canadian schools, but now, some experts worry it might be teaching children the wrong lesson.

Research has shown that chronic absenteeism is a predictor of poor academic performance and higher dropout rates. To mitigate those risks, some schools track students’ attendance and give out perfect attendance awards.

Although this practice may boost attendance, Nikki Martyn, program head of early childhood studies at the University of Guelph-Humber in Toronto, worries about the adverse long-term effects.

READ MORE: Self-regulation — What adults can learn from these zen pre-kindergartners

“As humans, we’re not perfect, and trying to attain that actually doesn’t do well for us because it limits us,” she told Global News.

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“It gives us this idea that we have to be in control all of the time. We can’t be vulnerable, we can’t take risks and we can’t have failures — but all of those things are important for learning.”

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In some circumstances, perfect attendance awards can actually be demotivating, as proven by a 2019 study at Harvard University.

What are young kids taught about violence against women?

What are young kids taught about violence against women?

Researchers randomly chose 15,239 students in California between the grades of 6 and 12 who had perfect attendance for at least one month in the fall term. They then split them up into three groups.

The first group received a notice saying that, if they achieved perfect attendance in the next month, they would win an award. The second group received a notice saying that they’d won an award for perfect attendance in the previous month, and the third group did not receive any letters or awards.

For students who were already low-performing academically, the impact of the awards was clear: seeing their peers receive praise for never missing a day of school only made them less motivated to succeed at school than they were before.

READ MORE: End of gender reveal parties and more family activism — Parenting trends in 2020

Martyn said perfect attendance awards can cause children to feel shame over something that could be totally out of their control.

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“Maybe they need a mental health day or they’re feeling burnt out or they’re stressed or they’re being bullied. There are many reasons why children need to skip school sometimes,” she said.

“As a society and parents and educators, we need to be able to support them. We need to teach children how to understand what they need.”

Pressure to be perfect

Incentivizing kids to never miss a day of school could encourage them to ignore their own needs in the pursuit of perfection.

“In general, we want to avoid that word ‘perfect’ for young people,” said Dr. Shimi Kang, an expert in youth mental health and founder of Dolphin Kids, an educational program that teaches children social-emotional skills.

Rates of perfectionism are on the rise in young people — particularly young girls — and it can be linked to anxiety, depression, poor body image and poor relationships, said Kang.

Advice for parents as students balance school pressure, anxiety and mental health issues

Advice for parents as students balance school pressure, anxiety and mental health issues

“We know that children who have high absenteeism rates at school are … missing out on the very important social, emotional, academic learning and community, so you definitely want to encourage attendance and discourage absenteeism,” she said. “But having a focus on the record … is not exactly the right place to put the focus.”

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Kang offers a “thoughtful attendance award” as an alternative.

“I think we should award … the person who is actually brave enough to say, ‘you know what, I can’t make it today,’” she said. “That way, we’re training people who have an ability to take care of themselves.”

READ MORE: The growth chart debate: ‘This is not how kids grow’

This, Kang says, would better address the mental health crisis happening around the world.

“One in four people on this planet have mental health issues. Stress is the number one health epidemic identified by the World Health Organization. Stress impacts our physical body, our blood pressure, our sugar levels, our sleep, our mental health,” she said.

“It is a huge burden on society when people don’t know how to manage and take care of themselves.”

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Children can have suicidal thoughts at very young age: psychologist

Children can have suicidal thoughts at very young age: psychologist

Martyn points out that mental health discussions are happening, but not enough of them are in the classroom.

“[Awards like these are] basically telling our children that they’re not good enough,” Martyn said.

“It’s only been in the last number of years that it’s a discussion to take mental health days at work … that hasn’t translated to the classroom.”

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A symptom of a larger problem

There could be many reasons a child is chronically absent from school.

John Ippolito, an associate professor in the faculty of education at York University in Toronto, believes it’s the responsibility of teachers and administrators to determine those reasons and, if possible, offer help.

In his work, Ippolito has done extensive research on the relationships between families and schools — particularly minority and marginalized families, which can often face “challenges that make regular attendance more difficult.”

READ MORE: Parents are using tech to ‘track’ their kids’ locations. Does it cross a line?

These challenges could include poverty, cultural and linguistic barriers, or a lack of safe and affordable transportation.

“These can all make it hard for kids to get to school,” he said. “[They can lead to] a communication breakdown between the home and the school.”

He recommends that schools adopt “programmatic systematic interventions” to prevent further breakdown with families.

“This can create a dialogue forum to begin to nurture open relationships between the school and the families, so that those families … who are marginalized feel much less afraid to come in and ask the school about the resources available,” he said.

Communication between teacher and student is key

Moving forward, Martyn hopes teachers and administrators will begin to foster more open communication with students and their families.

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“I’d like to suggest that we better support children so they learn resilience,” she said. “How do we support children to deal positively with adversity?”

READ MORE: Hockey? Swimming? Here’s how much parents spend on extracurricular activities — Ipsos

This can include asking students questions like “if you’re sick, what are the things you can do?” or “can you get your homework?”

