Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Guest Post: A Must-Have Supermarket Coupon App

Today's guest post comes from our office's own RD Rob Lazzinnaro who has found this supermarket coupon app to be invaluable, and for the record, he doesn't know the app designers, nor was he paid or asked to write this review.
As an RD I’m always on the lookout for technology that enhances healthy eating and makes it more accessible and attainable. I believe the Flipp app is just that and an excellent example of how technology can indeed help improve food security and health. I have used this app mostly for grocery shopping but it can be used for other essential & non-essential goods. In essence the app is a flyer that takes searching for deals to the next,awesome, level. The weekly savings that Flipp could provide is potentially enormous, granted folks have easy access to grocery stores or good public transportation, which many unfortunately do not.

Flipp is a free download, and once loaded it will ask your location via postal code. It then takes your postal code and compiles a list of all flyers within the selected radius of your location. You now have access to all available grocery stores flyers (of course some grocers will not have flyers) to browse and find deals.

My first recommendation is while browsing a grocery stores flyer to use the discount slider to highlight items in the flyer that are anywhere from 10-50% off (though this doesn't work for every flyer, as the item needs to quote a discount in the stated price for it to be included in the search).

However the more impressive feature is the ability to search a specific food item in all the flyers. e.g. you want to know if there is a sale on oranges, sweet potatoes or avocados at a grocer near you, done:

To take the feature to another level you can even create a grocery list and it will compile the flyers for each individual item, and you can cross items off the list as you get them.

As a final note, I did end up trying the app for other essential kitchenware, such as a slow cooker and food processor and found some great deals! Every kitchen needs the right tools :)

Check it out here!

*Hat tip to my tech savvy wife for finding Flipp, she knows a good app when she sees one.

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Monday, March 30, 2015

Guest Post: A MOOC on Weight Bias with Dr. Sara Kirk? Yes Please!

When my friend, colleague, and holder of the Canada Research Chair in Health Services Research, Dr. Sara Kirk reached out to let me know that she'll be offering a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) on weight bias I immediately asked her if she'd write me a few words about same for Weighty Matters. She graciously agreed.

I last provided a guest post on Weighty Matters in 2013 in which I discussed some of the research happening in the province of Nova Scotia, which explored the dialogue between a person with obesity and their health care providers through drama. This research was published last year and it highlighted the challenges that were experienced on both sides of the therapeutic relationship. It was not that health care providers did not want to support individuals experiencing challenges with weight management. They simply did not know how to do so within the constraints they faced, such as a system that is not structured to support chronic health conditions, and for a health issue for which they receive inadequate training.

This need for more training has led me to develop, in partnership with Dalhousie’s Faculty of Health Professions, my first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), which will be starting on April 20th 2015. A MOOC is a free, open access course that is offered fully online, providing participants with the opportunity to learn about current research and practices in a broad range of topics.

The MOOC, called Behind the Scenes: Addressing Weight Bias and Stigma in Obesity, builds on my research and the dramatic presentation that was created from the findings and will explore some of the personal and professional biases that surround weight management and that impact patient care and experience. I hope to be able to provide participants with an appreciation of the causes and consequences of obesity, and better insight into how to approach individuals experiencing obesity in a respectful and non-judgmental manner. Whether you are a health professional working with individuals seeking weight management support or just interested in learning more about what weight bias is and how it can impact health and relationships, this course will explore bias and stigma in health care and society and provide strategies to build positive and supportive relationships between health care providers and patients.

Participants who complete the course requirements can apply for a citation of completion (for a nominal fee).

For your FREE registration, please visit the course listing and registration page here.

Dr. Sara Kirk is a Canada Research Chair in Health Services and a Professor of health promotion with Dalhousie University's School of Health and Human Performance.

Originally from the UK, she moved to Canada in December 2006, and now heads the Applied Research Collaborations for Health (ARCH) research group. She also holds cross-appointments with Dalhousie's Department of Community Health and Epidemiology and the IWK Health Centre. The focus of her research is on how we can create supportive environments for chronic disease prevention. This includes understanding how obesity is managed within the health setting, as well as understanding the contribution of the “obesogenic” environment to the development of obesity.

