Shamona Harnett

  • Mission: control

    Canada has one of the highest rates of diabetes on the globe, according to a report released earlier this month. At least three million Canadians (or 9.4 per cent of the population) have been diagnosed with diabetes, says information released by the Canadian Institute for Health Information and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.
  • New studies say exposing infants to potential food allergens may prevent later allergies

    Ottawa resident Michelle Nel didn't think twice about feeding her daughter sesame seeds, fish, eggs, nuts -- even curry -- when she was an infant. "We fed her pretty much anything and everything since a very young age," says Nel, who puréed whatever she ate and used it as baby food, never really keeping track of what she fed her baby.
  • Pass the butter

    Don't fear animal fat, says the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada in its new set of guidelines. Instead, the organization is urging Canadians to "cut the crap."
  • Carb confusion

    ‘I haven’t eaten a single carb in months,” said an acquaintance who was on what she considered to be a health kick in advance of an upcoming Caribbean vacation. She uttered the words as she ate a green salad filled with chopped vegetables.
  • Foods aimed at kids often hide nutritional deficits behind deceptive labels

    While out of town recently, I stayed with a family with young kids and peered into their pantry daily while helping myself to meals. The kids' favourite snacks are items that I see a lot of parents throwing into their grocery carts -- especially now, during back-to-school season.
  • Got the lunch box blues?

    They're baaaaack... "They" are the struggles parents face every September when they start thinking about preparing bagged lunches for their kids that they won't toss into the trash.
  • Weight lost, life regained

    Roy B. ravaged half a chocolate cake and then threw it out, disgusted with himself. The next day, the Winnipegger fished the cake out of the garbage can in his back lane and quickly ate the discarded remains before driving to work. He didn't have time to pull over to the side of the road before he vomited in the car and all over himself. He arrived at the office a mess -- emotionally and physically.
  • Serving up change

    Do there seem to be an increasing number of fellow customers stalled in the grocery-store aisles lately, staring at food-package labels? They seem baffled by what they are reading and unsure of what to place in their carts. Is something that contains more carbohydrate but more fibre better for you than the product that contains fewer carbs but less fibre? Is that 55-gram serving size on the label the amount you would typically eat at one time? Exactly how much sugar is in each serving?
  • Silent killers: Winnipegger wants to stop stigma surrounding strains of hepatitis virus

    Kirk Leavesley couldn't shake his flu symptoms and he was constantly in a "brain fog." The normally energetic Winnipegger was desperate to find out what was wrong with his health.
  • CrossFit draws interest from both athletes and exercise novices

    Ryan McMillan had never heard of CrossFit a year ago. But after spotting conflicting stories about the trend on Facebook, he was intrigued. He read that CrossFit's no-frills, boot camp-inspired moves could get exercisers strong fast. He also heard that overzealous CrossFitters were at a high risk of injuries.
  • Take steps to reduce suffering in days following marathon

    Your legs throb so intensely that making your way down a single stair is agony. Your head pounds as if you spent last night at the bottom of a bottle of booze.
  • Deciphering cancer's code

    A team of Winnipeg researchers is the first in the world to discover the mysterious language shared between estrogen and healthy breast cells. The findings -- recently published in the peer-reviewed medical journal, Endocrine-Related Cancer -- could lead to early prediction of estrogen-fuelled breast cancer before it ever happens, says Afshin Raouf, lead author of the study.
  • Juice doesn't belong in Canada's Food Guide

    Canadian Beverage Association president Jim Goetz extolled the virtues of fruit juice last week, stating that it should not be removed from Canada's Food Guide. In a story from The Canadian Press published in the May 20 edition of the Winnipeg Free Press, Goetz said: "At a time that we know Canadians aren't eating enough fruits and vegetables, (juices) provide a convenient way to round out fruit servings for people who want some choice."
  • Strengthening pelvic-floor muscles can help with incontinence, pain

    Crystal was so nervous about her frequent, almost uncontrollable urination that she skipped her honeymoon. "Oh, God. It was frustrating. I started having anxiety attacks," says the Winnipegger, who requested that the Free Press not publish her real name. "I wouldn't want to go out anymore. I wouldn't travel."
  • Labelling lies

    A study published last week in the British Journal of Nutrition found that printing nutrition labels on the front of food packages could help consumers make healthier food choices. Even if nutrition labels were at the front of packaged foods, many consumers would still be confused by the word games many companies use when marketing their food.
  • Forget the gimmicky diets — knowledge is the key to healthy weight loss

    WEIGHT Watchers and Jenny Craig are among the most effective commercial diet programs, according to a recently published scientific review. The analysis — which looked at 39 studies of such diets — appeared in the Annals of Internal Medicine on April 6. A story from The Associated Press about the review appeared on this newspaper’s website last Monday.
  • Food, not fads

    Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig are among the most effective commercial diet programs, according to a recently published scientific review. The analysis -- which looked at 39 studies of such diets -- appeared in the Annals of Internal Medicine on April 6. A story from The Associated Press about the review appeared on this newspaper's website last Monday.
  • Babies' diapers could be key to unlocking allergy mystery

    The poop in a baby's diaper could be key in determining whether he or she develops allergies in the future, says a team of Canadian scientists. In a first-of-its-kind study, the scientists -- some of whom are at the University of Manitoba -- found that babies with fewer varieties of gut bacteria were more prone to develop food sensitivities -- and, in some cases, allergies -- by age one.
  • Remember your resolutions?

    It was only a few weeks ago when you resolved to make 2015 your healthiest year ever. Yet data show 35 per cent of people break their resolutions by the end of January -- and even more turn their back on their New Year's promises by the end of February.
  • Medicine for the mind

    It didn't take long for pediatric exercise scientist Jonathan McGavock to realize that his years of education were virtually useless in preventing obesity and Type 2 diabetes among kids most at risk. In an effort to keep children healthy, McGavock used to teach the kids he worked with how to exercise effectively and eat nutritiously.
  • 'Take two orgasms and call me in the morning'

    "NOT tonight dear. I have a headache.” It turns out the old cliché could be harmful to our health.
  • Shake it off

    Winnipeg will soon be the scene of a giant Zumba class led by one of the fitness brand’s most recognizable figures. Her name is Loretta Bates and she’s featured in several popular video games, including Zumba Fitness World Party. The ultra-toned American also teaches Zumba instructors how to excel at one of the globe’s most popular fitness trends.
  • Reasonable resolutions

    The slate is clean. The year is fresh. You've made your vows to live a better life. You're not alone. Millions of Canadians have made New Year's resolutions -- and according to statistics, most are health-related.
  • Here's to a healthier 2015

    There was a time when eliminating fat from our diets and working out with leg warmers was all the rage. Fitness and health trends have, thankfully, become more down to earth.
  • Curb your urge to splurge with these healthy tips for the festive season

    You've worked hard all year to stay relatively fit. Now you're worried about the holidays. But the onslaught of holiday cocktail parties with their buttery appetizers and sugary beverages don't have to ruin your healthy ways.


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