Teachers should be showing kids how to “positively fight” through adversity, said Martyn.

“Not for the sake of making somebody else feel better, but fight back because it’s in our best interest, because we want to do well and we want to succeed and we like that feeling.”

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© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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‘The Goop Lab’: Why health experts are concerned about Gwyneth Paltrow’s new show – National

by BBG Hub

A new TV show called The Goop Lab will bring Gwyneth Paltrow‘s lifestyle brand Goop to life, and doctors are concerned.

The six-part series will make its way to Netflix on Jan. 24, and it promises to delve into some of the controversial topics that the semi-retired actor has discussed through her brand.

In the trailer, Paltrow is joined by Goop’s chief content officer Elise Loehnen as they discover and learn about new wellness trends together.

“What we try to do at Goop is explore ideas that may seem out there or too scary,” Loehnen said in the clip.

‘The Goop Lab’ — Netflix drops trailer for new Gwyneth Paltrow series

Some health experts are sounding the alarm, fearing the series is just another way for Paltrow to spread misinformation about women’s health.

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Dr. Jennifer Gunter, an obstetrician-gynecologist and outspoken critic of Paltrow and the Goop brand, took to Twitter to share her worry about the upcoming series.

“Medical ideas that are too ‘out there or scary’ should … be studied before [they’re] offered to people as an option,” Gunter said.

In her book Vagina Bible, Gunter aims to protect women’s health from misconceptions and myths often spread through the gaps in medicine, exploited by the “wellness industry” and endorsed by celebrities like Paltrow.

The outrage over the show follows years of controversy surrounding Paltrow and her wellness brand.

In September 2018, the company was forced to pay $145,000 in civil penalties to settle allegations that it made unscientific claims about the health benefits of three of its products: a jade egg designed to be inserted into women’s vaginas to supposedly improve their sex lives, the “heart-activating” Rose Quartz Egg and the Inner Judge Flower Essence Blend, a tincture that Goop claims “assists in the clearing of guilt, shame, self-criticism and blame.”

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Goop made health claims about the products “that were not supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence,” the Orange County district attorney’s office said in a statement.

Shirley Weir founded Menopause Chicks, an organization dedicated to informing women about perimenopause and menopause, and she predicts The Goop Lab will confuse young and old women alike.

“I’m concerned about the show, especially since it’s on Netflix — an account shared by me and my 16-year-old daughter,” Weir told Global News. “We want women to get informed and choose the journey that’s right for them, but when it comes to [Paltrow], I have concerns.

“Even if a woman doesn’t watch the Netflix series, but watches this trailer, it could send her down an uninformed health path.”

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As an accredited obstetrician-gynecologist at Women’s College Hospital in Toronto, Dr. Yolanda Kirkham worries about any wellness product or piece of information that makes a profit — which describes all of the items and services sold by Goop.

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“It becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish between fact-based information and marketing,” Kirkham told Global News. “We’ve seen from celebrity-backed viral misinformation that results can be harmful or deadly.”

Why people fall for ‘crazy remedies’

In a previous interview with Global News, Gunter said it’s important to note that “women don’t just randomly stick weird sh*t in their vaginas.”

“Somebody who is a trusted authority has led them to believe it’s the right thing to do. They’re not stupid, they’re going online, researching and doing their best,” she said.

“What happened is, instead of meeting the right information, they met a predator, who told them wrong information and it was presented in a science-ish way that made it sound right.”

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Kirkham advises people to be cautious.

Really ask who the source is and what the source of the information might be gaining,” she said.

In an effort to make money, one thing the wellness industry does is “generate fear,” Gunter said.

“It makes people scared of things like toxins, but they don’t actually tell you what those actual things are, or what negative effects they have.”

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Dr. Jen Gunter’s ‘The Vagina Bible’

Dr. Jen Gunter’s ‘The Vagina Bible’

This often leads consumers to buy any product claiming to fix the problem, without being critical about what the product is or what it contains.

Although all groups of people can be vulnerable to misinformation, women are particularly susceptible because of the “shame and guilt” associated with women’s health.

“Vaginal steaming, jade eggs … these potentially harmful practices can then lead to acceptance of more dangerous activities,” said Kirkham.

‘Keep coffee out of your rectum, quit steaming your vagina’ — Q&A with Dr. Jen Gunter


“We should be … promoting and communicating good science, quality improvement, patient advocacy and experience,” she said.

“It’s a responsibility of mentors and celebrities to channel their efforts toward this end, rather than promoting misleading content that can lead to distrust of truth and science.

“We need to value trained experts rather than celebrity — even if it doesn’t ‘sell.’”

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How to spot misinformation

In a previous interview with Global News, Gunter offered four “red flags” for spotting fake health news:

  1. If it’s offered as a miracle cure. There are no miracles in medicine; that doesn’t happen.
  2. If it can treat everything. If the list of symptoms that it can treat is extensive, then it’s not true.
  3. If the word “toxins” is used. Doctors don’t talk about toxins. Studies don’t talk about toxins.
  4. If the information is coming from a site that’s selling the product. You can’t get quality information from that kind of biased source.

