Commentary

Experts in health, law, political science and education weighed in with fresh perspectives, strong opinions and solid advice.

23
December
2019

1. COMMENTARY || Is it safe to drink alcohol while breastfeeding?

Three clinicians weighed the evidence and offered practical recommendations to guide mothers in making a responsible personal choice. 

2. COMMENTARY || Do we really need to take 10,000 steps a day?

What began as a marketing strategy to sell step counters has become a powerful public health message, but the most important thing is to be as active as you can, according to health promotion expert Kerry Mummery, who helped pioneer 10,000-step programs in Australia.

3. COMMENTARY || Alberta must not return to the harrowing, divisive times of 1980

Separatist sentiment in Alberta and Saskatchewan may feel like history repeating itself, but the current version has some crucial differences—and risks becoming kindling for a bigger and more dangerous fire, argued pol...

Headlines

14
January
2020
| 14:00 America/Tegucigalpa

COMMENTARY || Gwyneth Paltrow’s new Goop Lab is an infomercial for her pseudoscience business

Upcoming Netflix series based on celebrity's science-free brand represents conflict of interest, argues Timothy Caulfield.

Last week, Netflix dropped the trailer for Gwyneth Paltrow’s new show The Goop Lab. It is a six-episode docuseries launching on Jan. 24 that, according to the trailers, focuses on approaches to
08
January
2020
| 14:05 America/Tegucigalpa

COMMENTARY || To win the fight against health and wellness bunk, we must leave the post-truth era in the past

Health-trend debunker Timothy Caulfield offers a four-point prescription to help science and critical thinking “rise above the noise of nonsense.”

While pseudoscience and quackery have been around a long time, the 2010s were truly the decade of bunk. The reach and influence of misinformation has intensified to the point that it feels near
07
January
2020
| 13:55 America/Tegucigalpa

COMMENTARY || Want to create a healthier country? Start by creating fitter cities

Municipal policies can provide solutions to preventable disease epidemics and ballooning health-care costs, says preventive medicine expert.

Every January, people resolve to lose weight, eat healthy and be more active. Yet, by the end of the month, most people who started the year with the best of intentions have given up, usually having
03
January
2020
| 14:00 America/Tegucigalpa

COMMENTARY || Why having robot co-workers might make you less prejudiced

When robot co-workers are the out-group, human workers become less prejudiced against other humans, researchers find.

Automation is changing America. Robots already operate rescue missions and build our cars, and they may soon be assisting in surgery and teaching our children. As many as 73 million American jobs
16
December
2019
| 22:17 America/Tegucigalpa

COMMENTARY || The problem with personalized health information

The Human Genome Project sparked an obsession with personalized info—and potentially shifted the responsibility for health away from broader society, argues health policy expert Timothy Caulfield.

We have become obsessed with personalization. There are companies selling personalized fitness routines, diets, skin care products, shampoos and supplements. You can get a genetic test to personalize
02
December
2019
| 21:02 America/Tegucigalpa

COMMENTARY || No alternative facts about Ukraine's Holodomor

Evidence is clear that millions in Ukraine were deliberately starved, says director of U of A’s Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies.

A sessional lecturer in the Faculty of Education at the University of Alberta, Dougal MacDonald, recently posted on his personal Facebook page a diatribe dismissing the genocidal Ukrainian famine, or
28
November
2019
| 13:55 America/Tegucigalpa

COMMENTARY || Caring for caregivers should be top priority

Amid staffing shortages and an aging population, improving job satisfaction among caregiving professionals is key to ensuring high-quality care in Canada, argue experts.

More than 220,000 Canadians currently reside in a nursing home or long-term care facility, with the number projected to increase steadily as the Canadian population ages. This may include our
27
November
2019
| 21:40 America/Tegucigalpa

COMMENTARY || Eliminate restrictions preventing cannabis research

The industry needs scientific data to develop intelligently, and that can’t happen until political and professional biases are uprooted.

Recreational cannabis markets are opening up across North America. Yet restrictions on university cannabis research remain. They prevent consumers, patients, medical professionals, the cannabis
26
November
2019
| 18:35 America/Tegucigalpa

COMMENTARY || Are the Oilers for real? Analytics say yes

Oilers fans can breathe easy. After a statistically significant 15 games, the numbers suggest the Oilers are as good as their record indicates.

The Edmonton Oilers are succeeding this year. They are winning and winning a lot. Alas, naysayers abound, skeptically questioning the team’s staying power and asking, “Are they for real?”  The
20
November
2019
| 17:00 America/Tegucigalpa

COMMENTARY || Extraordinary skull fossil reveals secrets of snake evolution

"Beautifully preserved" specimen helps answer long-standing questions on how snakes lost their limbs and evolved specialized skulls over the last 95 million years.

On very rare occasions, an exceptional fossil is unearthed that provides an extraordinary glimpse into the evolution of a group of organisms. This time, it is the beautifully preserved skull of an
07
November
2019
| 14:00 America/Tegucigalpa

COMMENTARY || Climate change affecting prairie birds as much as habitat loss

Preserving vanishing wetlands could help offset effects of long-term increases in temperature and precipitation, researchers suggest.

The grasslands of the Canadian Prairies are a hidden gem for bird watchers, with millions of migratory birds passing through the area each year. But they are also one of the most transformed