Wednesday, April 19, 2017

New Data Shows Food and Beverage Company Health & Wellness Initiatives Reached More than 11 Million Americans in 2016

Scope and Impact Verified by City University of New York School of Public Health

WASHINGTON, April 18, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The Healthy Weight Commitment
 Foundation (HWCF) today released new data showing the eleven food and beverage
companies participating in the Commitment to Healthy Communities (CHC) program
invested more than $30 million in community-based health and wellness initiatives that
 reached more than 11 million Americans in 2016.  The CHC data was reviewed and
 confirmed by the City University of New York School of Public Health (CUNY). 
"Food and beverage companies have a strong commitment to providing consumers
 with the products, tools and information they need to achieve a healthy diet and active
 lifestyle," said Becky Johnson, Executive Director of the Healthy Weight Commitment
Foundation.  "These year-one results are an impressive start, and will be used by CHC
and its member companies to expand the effectiveness of their investment in a healthier future."
"This data is very important because it provides a great baseline that will help us track
and improve the effectiveness of the private sector's community-based health and
wellness programs moving forward," said Terry T-K Huang, PhD, MPH, CPH and
 Professor, CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy.  The year-one
results show not only progress and promise, but the need for continued work."
The 2016 data captures the scope and impact of health and wellness programs
 developed by CHC's participating companies. Report's Executive Summary shows:
  • 11 food and beverage companies delivered 38 community-based health and wellness programs in 2016.
  • Participating companies spent more than $30 million on community-based health and wellness programs in 2016.
  • Those 38 programs reached 11.2 million Americans with tools and information to help them achieve a healthy diet and active lifestyle.
  • 34,700 schools across America were reached with health & wellness tools and materials.
  • Participating company employees conducted more than 50,000 volunteer hours.
  • Participating companies donated 420 million total servings of food to local communities.
  • The health and wellness programs facilitated 1.6 million hours of physical activity.
CHC is a novel approach designed to fully leverage the strengths of the public sector
(including academia) and the private sector in pursuit of a common goal — reducing the
 prevalence of childhood obesity within a generation. It was created by HWCF and CUNY
to evaluate corporate-community investment in healthful eating and active living programs
 and catalyzes multi-sector action toward collective impact on community health. 
The goal of CHC is to assess corporate programs and use scope and impact data to
 build a catalogue of best practices and concepts companies can use to move toward
implementation of impactful new and better programs.  An independent panel of experts
oversaw the development of CHC's framework for evaluating company strategies and
programs that promote healthy lifestyles in communities across the country. Some of the
world's largest and most recognized food companies are participating, including
General Mills, the Kellogg Company, PepsiCo, The Coca-Cola Company, Nestlé,
 The J.M. Smucker Company, Campbell Soup Company and others.
"CHC is harnessing the collective strengths of the public and private sectors to
 develop a roadmap for addressing obesity and helping children and adults
 achieve a healthy and active lifestyle," concluded Ms. Johnson.

Read the full version of the CHC final report here.

About the Healthy Weight Commitment FoundationThe Healthy Weight
 Commitment Foundation (HWCF) is a broad-based not-for-profit organization
whose mission is to help reduce obesity, especially childhood obesity, by
encouraging positive and permanent lifestyle changes among school-aged children
 and their families. The Foundation develops and implements innovative and
collaborative educational, marketplace and community solutions with its coalition
of 300 corporate and not-for-profit partners.  Through its free, award-winning
Together Counts™ healthy lifestyle school curriculum, the Foundation has reached
 more than 44 million students in the U.S. As the first commitment to former
First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move initiative and verified by the Robert
 Wood Johnson Foundation, the HWCF's food and beverage company members
 gave consumers more lower calorie options by removing 6.4 trillion calories
 from their products– surpassing their pledge by more than 400% three years
ahead of schedule. In 2016, they expanded their programming to Colombia,
Mexico and Brazil.

Contact: Sean McBride

Monday, April 17, 2017


Bone broth is a very nutritious food that you should be eating, if you have issues with allergies and skin problems. For hundreds of years, people in various cultures have relied on bone broth for its nutrition and ability to prevent a symptoms of leaky gut.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Waiting for emergency care - how long is too long?