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“No one would think that they should get their information on depression from a drug company who makes anti-depressants, right?” she said. “So you shouldn’t get your information on a product, or about the medical condition that product treats, from the person selling the product.”

— With files from Meaghan Wray, Aalia Adam and Elizabeth Palmieri

[email protected]

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Instead of putting kids on a diet, teach them healthy habits: experts – National

by BBG Hub

If you’re working on a list of New Year’s resolutions, you might be considering a new diet for yourself, your spouse or even your children.

Dietitians and health experts have long warned about the inefficiency and potential harms of restrictive dieting, but now, experts are worried about weight loss plans aimed at kids and teens — and their concerns aren’t unjustified.

READ MORE: New Weight Watchers app for kids could cause ‘body dissatisfaction,” expert says

From 2013 to 2016, nearly 38 per cent of adolescents between the ages of 16 and 19 said they had tried to lose weight during the past year, according to new data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics released in July.

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The data found that among those who had tried to lose weight, the most common ways were through exercise (83.5 per cent), drinking a lot of water (52 per cent) and eating less (nearly 49 per cent). Over 82 per cent of teens said they had tried to lose weight using two or more methods.

In August, there was widespread backlash from body-positive activists when weight loss company WW (formerly Weight Watchers) launched an app called Kurbo targeting youth aged eight to 17.

READ MORE: Nova Scotia dietitians concerned by new weight loss app for kids

WW’s chief scientific officer, Gary Foster, said that the program was designed to be “part of the solution to address the prevalent public health problem of childhood obesity,” according to a statement released earlier this year.

‘Complicated relationships with food’

The shift towards encouraging weight loss in young people concerns experts like Dr. Valerie Taylor, head of psychiatry at the University of Calgary.

“It starts people on this very complicated relationship with food,” Taylor previously told Global News. “If you eat the bad food, you’re a bad person. That is the message. If you do eat them, you have a problem, you have issues with willpower, with self-control, you’re weak. [Children] very much internalize this.”

The focus should instead be on making sure your child regularly eats a nutritious, balanced diet.

Can you reverse Type 2 diabetes by changing your diet?

Can you reverse Type 2 diabetes by changing your diet?

“Every person needs a vitamin D supplement. For children over one year, this is 600 IU of vitamin D3 daily,” registered dietitian Desiree Nielsen previously told Global News.

Beyond that, Nielsen said that whether a child needs an omega-3 supplement or a multivitamin, for example, really depends on how balanced their diet is and “how accepting they are of a wide variety of healthy foods.”

“If a child eats a wide variety of healthy foods, a basic multivitamin or calcium supplement isn’t necessary,” she said.

READ MORE: How early is too early to talk to your kids about weight and exercise?

Health professionals are also concerned because a focus on weight loss can have lasting negative effects into adulthood.

Disordered eating in the future

Viewing food as either “bad” or “good” can cause serious problems with disordered eating in the future, said Taylor.

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“It’s going to follow these kids long into adulthood, whether that’s going to be a manifestation of an eating disorder or intense body dissatisfaction,” she said. “[It makes] the act of eating miserable.”

Amanda Raffoul, a PhD candidate in the School of Public Health and Health Systems at the University of Waterloo, agrees. Raffoul researches disordered eating and dieting, largely in adolescents.

UN report: Changing your diet can help save the planet

UN report: Changing your diet can help save the planet

Developing unhealthy dieting behaviours as an adolescent puts people at a greater risk of having disordered eating habits as an adult, she said. This is particularly true for women.

“Eating disorders are obviously very complex and have a lot of factors that contribute to them,” Raffoul previously told Global News. “But dieting at a young age is a pretty major risk factor.”

Focus on being healthy instead

One-third of children worldwide under age five — roughly 200 million kids — are either undernourished or overweight, according to a recent report by the UN children’s agency.

In Canada, childhood obesity rates continue to rise. In fact, they’ve nearly tripled in the last 30 years, according to Statistics Canada.

That’s why, in the opinion of parenting expert Alyson Schafer, it’s never too early to teach kids about healthy eating habits and the benefits of regular exercise. However, there is a right way to go about it.

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Red meat health impacts: Dietitian weighs in on recent study

Red meat health impacts: Dietitian weighs in on recent study

“Modelling good habits and attitudes while discussing health from an educational perspective is key,” Schafer previously told Global News.

When it comes to getting your kids to exercise, Schafer says to make sure that you just don’t put on a YouTube video and let them follow along alone.

“That is not social enough for youngsters,” she says. “They don’t need more screen time alone. If you are doing yoga, ask them to join you … Be active and inspire them. Discuss the health benefits in an age-appropriate way.”

READ MORE: ‘Incredibly concerning’ — More U.S. teens are trying to lose weight

It’s crucial to have healthy conversations about weight. According to Raffoul, it’s important for youth to see messages that promote health — not weight loss.

“If we continuously focus on needing to lose weight as an indicator of health, then people will do whatever they can, or feel like they need to do, to lose that weight without focusing on not only their physical health but also their mental health and social well-being,” she said.