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Saturday, March 28, 2015

Saturday Stories: Vitamin D, PBS, and Protein

Kevin Klatt over on his blog Nutrevolve explains why he can't climb aboard the take piles of supplemental Vitamin D train.

Tara Haelle over on Forbes explains why PBS' recent take on vaccination, despite being predominantly steeped in science, was still inexcusably irresponsible.

Lou Schuler on Men's Health questions Dean Ornish' recent New York Times anti-protein op-ed and when you read it, the most important lines in the piece are these two,
"Anyone who’s actually lost weight and kept it off will tell you that a successful diet requires a lot more than a grocery list. In fact, no one in recent years has made a stronger case for full-spectrum lifestyle changes than Ornish himself."

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Friday, March 27, 2015

Why Don't You Love Me?

Today's Funny Friday video is about, at least at first, unrequited love.

Have a great weekend!

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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Make Harry Potter a Teachable Lesson in Fat Shaming

For readers who don't know, I'm the father of 3 young girls. This week I'll be discussing just a smattering of the weight bias teaching they're getting from the world around them. While I catch some of them, I'm sure there are many instances that I'm missing.
I've written about JK Rowling's "Big "Fat" Hypocrisy" on my blog before, and I also wrote about it in my book,
"Harry Potter’s Dudley Dursley's weight is both a constant source of derision and scorn and an identity unto itself. While certainly the Harry Potter series includes other villains who don’t happen to have obesity, the author, J. K. Rowling, uses Dudley’s weight to personify the worst of society’s stereotypes about weight: greed, gluttony, laziness, and stupidity.

My oldest daughter first read Harry Potter at the age of seven, as did many of her peers. Despite the fact that I took the time to sit and chat with her about the way Dudley was written, I still worry about the impact he might have had on her perceptions of children with obesity. My daughter doesn’t struggle with her weight, but what if she did? How do you think a child with weight might react to reading about Dudley? What sort of trauma to body image, food relationship, and self- worth do you think Dudley’s depiction might conjure up for them?
My middle daughter has also recently read Harry Potter and she and I also had a chat about weight bias. No doubt when my baby reads it, I'll be having that same chat again.

Coincidentally, just last week a study about the Harry Potter series was published. Entitled, "The greatest magic of Harry Potter: Reducing prejudice", the study found that reading through the Harry Potter series improved readers' attitudes towards stigmatized groups. Which stigmatized groups? Immigrants, homosexuals, and refugees.

I've written to the lead author and have suggested it might be interesting to repeat the study, but this time look for what the books do to readers' attitudes towards and about those with obesity.

If your children are reading Harry Potter, you might consider using the portrayal of the Dursleys as a teachable moment to explore implicit and explicit weight bias with them.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Why I Stopped Reading The Princess Bride to My Daughters After Only 146 Words

For readers who don't know, I'm the father of 3 young girls. This week I'll be discussing just a smattering of the weight bias teaching they're getting from the world around them. While I catch some of them, I'm sure there are many instances that I'm missing.
I was excited when my sister-in-law gave us a copy of The Princess Bride. Like pretty much everyone, I adore the movie, and thought it would be great to read the book to my kids by their bedsides.

I didn't make it through a single page.


Here are the first 146 words of The Princess Bride,
"The year that Buttercup was born, the most beautiful woman in the world was a French scullery maid named Annette. Annette worked in Paris for the Duke and Duchess de Guice and it did not escape the Duke's notice that someone extraordinary was polishing the pewter. The Duke's notice did not escape the Duchess either, who was not very beautiful and not very rich, but plenty smart. the Duchess set about studying Annette and shortly found her adversary's tragic flaw.


Armed now, the Duchess set to work. The Palace de Guiche turned into a candy castle. Everywhere you looked, bonbons. There were piles of chocolate-covered mints in the drawing rooms, baskets of chocolate-covered nougats in the parlors.

Annette never had a chance. Inside a season, she went from delicate to whopping, and the Duke never glanced in her direction without sad bewilderment clouding his eyes
And so right out of the gate The Princess Bride is teaching kids that obesity is consequent to gluttony, and that gaining weight will lead people to find you unattractive and to never again glance in your direction. Perhaps the rest of the book leaves this creepy, older man leering, and simultaneously fat-shaming narrative behind, but frankly, after those first few paragraphs, I had no desire to find out.