New study sheds light on an old problem in Canada's hospitals and suggests that strategies to shorten wait times should be considered

By Alan Katz
and Jennifer Enns

WINNIPEG, Man./Troy Media/ - Canada's emergency departments are very busy. Every year, Canadians make about 16 million visits to emergency rooms and more than one million Canadians are admitted to hospital through emergency departments.
Given how complex it is to assess, treat and admit this large and variable population to hospital, it likely comes as no surprise that nearly all emergency department patients spend some of their time waiting.

Emergency department wait times are a matter of concern for Canadians. We wonder if we, or our loved ones, will have to wait in pain or discomfort for hours before being seen. Or if a life-threatening condition could get worse while we wait.
Most of us have been there: wondering what's taking so long and hoping they'll call our name next. No one likes waiting, especially for urgent care.
Several research studies have explored the factors that contribute to wait times. A few studies have shown that emergency departments can become overwhelmed by the number of patients arriving for care. Emergency medicine clinicians and leaders often point to hospital overcrowding as the main culprit for longer waits because patients waiting to be admitted occupy stretchers that would otherwise be available to new patients.
These observations highlight important opportunities to improve wait times. But one aspect of emergency care that hasn't been well studied is the time it takes to assess patients' conditions once they've been seen by a practitioner in the emergency department.
How long patient assessment takes depends partly on how sick the patient is. But it can also be influenced by other factors, such as the need for blood tests, X-rays or consultation with other health-care specialists.
So how long do we wait for care?
A recent study led by Dr. Malcolm Doupe at the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy provides a detailed picture of the many factors affecting Winnipeg's emergency department wait times - and studies the patient assessment period for the first time.

The study team used the relatively new Emergency Department Information System (EDIS) to track patients as they move through emergency from their initial assessment (triage) to treatment, and then to hospital admission or discharge.
They found that Winnipeg emergency departments function moderately well in most instances, even though they're often at more than 100 per cent capacity during daytime hours. Across all types of emergency departments, half the patients had a visit time of 5.1 hours or less, and half stayed longer than 5.1 hours. With a national wait time average of 4.4 hours, there's clearly plenty of room for improvement.
It was better news for urgent care. The study corroborated many findings from previous studies and found wait times were very short (median wait time of six minutes) for those who needed care immediately. For less urgent conditions, wait times varied and depended on how many higher urgency patients were receiving care, and how many other lower urgency patients were waiting.
But the study's most striking finding was the importance of the diagnostic testing process in determining wait times. That's a new piece of evidence that will help us find solutions.
Diagnostic tests are an essential part of an emergency doctor's work, but when tests and scans were ordered, wait times for other patients began to climb significantly. For example, Winnipeg's emergency departments had periods where up to 45 per cent of treatment areas were occupied by patients waiting for X-rays or other tests. During these peak periods, wait times for patients with moderate to less urgent conditions could increase from 15 minutes to as much as five hours.
These findings indicate that new strategies to shorten wait times should be considered. Could processes within the emergency department be streamlined to reduce the time it takes to get tests done? Are diagnostic tests quickly available at all hours and at all emergency departments? Are community-based providers sending patients to emergency departments to access diagnostic tests that would best be done in doctors' offices?
Bringing about improvements to wait times in emergency departments will require collaboration and new approaches between leaders and experts in emergency medicine. But there's no reason we can't get there. Patients deserve no less.
Alan Katz is an expert adviser with and director of the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy. He is a practising family physician and the Research Manitoba/Heart and Stroke chair in Primary Prevention Research. Jennifer Enns is a post-doctoral research fellow at the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy. She has expertise in population health, health equity and knowledge translation.
© 2017 Distributed by Troy Media

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Sick and tired (and in pain) over health-care wait times
The Canadian Institute for Health Information annual tracking of waits for priority procedures is a reminder of how little has changed and how far we have to go

Vancouver, Victoria, Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal 
By Bacchus Barua
The Fraser Institute