— With files from Global News’ Meaghan Wray, Laura Hensley, Arti Patel and Dani-Elle Dube

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© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Don Cherry’s comments weren’t ‘hate speech,’ but employees can still be fired for being ‘hateful’: legal experts – National

by BBG Hub

Longtime hockey commentator Don Cherry was fired from his job as co-host of Coach’s Corner following televised remarks in which he appeared to say new immigrants don’t wear poppies and implied they don’t support veterans.

“You people … you love our way of life, you love our milk and honey, at least you can pay a couple bucks for a poppy or something like that,” Cherry said. “These guys paid for your way of life that you enjoy in Canada, these guys paid the biggest price.”

Sportsnet announced its decision to fire Cherry on Monday.

“Following further discussions with Don Cherry after Saturday night’s broadcast, it has been decided it is the right time for him to immediately step down,” Sportsnet president Bart Yabsley said in a statement. “During the broadcast, he made divisive remarks that do not represent our values or what we stand for.”

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READ MORE: Don Cherry out as host of ‘Coach’s Corner’ following poppy controversy

The firing came as a surprise to some, as this is hardly the first time Cherry has made controversial comments on the air.

In 2018, during a Coach’s Corner segment, Cherry called people who believe in climate change “cuckaloos.” In the segment, Cherry questioned co-host Ron MacLean about whether he and his “left-wing pinko friends” could explain higher temperatures in the face of cold weather.

When MacLean tried to avoid the question, Cherry plowed on: “I’m just asking you, the cuckaloos are always saying there are warming trends — we’re freezing to death.”

Remembering the sacrifices of Canada’s minority soldiers

Remembering the sacrifices of Canada’s minority soldiers

In April 2013, Cherry remarked on a controversy around a hockey player who was facing criticism at the time for what some called a sexist response to a female reporter who had asked the player a question after a game.

“I don’t believe women should be in the male dressing room,” he said at the time, causing MacLean to grimace.

However, the comments made by Cherry on Saturday sparked fierce condemnation from the public, politicians and the National Hockey League, leading to his dismissal by Sportsnet and parent company Rogers.

READ MORE: Don Cherry firing doesn’t solve problem his poppy comments highlighted, WWI historian says

Cherry is refusing to apologize, saying in an interview with the Toronto Sun that he could have kept his job if he’d agreed to become “a tame robot who nobody would recognize.”

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Now, the Canadian public is engaged in a raucous debate: some believe Cherry’s comments constituted hate speech, while others think he should have been allowed to say whatever he wants without consequence under Canada’s freedom of expression law.

But according to James Turk, director of the Centre for Free Expression at Ryerson University, neither is true — Cherry’s comments would not be considered hate speech in a court of law, but he’s also not protected from workplace action under Section 2 of the Constitution.

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“Some people confuse ‘hateful speech’ with criminal hate speech,” Turk told Global News. “Your being offended by speech or finding speech ‘hateful’ isn’t necessarily how the courts understand what the legislation means.”

The difference between ‘hateful’ speech and hate speech

Cherry’s comments about Canadian immigrants might be hateful, but they likely would not be considered hate speech in the eyes of the law, Turk says. In explaining the distinction, Turk cites a decision by Chief Justice Robert Dickson in one of Canada’s landmark hate speech cases, R. v. Keegstra.

In it, Dickson writes: “Hatred is predicated on destruction, and hatred against identifiable groups therefore thrives on instances of insensitivity, bigotry and destruction of both the target group and the values of our society.”

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Turk explains that one’s own belief that a comment is hateful does not necessarily qualify it as hate speech.

Nova Scotians condemn Don Cherry’s poppy comments

Nova Scotians condemn Don Cherry’s poppy comments

“What’s illegal … is really extreme hate speech that renders a group of people essentially subhuman,” he said.

“Don Cherry’s comments certainly are hateful, but they wouldn’t be considered hate speech by any court in Canada.”

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The key difference between hateful speech and hate speech is that one is allowed, legally, to have and share opinions that could be considered hateful.

“Don Cherry has every right in the world to hold the views he has … and to express what he believes,” Turk said. “He could stand on a street corner, he can talk with his family, he can be in a group of people saying that all he wants. That’s not illegal in Canada. That is his freedom of expression.”

READ MORE: Here’s what you need to know about Don Cherry

However, under freedom of expression, no corporation has an obligation to employ him if his comments — which could be considered hateful — run directly contrary to the beliefs and values of the corporation.

“Sportsnet is a private business, and it employs commentators,” said Turk. “If those commentators engage in things that are embarrassing to the corporation and the corporation feels are contrary to its values, it certainly has the right to fire them.”

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Cherry’s comments aren’t illegal, but that doesn’t preclude them from affecting his employment or any other area of his life.

Don Cherry fired from Hockey Night in Canada following controversial poppy comments

Don Cherry fired from Hockey Night in Canada following controversial poppy comments

“We still have freedom of expression in Canada, but it’s not unlimited in the sense that the only recourse — if I do or say something that is truly offensive — is the law. In fact, the law is the last resort,” he said.