My advice? Stick with the movie.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Scooby Doo's Daphne Cursed to Lose What She Holds Most Dear - Her Figure

For readers who don't know, I'm the father of 3 young girls. This week I'll be discussing just a smattering of the weight bias teaching they're getting from the world around them. While I catch some of them, I'm sure there are many instances that I'm missing.
The movie is called, "Frankencreepy", and it's about a curse that leads the Scooby Doo crew to, as the specter puts it,
"lose what you hold most dear"
What's the most important thing in the world to Daphne?

Her figure.

And now she's cursed to be fat.


Take just a moment and imagine how watching this might make a pre-teen child with overweight or obesity feel about themselves.

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Monday, March 23, 2015

Teaching Children to Hate Weight - Johnny Test

For readers who don't know, I'm the father of 3 young girls. This week I'll be discussing just a smattering of the weight bias teaching they're getting from the world around them. While I catch some of them, I'm sure there are many instances that I'm missing.
The episode is called, "Phat Johnny", and it starts off with Johnny Test telling a comic book salesman that he should try a dancing video game for exercise. The salesman, visibly upset, asks Johnny if he's calling him fat and tells him he has a "glandular problem", to which Johnny replies, "you have a fat problem too" leading the salesman to run crying from the store.

Next Johnny is transported to an island where he meets up with his nemesis Bling Bling. His nemesis is fat, and he's working on creating an" abtastic muscle bar" that will both make him muscular and hence attractive to his crush, Johnny's sister Susan. Both he and Johnny eat the bar and muscle up, but when Johnny is transported back to his home instead of muscled he finds himself fat - the bar has malfunctioned. His best friend Dukey (a dog), recoils in horror on seeing him, and when Johnny sees his new fat self in a mirror, he screams in horror at the reflection.

Johnny heads back to the island to see Bling Bling where he's told that it'll take a long time to fix because the lab technicians all ate the bars too and they're all fat now too and as an apparent consequence, they're also now all klutzy idiots who fall down when they inadvertently bump into each others' stomachs.

Johnny, desperate, asks if he can take monkey growth hormone to help slim him down and his nemesis says not to be ridiculous and instead places Johnny in his mom's girdle.

Johnny gets ejected from the girdle (by the force of his exploding fat), and that launches him back into the teleporter and then back to the comic book store where upon landing a kid points at him and says, "Hey look at Test, he's fat, and that's with an 'f', not a 'ph'" and then all the other kids laugh.

Next Johnny heads home to see his sisters. They're geniuses. He's hoping they can help. They laugh and point at him when he walks in the door. They describe Johnny's problem as, "a big problem, emphasis on big". Their plan is to make Johnny look cool even though he's fat. The plan works. He becomes "Phat Johnny" and raps about his fatness. Then the show cuts to him in his dressing room eating gluttonously.

Next they reiterate the overarching theme of the episode - Johnny made fun of a fat guy and made him sad, and so karma made Johnny a fat guy and now he's sad.

So Johnny does something nice and donates money to a cat shelter, and then gets mad at karma for not "fixing" him.

Ultimately Johnny gets teleported back to the island where he uses the bottle of monkey growth hormone to get thin again.

The end.

So what do you think this episode taught kids who watched?

Oh, and Johnny Test, according to Wikipedia,
"it ranked as the #1 broadcast program in Girl 2-11 (garnering 2.2/10), and ranked as the #2 broadcast series in Kids 2-11 (gaining 2.3/11 in the process) and Girls 6-11 (2.4/11), and ultimately ranking #3 in Kids 6-11 (receiving 3.0/14). Its second season received a slightly more number of viewers in average in the United States: 2.6 million viewers per 2nd season episode. Its 3rd season's average number of viewers in the United States was 3.1 million viewers. Its 4th season got an average number of viewers of about 4.3 million viewers per episode in the United States. Its 5th premiere attracted over 4.7 million viewers in the United States."
And it airs in over 75 countries and 19 languages.

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Friday, March 20, 2015

Feline Hypnotherapy Session

Today's Funny Friday involves a combination kitty masseuse/hypnotherapist.

Have a great weekend!

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