VANCOUVER, B.C./Troy Media/ - The Canadian Institute for Health Information's annual tracking of wait times for priority procedures is out and the news is not good.
Contrary to the CIHI news release's sugar-coated headline that "Most Canadians receive priority procedures within medically acceptable wait times," the report is actually another reminder of how little has changed and how far we have to go.
While there's value in CIHI's measurement, its report focuses primarily on patient wait times for only five "priority procedures," and in a very limited sense. For example, the report doesn't include the time it takes to get an appointment with a specialist. And it uses remarkably long benchmarks for acceptable time frames (six months for hip and knee replacements, for example).
Even so, the report concludes that only three out of four Canadians received treatment within the medically recommended wait time. This means that one out of four Canadians - 25 per cent - did not receive treatment within the generous benchmarks used in the report. Worse, the situation has deteriorated since last year when "only" one out of five Canadian patients - 20 per cent - didn't receive timely treatment.
More bad news: the report's five-year trend analysis shows deterioration in access for three of five procedures (hip replacement, knee replacement and cataract surgery) since 2012. Only wait times for hip fracture repair have improved over the five-year period, although they were actually slightly worse in 2016 than to 2015.
In fact, the only legitimate silver lining is that 97 to 98 per cent of patients consistently received radiation therapy treatment within 28 days. So, thankfully, patients waiting for cancer treatment seem to receive therapy within four weeks (not including delays in seeing a specialist).
But what about everyone else?
While governments in Canada still don't generally report comprehensive and inter-provincially comparable information on wait times for most medically-necessary procedures, more detailed statistics are available. For example, the Fraser Institute's most recent annual survey of physicians in Canada found that patients could expect to wait 20 weeks from general practitioner referral to treatment for medically-necessary treatments across 12 specialties (including orthopedics, neurosurgery, urology and otolaryngology). This wait time was the longest ever measured by the survey and more than twice as long as the waits in 1993 (9.3 weeks), when the first national estimate of wait times was produced.
Worse, when compared to other universal health-care systems around the world, Canada consistently ranks last or next to last on several important indicators of timely access to care. For example, the U.S.-based Commonwealth Fund (in conjunction with CIHI) recently released the results of their survey of adults in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States - all countries with universal health-care systems (except, arguably, the U.S.). Canada ranked worst in terms of the ability to get a same-day or next-day appointment when sick, the wait for treatment in an emergency department, the wait to see a specialist and the overall wait for all elective surgery.
Yet in the face of this failure, patients in Canada have no recourse. Due to federal and provincial laws, it's extremely difficult for patients to escape these inordinately long wait times. Instead, they're often faced with the unhappy choice of waiting in pain while their situation deteriorates or leaving the country to access timely treatment.
Wait times have become the Canadian health-care system's defining feature. This despite years of spending increases and continued promises from provincial and federal governments to do something about it.
Nice headlines pretending otherwise do Canadians a disservice.
It's time we all got honest about health care and started exploring policy options to improve our system.
Bacchus Barua is an analyst at the Fraser Institute.
© 2017 Distributed by Troy Media

Friday, April 7, 2017

Bunny Butt Cookies

These cute bunny butt cookies are sure to become a Easter favourite.


1 roll Pillsbury™ refrigerated sugar cookies
1/3 cup (75 mL) all-purpose flour
1 container Betty Crocker™ Whipped fluffy white frosting
Pink gel food colour, if desired
22 miniature marshmallows
Assorted size candy sprink


  • 1Heat oven to 350°F (180°C). In large bowl, knead cookie dough and flour with hands until well mixed.
  • 2Reshape dough into 9x1 1/2 -inch (23x3 cm) log.
  • 3Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate 30 minutes. Remove plastic wrap. Cut cookie dough into 33 slices. Cut 11 slices into 4 equal wedges; shape each wedge into ovals for bunny feet. Place cookie dough slices and bunny feet on ungreased cookie sheet.
  • 4Bake 8 to 12 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 15 minutes.
  • 5In medium microwavable bowl, stir frosting and 1 to 3 drops pink food colour until well blended. Microwave uncovered on High 10 to 15 seconds or until soft but not translucent.
  • 6To make bunny butt, frost 1 whole cookie slice and 2 bunny feet with frosting. Place bunny feet on bottom of cookie as shown in photo. Place 1 marshmallow in centre of each cookie for tail. Decorate bunny paws with candy sprinkles. Repeat with remaining cookie slices and bunny feet.