“Don Cherry was a commentator, and he crossed a line that, for his employer, was a red line so they fired him, which they have a right to do.

“When you’re in a workplace, you’re constrained by the policies of your employer.”

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Freedom of speech doesn’t mean ‘freedom from workplace consequences’

Daniel Lublin, a Canadian workplace lawyer and partner at Whitten & Lublin Employment Lawyers in Toronto, agrees with Turk: freedom of expression cannot be equated to “freedom from workplace consequences.”

“The two just do not add up,” Lublin said. “Cherry or anybody else are entitled to their views. He was entitled to share his views. Nobody’s stopping him from — and nobody has stopped him over the 40 years — from saying what was on his mind.

“That does not render him immune from workplace termination or discipline.”

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READ MORE: ‘I wish I’d handled myself differently’ — How bystanders can challenge unacceptable comments

According to Lublin, whether Cherry has a right to express his views freely isn’t relevant to the conversation. What matters here is how he acted as an employee of a company.

Lublin uses the example of a company executive who writes a controversial blog post that is later picked up by a number of media sources.

“This reflects poorly on the company, and that’s the analogy I give to Cherry … except with Cherry, it’s actually worse because he wasn’t doing it in his own time,” he said. “He was speaking to a live national broadcast.”

Don Cherry faces backlash over comments on Remembrance Day, poppies and immigrants

Don Cherry faces backlash over comments on Remembrance Day, poppies and immigrants

For Sportsnet and Rogers to have sufficient, just cause to dismiss Cherry, his comments didn’t even need to be racist or discriminatory — they just needed to be controversial.

“They certainly were controversial, and controversial enough that people complained,” he said. “There was smoke, if not fire. What happens in that scenario is it casts a negative light on the broadcast. It cast a negative light on ratings.”

In that case, Rogers, or any other company, has every right to “distance themselves from that executive, or in this case, from that TV personality,” Lublin said.

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If Cherry argued he was wrongfully dismissed, Lublin says it would be an interesting case because, “it’s not the first time Cherry has made controversial comments.”

“You’d have to really check into whether he was warned, whether he was disciplined … whether he was given a clear and unequivocal notice that you can’t make controversial comments like that,” he said.

“Cherry’s controversial nature has worked well for CBC and Rogers over the years, but now that it’s not in vogue … There could be an argument to be made that CBC and Rogers condoned the conduct for years.”

Sportsnet, Ron MacLean issue apologies after Don Cherry controversial remarks on immigrants and poppies

Sportsnet, Ron MacLean issue apologies after Don Cherry controversial remarks on immigrants and poppies

Lublin says “an argument of condemnation” would be something a court would consider when determining if there’s cause for dismissal.

“I have cases like that all the time … I’ll have an individual who does something the company disagrees with and then they fire him or her. That client walks into my office and says: ‘Well, wait a second. I know what I did wasn’t great, but this isn’t the first time I’ve done it. Over the years, I was never disciplined.’”

— With files from Andrew Russell, Maryam Shah, Amanda Connolly and the Canadian Press

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© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Does banning cellphones help students focus? Experts are divided – National

by BBG Hub

Students in schools across Ontario are now prohibited from using cellphones during class.

The ban, which went into effect on Monday, added students can only use cellphones for educational purposes under an educator’s instructions, for health or medical purposes or for special needs.

“Our government heard clearly from parents and educators about the growing challenge related to distracted students in the classroom. When in class, students should be focused on their studies and not on social media,” Education Minister Stephen Lecce said in a statement.

READ MORE: Ontario-wide cellphone restrictions in classrooms now in effect

“The cellphone restrictions coming into force on Monday is another step forward in providing a focused and academically-enriched learning environment for our students.”

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Ontario isn’t the first jurisdiction to institute such a ban. One Alberta school division started enforcing the rule in September, as did an individual school in Montreal.

Cellphone bans in schools are becoming more common, likely due to the ubiquity of cellphone ownership among school-aged children. According to a recent Canadian survey by the Vanier Institute, 24 per cent of Grade 4 students, 52 per cent of Grade 7 students and 85 per cent of Grade 11 students report owning a phone.

Emergency room staff caution against taking photos there

Emergency room staff caution against taking photos there

There’s also plenty of data to suggest cellphones can be a distraction during school.

A 2018 study found exam performance was “significantly worse” for students who had a cellphone compared to “no-device” students, and another 2015 paper found “student performance in high stakes exams significantly increases” with a ban on mobile phones.

The case for banning cellphones

As both a parent and a professor, David Chorney has seen the the power of a cellphone firsthand. He works as an associate professor in the faculty of education at the University of Alberta.

“There’s no doubt it’s a distraction,” he said. “When it’s in a school environment, it’s a negative. It’s not a positive.”

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Chorney is currently conducting a survey about cellphone use with Grade 5 students at a local elementary school. He hopes the data will show how cellphone ownership can harm a child’s school experience.

READ MORE: Alberta school division bans cellphones

“I want to get the data from real kids … to share with educational stakeholders, principals, parents and everybody,” he said.

