Making Exercise Appealing for Young Couch Potatoes

Yes, there’s a television in Steinbeck’s Scottsdale, Ariz., home. But the family’s television room also boasts an exercise bicycle, mini trampoline, and several large exercise balls.

Her two children are just as interested in the tube as any other red-blooded American kids, but Steinbeck sees to it that if they’re tuned in, they’re exercising at the same time.

Everyone in the family uses the equipment as we watch television, the author of the best-selling Fat Free cookbook series explains. That way, the kids are hardly ever sitting and they’re in constant motion. It’s one way to make viewing more than a passive activity. Read more…

What's in the news: Sep. 18: The latest on the H1N1 flu in Canada

Will the H1N1 flu vaccine be available too late to protect some Canadians? [Toronto Star]

On the bright side, it appears that one dose of the vaccine, as opposed to the two doses that were inefficiently predicted to be required, will be sufficient to confer protection.

Dr Kumanan Wilson, the Canada Research Chair in Public Health Policy, at the University of Ottawa, discussed why young Canadians don't want the vaccine. [Globe and Mail]

The current issue of the Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases & Medical Microbiology has several articles on the H1N1 flu of interest to clinicians, including one on treating kids, one on what we've learned so far about the pandemic virus, and one about the work that went into preparing for this outbreak. See the journal's TOC .

The hot topic this week is the story out of Manitoba about accusations that Health Canada shipped body bags to First Nations reserves in preparation for this fall or winter's second wave of the flu. Federal health minister Leona Aglukkaq, an Inuit from Nunavut, is on the hot seat and has promised an investigation, while a Health Canada bureaucrat denied the shipment had anything to do with the flu. The story sure looks bad for Health Canada, which earlier this year delayed sending alcohol-based hand disinfectant gel to Manitoba reserves because of concerns in Ottawa that people there would try to eat the gel to get drunk. "The discussion was with the best interests of our clients in mind," Anne-Marie Robinson, the assistant deputy minister of the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch of the federal health ministry, said at the time. [Canadian Medicine]

A second case of drug-resistant H1N1 flu was identified in Canada. The first was in Quebec; this one is in Alberta. [Canadian Press]

New research has revealed some bad news: the H1N1 flu virus is contagious longer than was previously thought. Quebec researchers determined that 15% of patients infected with the H1N1 strain were still contagious on the eighth day of their infection, but that no one was contagious on the eleventh day.

Canadian Medicine named finalist for publishing award

Canadian Medicine has been for the Canadian Online Publishing Awards "Best Blog" category in the trade publications division.

We'd like to say we're humbled by the news but that seems a bit disingenuous considering we're right now drawing your attention to it. Let's just say it's nice to be noticed.

Winners will be announced Monday, October 26 at a reception in Toronto at the Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen Street West. Tickets for the event cost $10.

This is the Canadian Online Publishing Awards' first year. The competition is being overseen by Masthead Magazine.

(And, as an addendum, I'd like to preemptively acknowledge before any skeptical readers get any funny ideas that yes, for the awards but no, I didn't judge the category Canadian Medicine was in.)

Federal jokesters mine H1N1 flu for new material

Thanks to Maclean's reporter Aaron Wherry for subjecting himself to Question Period in the House of Commons yesterday so the rest of us didn't have to. He that we take note of one "":

Ms. Judy Wasylycia-Leis (Winnipeg North, NDP): Mr. Speaker, the A (H1N1) flu is expected to hit even harder in October. Some 74 people have already died from this flu virus. We need to act now. The minister plans to reveal her priority list for the flu vaccine a little later this week, but we want to know now whether first nations and Inuit people are on that list, since they are at a much greater risk. My question is very simple. Can the minister tell us whether aboriginal people are on the government's list of priorities?

Hon. Leona Aglukkaq (Minister of Health, CPC): Mr. Speaker, I want to be very clear that every Canadian who wants to receive the vaccine will receive it. The vaccine rollout is currently being developed. A special advisory committee made up of chief medical officers is working on that and I expect that vaccine rollout document to be released some time this week. We are working with the provinces and territories to ensure that all Canadians who want to receive the vaccine will be able to do so.

Ms. Judy Wasylycia-Leis (Winnipeg North, NDP): Mr. Speaker, does the minister realize that “A (H1N1)” is not a postal code? We have a serious problem on our hands. At the symposium in Winnipeg two weeks ago, leading epidemiologists in this country said that first nations and Inuit people are 25 times more likely to contract H1N1. I ask you, Mr. Speaker, is the government going to stop the bureaucratese and this dilly-dallying with respect to first nations and Inuit people and act now?

Hon. Leona Aglukkaq (Minister of Health, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the only party that thinks H1N1 is a postal code is that party. Our goal is to ensure the balance between the needs and the speed of the timing of the vaccine. We are gathering as much information as we can on the vaccine to ensure that it is safe and effective for all Canadians. Thanks to the actions of Health Canada, we will be able to approve that vaccine quickly and all Canadians who want to receive the vaccine will be able to do so.
Just in case that conversation got you wondering, we pay Members of Parliament a base salary of $157,731 a year. Ms Wasylycia-Leis, as vice-chair of the Standing Committee on Health, is entitled to an additional $5,684. Ms Aglukkaq gets an extra $75,516 for her efforts as a cabinet minister, plus a $2,122 car allowance.

When children misbehave, their parents usually take away their allowance, don't they? Sometimes Question Period makes you think the inmates are running the daycare, so to speak.