Laura Stymiest is a paediatrics resident at Dalhousie University. She previously trained at the Coady International Institute and has researched in the area of Social Paediatrics. She writes with...
Elizabeth Lee-Ford Jones, an expert adviser with EvidenceNetwork.ca, and Prof of Paediatrics at SickKids in Toronto.
I remember being a second year medical student working in a paediatric clinic.
I see a young girl who has been referred for inability to pay attention in the classroom. The child’s teacher is concerned she has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and possibly, a learning disability.
I am just beginning to establish my approach to patient problems and complex medical illness.
As I make my way through the medical history, the child’s parents tell me they are struggling to make ends meet. Despite their best efforts combined with collections from a nearby food bank, the little girl often goes to school hungry. ...continue reading →
More than 800 000 Canadians access food banks each month, and no province or territory is unaffected by food insecurity. As citizens of one of the wealthiest countries in the world, Canadians should not have to struggle to put healthy meals on their families’ tables — families living on minimum wage should not have to go into debt to benefit from a nutritious diet. We tend to concern ourselves with these issues during traditional “giving” holidays, particularly Thanksgiving and Christmas. As a result, donations to food banks hit a lull during the summer, which unfortunately coincides with increased demand due to children no longer being enrolled in school-based meal programs. We need to be concerned year-round. ...continue reading →
Interview with Valerie Tarasuk, Professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences and cross-appointed to the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. In a research article published in CMAJ (open access), Tarasuk and colleagues found that income-related problems with access to food were associated with increased use of health care services and health care costs. Policy interventions that successfully address food insecurity would likely also reduce health care costs, say the authors.
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