“I have 100 per cent support for all those teachers and school boards who are saying ‘take the phones away from from the kids during the day’ unless [it’s for] pedagogical [reasons],” he said.

For him, the onus is on the parents to make smart decisions about when to give their child a phone and what to teach them about appropriate use.

Should Alberta follow Ontario’s lead and ban cellphones in classrooms?

Should Alberta follow Ontario’s lead and ban cellphones in classrooms?

Monitor your kids. Put a restriction on time [spent on the phone] during the day. Don’t let [kids] have [cellphones] the in the bedroom,” he said.

Parenting expert Judy Arnall agrees — the classroom and cellphones don’t mix.

“Phones are a distraction. It’s a problem for everyone,” she said. “What we know from brains is that the ability to focus is part of the executive function development of the prefrontal cortex.

“Kids are all over the map in their ability to focus … they have varying degrees of focus.”

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Specifically, Arnall worries about the kids with trouble focusing as it is, even without a cellphone on-hand.

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READ MORE: Should Quebec ban cellphones in classrooms like Ontario just did?

“An outright ban helps those kids without stigmatizing them, because everyone is on the same page regarding cellphones,” she said.

She also believes cellphone bans are an efficient way to teach kids “good digital habits.”

“There are times when it’s not appropriate for cellphones, like a funeral or a job interview,” she said. “Kids need to know and be able to handle that fact.”

However, whether the technology should be banned outright is up for debate.

‘Missing the point’

Nancy Walton agrees that cellphones can be distracting, but she’s not sure an outright ban is the right move.

Previously the director of e-learning at Ryerson University in Toronto, Walton is now the director of the school of nursing. She believes banning cellphones could be missing the point.

Referring to the Ontario government’s concerns about student distraction and lack of focus, Walton said “an outright ban doesn’t actually address those problems… In fact, it creates a different set of problems.”

N.B. students wonder if cellphone ban in classrooms could happen

N.B. students wonder if cellphone ban in classrooms could happen

That students struggle to pay attention in school could have more to do with a teaching style that needs updating, in Walton’s view.

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“In high schools [and in] lots of places, teachers stand at the front of the room and talk, and that’s been going on for many, many years,” said Walton. “Maybe we need to look … [for] different and innovative ways to engage.”

“One of the challenges I have as an educator is to be more interesting than [Instagram] or … whatever it is.”

Walton recommends field trips and group work as effective ways to keep students engaged for long periods of time.

“There’s lots of other learning strategies you can use,” she said. “You’re never going to solve the problem that some students are not going to be engaged. […] Hopefully, you’re capturing everybody at some point for a little bit.”

READ MORE: Juul still a favourite among teens as vaping numbers rise in the U.S.

Walton says cellphones present an opportunity to teach students how to use technology in a “thoughtful, responsible, accountable” way.

“We know that students will do better when you’re engaging them in ‘real life’ kinds of things,” she said. “They’re using their phone in everyday life to solve problems, to see information. One of the things [educators] can do is to teach students how to sort good information from bad, how to be critical.”

“If you’re not integrating the technology into what you’re [teaching], it’s unrealistic.”

— With files from Travis Dhanraj

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© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Consent may not be ‘truly possible’ in some office romances: experts – National

by BBG Hub

Workplace couples are often romanticized — think Bill and Melinda Gates or Michelle and Barack Obama. But when the relationship involves two people with unequal power, it can also be fraught with peril, especially in the #MeToo era.

McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook is only the latest chief executive to be ousted over a consensual relationship with an employee. Increasingly, U.S. companies are adopting policies addressing workplace romances, a trend that began well before the #MeToo movement galvanized a national conversation surrounding sexual misconduct.

Addressing workplace romance can be complicated, but many companies remove any grey areas by forbidding managers, especially C-suite executives, from having relationships with subordinates given the potential for favouritism or lawsuits if the relationship sours.

READ MORE: Second McDonald’s exec leaves after CEO was fired over consensual relationship with employee

There are questions about whether consent is truly possible when the power imbalance is especially great. Many women who have come forward to share their #MeToo stories have said that they feared the consequences of saying no to a powerful person who could influence their careers.

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“That power difference can create a dynamic where the relationship can never truly be consensual,” said Debra Katz, a founder partner of the law firm Katz, Marshall & Banks who has represented women in several prominent sexual harassment cases.

“The #MeToo movement has shown how quickly it can go from consensual in the beginning to a huge problem when the relationship goes awry.”

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Easterbrook’s departure comes as McDonald’s steps up its efforts to stop sexual harassment after dozens of employee complaints.

McDonald’s CEO parts ways with company after breaking policy

McDonald’s CEO parts ways with company after breaking policy

A timeline for McDonald’s

Over the last three years, more than 50 McDonald’s employees have filed cases alleging sexual harassment with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or in state courts, according to Fight for $15, a labour advocacy group.

In August, the hamburger chain unveiled a program to teach its 850,000 U.S. employees how to recognize and report harassment and bullying. Franchisees — who own 95 per cent of McDonald’s 14,000 U.S. restaurants — aren’t required to offer the training, but the company expects them to provide it.

