From two Kenyan visitors taking home first place at this year's Manitoba Marathon and a first-of-its kind conference about eating disorders to a lesson about how to decipher the latest health study headlines, the 2012 Healthy Living subjects were diverse.
Now's your chance to test your knowledge of what you read.
Take this quiz to find out if you were paying attention to the information in this year's stories:
1) The province's Dial-a-Dietitian is a free phone service in which people can ask a registered dietitian questions about food and nutrition. The service, operated by the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority and funded by Manitoba Health, has existed since:
C) It's starting up in 2013
D) None of the above
Dial-a-Dietitian launched in February 2010. The service had fielded 3,900 calls in its first two years, according to a Dial-a-Dietitian spokesman. (This information appeared in the Jan. 16, 2012 story "Dial-up dietitians ready with info, advice.")
2) In June, the Canadian Mental Health Association, Manitoba Division, hosted Setting the Table for Recovery -- its first-ever eating disorders conference. River Heights mother and eating disorders advocate Elaine Stevenson -- who lost her 24-year-old daughter to anorexia -- shared the following statistic with the Free Press:
A) About 10 per cent of people with anorexia die within 10 years of the onset of the disease.
B) Boys do not develop eating disorders.
C) The numbers of children in the adolescent eating disorders program at the Health Science Centres has dropped in the last decade.
D) All of the above
Stevenson said nearly 10 per cent of people with anorexia die within a decade of developing the disease. (This information appeared in the June 5, 2012 story "Breaking the silence.") The statements in options B and C are false.
3) Earlier this year, the deputy editor of the Canadian Medical Association Journal, Dr. Matthew Stanbrook, spoke with the Free Press about how to determine if a health study is credible. According to the Toronto-based lung specialist and researcher, all but one of the following statements is correct:
A) Be leery of animal-based studies, because what works on lab rats or monkeys may not work on humans.
B) Studies that come up with the same findings as previous studies should be respected because repetition in science is the ultimate proof a result is legitimate
C) Always disregard a study that's funded by the corporation that makes the product scientist are testing
D) None of the above are actually correct
The only statement that's incorrect here is C. In reality, the public should not disregard studies funded by corporations, though they should always be skeptical.
"A good scientist is skeptical of everything they read. And a good physician and a good member of the public should be skeptical of new things they hear about in science. That's part of science," says the deputy editor. "That doesn't mean we should dismiss studies because they're funded by companies that have an interest in selling their drug."
He says that all scientists are likely to have some degree of bias; even scientist/academics who want to further their point of view. He says industry is unlikely to engage in "outright fraud" but may tend to leave information out of their studies. "It's not that they lied about what they did. It's what they don't tell you." (This information appeared in the June 23, 2012 story "Analyzing the studies").
4) Cardiac researchers from around the world are paying close attention to the results of an elaborate Winnipeg-based, yearlong, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial that cost nearly $1 million. The study suggested that flax, a crop grown in Manitoba:
A) Reduces stroke risk by 50 per cent
B) Reduces heart attack risk by 30 per cent
C) Increases levels of the antioxidant enterolactone by 10 times.
D) All of the above
If you answered D, all of the above, you are correct. The results of the University of Manitoba/St. Boniface General Hospital trial were presented at the November American Heart Association conference in Los Angeles. Approximately 20,000 cardiac researchers from 100 countries attended the event. (This information appeared in the December 3, 2012 story "Flaxtastic!")
5) Earlier this year, the Free Press followed four runners -- of varying levels -- as they trained for the Manitoba Marathon. Of the following, who won a gold in his or her event?
A) Mike Booth
B) Ramona Turner
C) Corey Gallagher
D) Kris Wood
Corey Gallagher placed first in this year's half marathon. The Canada Post mail carrier and elite runner, who had battled injuries throughout his training, called the 2012 Manitoba Marathon "one of the greatest running moments ever for me." (This information appeared in the June 25, 2012 story "They run for a living").
Have an interesting story you'd like Shamona to write about? Contact her at Shamona.firstname.lastname@example.org