Category Archives: development

Indigenous Health in Canada and Guyana


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March 5, 2019 — This is the audio of a lecture I gave to undergraduate global health students at Carleton University in Ottawa. You can access the PDF of my slides here.

Chicken Rude and Unreasonable


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Mommy Who Is That Big Baby?

You know, I don’t miss Farcebook. But I do miss changing my profile pic regularly. I was going through some of my old profile pics and I saw this one, which remains one of my favourites. It’s several years old now, and my cousin’s son would probably be mortified if I showed it to him, as he is now quite comfortably bipedal:

And while I’m mentioning random things, the latest Separated at Birth is an eerie one, IMHO. Continue reading Chicken Rude and Unreasonable

A Brief Primer on Trans Fats


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Yes, I struggled long and hard to find a way to make a clever title conflating trans fats with transgenderism, but failed. Probably for the best, as these posts are already getting me into the kind of trouble I fled Facebook to avoid.

Last week, I was interviewed by a couple of Carleton University journalism students about the epidemiology of trans fats as a health factor. I will stream that interview from this site when I get their permission. But I thought I would take a moment to describe to lay people why there is such a concern over trans fats in our foods. Continue reading A Brief Primer on Trans Fats

How Do We Measure Poverty?


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A recent Angus Reid study, reported widely in the news, showed that many Canadians are experiencing financial stress. A large proportion report needing to borrow money to buy groceries, eschewing dental care, and are experiencing hardship in ten other money-related scenarios presented to them. While sadly no one is shocked that a substantial fraction of Canadians is struggling financially, what is surprising is that the study’s estimate of that fraction is considerably higher than the official governmental numbers. The study found that about 16% of the population is “struggling”, while a further 11% is “on the edge” (i.e., at risk of struggling). This gives a total of 27% who are in some sort of financial jeopardy. Whereas, according to the official estimate, 4.8 million Canadians  (about 14%) live beneath the line of indigence. Continue reading How Do We Measure Poverty?