READ MORE: McDonald’s CEO resigns over consensual relationship with employee

McDonald’s said Easterbrook violated company policy forbidding managers from having romantic relationships with direct or indirect subordinates. In an email to employees, Easterbrook said the relationship was a mistake and he agreed “it is time for me to move on.” He was replaced by Chris Kempczinski, who recently served as president of McDonald’s USA.

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Time’s Up, a group that fights harassment and has been supporting workers’ legal cases, said Easterbrook’s departure should provide an opportunity for McDonald’s to do more, including making sexual harassment training mandatory.

“Under the new leadership of Chris Kempczinski, McDonald’s has an opportunity, and obligation, to act to ensure that all of its locations are safe and equitable for all,” said Jennifer Klein, chief strategy and policy officer at Time’s Up.

Complications around policy

Easterbrook followed in the footsteps of Intel chief executive Brian Krzanich, who resigned last year after the chipmaker found he engaged in a relationship that violated a “non-fraternization” policy that applies to all managers.

Other CEOs who have been pushed out over consensual relationships include Darren Huston of online travel company Priceline, Brian Dunn of Best Buy and Harry Stonecipher of aerospace company Boeing.

READ MORE: The ins and outs of dating a co-worker

In 2005 — the year Stonecipher was pushed out — just a quarter of U.S. workplaces had policies addressing consensual relationships, according to the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), the world’s largest group of human resources professionals.

By 2013, the number had jumped to 42 per cent, according to an SHRM survey that year of 384 of its members. Of those workplaces, 99 per cent prohibited romance between a supervisor and a direct report.

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SHRM has not conducted a more recent survey on the issue, but other research suggests such policies are even more common now. In a 2018 survey of 150 human resources executives, the executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas found that 78 per cent of companies had policies discouraging dating between subordinates and managers.

Much more complicated is how far to go with such policies. Not all policies pertain just to bosses and their underlings.

The SHRM study found that 45 per cent of employers with workplace romance policies forbid relationships between employees of significant rank differences, while 35 per cent prohibited them between employees who report to the same supervisor.

Many human resources professionals, however, believe it’s unrealistic to adopt a blanket ban on workplace romance.

Office holiday parties in the #MeToo era

Office holiday parties in the #MeToo era

An SHRM survey from January 2019 found that one-third of American adults have been in a romantic relationship with someone at work.

“People meet at work. It’s not an uncommon place for romantic relationships to start,” said John Gannon, an employment law attorney with Skoler Abbott in Springfield, Mass.

A growing trend among small companies is to sponsor happy hours for their staffers to increase camaraderie, said David Lewis, CEO of HR provider OperationsInc, based in Norwalk, Conn. Those events can be fertile ground for romantic relationships so it’s hard for a business owner to then tell staffers to break up or quit, he said.

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Some companies have what are known as “love contract,” which require disclosing relationships to the company and agreeing to act appropriately.

Lewis said he has seen a big increase in business owners asking for on-site training sessions for employees to raise their awareness on what constitutes harassment. Those sessions discuss relationships between staffers and warn that both partners in a relationship must act professionally with no public displays of affection. And they’re expected to remain professional if they break up.

© 2019 The Canadian Press

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Eating alone may not be good for your health: experts – National

by BBG Hub

Plenty of people eat lunch at their desk or gobble down a takeout dinner between driving their kids to extracurricular activities.

More Canadians are living alone than ever before, too, government data shows, meaning many home-cooked meals are eaten solo.

While attention is often focused on seniors eating and living alone, Kate Mulligan, an associate professor at the University of Toronto’s School of Public Health, says the issue affects everyone.

“We see younger people — millennials, for example, or even younger — who are ordering in a lot or may not even have cooking facilities in their apartments,” Mulligan said.

READ MORE: Why aren’t Canadians cooking anymore?

But is eating alone actually that bad for your health? According to research, the harms may outweigh the benefits.

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How eating alone can harm you

“Eating alone is associated with a whole range of poor outcomes, and they’re correlated with similar outcomes for loneliness in general,” Mulligan said.

“When you eat alone, you’re more likely to eat standing up, you’re more likely to eat junk food and you’re less likely to think about mindful consumption.”

Benefits of shopping for your own food

Benefits of shopping for your own food

Because food can be a social experience, missing out on eating with others can make people feel isolated. One study out of Japan found that living and eating alone may increase the risk of depression in older adults.

Canada’s Food Guide also encourages people to eat with others. The guide says eating alone can lead to feelings of loneliness, especially for seniors.

The physical implications vary, but research suggests solo dining habits can negatively impact a person’s health.

One Korean report concluded that eating alone may be a potential risk factor for metabolic syndrome, a cluster of health problems including too much fat around the waist and elevated blood pressure. The condition — which can be caused by poor diet and lack of exercise — increases the risk of heart attack, stroke and diabetes, HealthLink BC points out.

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READ MORE: Spending time alone isn’t weird or sad — it’s actually healthy

Eating alone can also affect what you eat.

A U.K. study found that older adults were at risk of having a lower-quality diet if they lived and ate alone.

Researchers found that being single or widowed was associated with a lower food variety score, especially for men. The study also found that lower levels of friend contact were linked to eating a reduced variety of fruits and vegetables.

Another Korean study concluded that people who eat alone have a nutritional intake below the recommended amount.

Easy meal prep for students

Easy meal prep for students

According to Mulligan, people may be more inclined to mindlessly eat or snack when they are by themselves compared to when they’re enjoying food with others. This can result in poorer food choices.

“We’re less conscious of what we’re doing when we’re alone or when we’re in a rush or in transit,” Mulligan said.

“With isolated seniors, for example, they often just don’t feel it is worth the effort to go through and prepare healthier foods when they’re alone.”

There’s also the impact on the planet. A recent article published in Quartz pointed out that solo eating can contribute to food waste.

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Research shows that more than half of food produced in Canada is wasted. Furthermore, avoidable food waste in the country produces more than 22 million tonnes of climate-changing carbon dioxide emissions.

How eating alone can benefit you

There are certainly benefits to spending time alone and learning to enjoy your own company.

A recent article published in the New York Times unpacked the ways people can enjoy eating alone and highlighted its benefits: a sense of self-indulgence and needed quiet time.

READ MORE: Men struggle to keep friends — and it’s hurting their mental health

Eating alone while travelling is often unavoidable and can be a great opportunity to connect with others.

Mulligan says for parents with young children, a meal alone can be an enjoyable break.

Still, this doesn’t mean solo dining should be the norm.

10 things you need to know before buying a meal kit

10 things you need to know before buying a meal kit

“I’m sure for some people and in some circumstances, it can be quite joyful to eat alone,” she said. “But that doesn’t make it healthier in the long run.”

To combat the effects of eating alone, Canada’s Food Guide suggests making plans to meet with friends or family members for meals and participating in community celebrations. It’s also a good idea to organize a rotating dinner event where people take turns hosting meals.

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At work, try to eat lunch in a common space with a colleague.

Mulligan puts it this way: “The evidence is pretty clear: in general, eating with other people is good for us.”

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© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Cursing helps you crush your workout, experts say – National

by BBG Hub

Do you feel like swearing whenever you’re on a stair climber? If so, it may be a good idea to let those F-bombs out.

Research from the U.K.’s Keele University and Long Island University Brooklyn has found that swearing during exercise can improve performance and even help you deal with pain. The findings, recently published in the journal Psychology of Sport and Exercise, say cussing can boost both physical power and strength.

During one experiment, researchers asked participants on a stationary bike to swear while peddling. They found that using foul language produced a 4.6 per cent increase in initial power during a 30-second cycling test compared to those who didn’t curse.

READ MORE: New to working out? Here’s how to overcome exercise anxiety

In a separate test, swearing also resulted in an eight per cent increase in maximum handgrip strength over non-swearing subjects.

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“Swearing appears to be able to bring about improvements in physical performance that may not be solely dependent on a stress response arising out of the shock value of the swearing,” Richard Stephens, the study’s co-author and professor of psychology at Keele University, said in a statement.

“We know that swearing appears to be handled in brain regions not usually associated with language processing. It is possible that activation of these areas by swearing could produce performance improvements across many different domains.”

Wait, so how does swearing boost workouts?

One reason why swearing can improve workouts is because it raises our pain threshold, research suggests.

Previous research done by Stephens found that cursing can have a “pain-lessening effect.”

How exercise can help students get better grades

How exercise can help students get better grades

In one study, Stephens and his research team asked some participants to stick their hand in ice-cold water and cuss, then do it again using non-offensive words.

The team found that “swearing increased pain tolerance, increased heart rate and decreased perceived pain compared with not swearing.”

Researchers aren’t entirely sure why bad words are linked to a reduction in pain but think swearing can trigger humans’ “fight-or-flight” response.

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When our bodies are in this heightened mode, certain hormones are released that help the body react to possible danger. This state can help us perform in tough situations.

READ MORE: Here’s why you might ‘black out’ when you’re anxious

Researchers suggest the accelerated heart rates of the volunteers who swore indicate an increase in aggression, which reflects the common fight-or-flight response of “downplaying feebleness” to appear stronger and more pain-tolerant.

“What is clear is that swearing triggers not only an emotional response but a physical one, too, which may explain why the centuries-old practice of cursing developed and still persists today,” researchers wrote.

Swearing may also be a distraction method.

If obesity runs in your family, you may want to start jogging

If obesity runs in your family, you may want to start jogging

According to David Spierer, the co-author of the swearing and exercise study and a professor health science at Long Island University, using curse words during exercise might divert your attention.

“Cursing may allow people to shut down their inhibitions and somewhat veil the effort and the pain of this really difficult task,” Spierer said in a statement.

“Using swear words might be helpful in any circumstance where muscle strength and a sudden burst of force or speed is required.”

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So next time you’re at the gym, try letting out a few curse words — just be sure you don’t scream them.

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© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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