Are we programmed to be fat? See it online.

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An exciting new Dreamfilm documentary called Programmed to be Fat? tackles the possible role of synthetic chemicals in the "obesity epidemic".

Programmed to be Fat? tells the stories of three scientists whose unexpected findings led them to follow the research of a curious doctor in Scotland, baffled by her inability to lose weight. For three years she pored over existing research on environmental chemicals and finally published a key study in an alternative medicine journal. It linked endocrine-disrupting chemicals to the obesity epidemic. The scientists came across the paper while puzzling over their own research results.  None of their studies were about fat, but they had two things in common – they were all researching endocrine-disrupting chemicals, and they all ended up with unusually heavy lab animals.

Watch it online.

Women's Heart Health - from Federated Women's Institutes

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Attached please find an article about the Federated Women's Institutes of Canada's (FWIC) most recent national project - Women's Heart Health.  The goal of this organization is to inform women so they may make decisions, which will improve the quality of life for themselves, their families, their community and the world. 

FWIC will be celebrating the success of this project at their national convention that will be held in Sidney, BC in June 2012. 

Nutrition Labels: It's Your Health

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Health Canada’s It's Your Health article on Nutrition Labels has been updated with new information and is now available on Health Canada’s website.

New - Canada’s low-risk alcohol drinking guidelines

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The National Alcohol Strategy Advisory Committee recently launched the first pan-Canadian guidelines for low-risk alcohol drinking. The guidelines are intended to provide consistent, evidence-informed recommendations to Canadians and to encourage a culture of moderation. The guidelines for women and men differ substantially. For example, to reduce your long-term health risks, they advice drinking no more than:

10 drinks a week for women, with no more than 2 drinks a day most days

15 drinks a week for men, with no more than 3 drinks a day most days

Click here to learn more and to read the guidelines.

Women in Canada: A gender-based statistical report, 2010-2011

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Now available online are four new chapters of the publication Women in Canada: A Gender-based Statistical Report, which explores the socio-demographic and economic circumstances of Canadian women in general. These chapters examine the health of Canadian women, their education, their family arrangements and the activity limitations with which some live.

Eight chapters were released previously online. 
All 12 chapters are now available in:
Women in Canada: A Gender-based Statistical Report, 2010-2011, sixth edition

Table of contents:
* Paid work
* Economic Well-being
* Women and the Criminal Justice System
* First Nations, Métis and Inuit Women
* Senior Women
* Female population
* Visible Minority Women
* Immigrant Women
* Women and Education
* Women and Health
* Families, Living Arrangements and Unpaid Work
* Women with activity limitations
* Tables and charts
* More information
* Other issues in this series

Women in Canada: A Gender-based Statistical Report - Product main page (click "View" to see the latest report in this series; click "Chronological index" for earlier issues)

Understanding the role of women in Canadian society and how it has changed over time is dependent on having information that can begin to shed light on the diverse circumstances and experiences of women. Women in Canada provides an unparalleled compilation of data related to women's family status, education, employment, economic well-being, unpaid work, health, and more.

Read more about it here.

New resource: Active after school programs for girls and young women

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The after school time period, from 3:00pm - 6:00pm, is a key opportunity to encourage healthy choices amongst children and youth. Earlier this year, the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport (CAAWS) hosted consultations with program providers and decision-makers to identify persisting and emerging barriers to girls' and young women's participation, and discuss essential components of quality programs. Based on the consultations, the document describes a vision and strategic directions for active after school programs for girls and young women. The policy was developed for community, provincial/territorial and national level organizations to use when considering the design and delivery of active after school programming.

The consultations and subsequent policy document are part of CAAWS' involvement in the Canadian Active After School Partnership (CAASP), funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada.

To read more about it and to download the resource, visit Active after school programs for girls and young women - Policy and Recommendations.

IGH: Strategic direction on sexual and reproductive health

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The Institute of Gender and Health (IGH) of has published volume 3(1) of their biannual newsletter Intersections. This issue is dedicated to the Institute’s strategic direction on sexual and reproductive health, their next area of focus for targeted research funding opportunities. IGH aims to support research that critically analyzes sex and gender to improve the evidence base for decision-making in relation to sexual and reproductive health.

Inside this issue, they highlight IGH-funded research and knowledge translation activities that are already making headway in this direction. In regular columns, such as the IGH Cochrane Corner, Trainee Spotlight, and KT Monitor, you will find highlights of current issues and achievements in gender, sex and health research.

In this issue:

• The Forgotten Sex in Sexual Pain
• At the Crossroads: Healthcare Experiences of Women with Female Genital Cutting
• Married to the Pill: Negotiating a Fifty-Year Relationship
• Who Really Gets Chlamydia?
• Message from the Scientific Director
• KT Monitor | An international symposium speak the unspoken about boys' body image.
• IGH Cochrane Corner | A look at key challenges in sensitizing systematic reviews to sex and gender.
News Briefs
• Trainee Spotlight | 4 questions for Lyndsay Hayhurst

Intersections is available to download below.

For print copies please contact

Medicalization of sex podcasts now online!

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Listen to this fascinating podcast series of radio documentaries that arose from the Medicalization of Sex conference that took place in Vancouver in April 2011.

The three podcasts explore the way in which sex has been positioned in popular culture, in medical discourse and in the news media, as something that is not simply healthy at times, but as necessary in the maintenance of good health. It looks at how this kind of discourse affects how women view their own sexuality, how it plays into compulsory sexuality, and asks: Is sex necessarily "healthy"?

Visit for the entire series of podcasts, from the show The F Word with host Meghan Murphy:

Part one: Sex for health

Part two: The trouble with female genitalia

Part three: Barbara Marshall -- 'Sexualizing the Third Age

A related podcast on the F Word last year also discusses Female sexual dysfunction: Pharmaceutical sham or opportunity for empowerment?

For more information about The F Word, please visit:

New! Expecting to Quit: Best practices in smoking cessation interventions for pregnant and postpartum girls and women

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The British Columbia Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health in Vancouver, BC has just launched a new website that contains their second edition of Expecting to Quit as well as resources for pregnant and postpartum women who want to reduce or quit smoking.

Their new report, aimed at for physicians and other health care providers who work with pregnant and postpartum girls and women, contains the most recent recommendations on best practices for reducing or eliminating smoking during pregnancy. The revised edition reviews research and intervention development in the years since the first edition was published in 2003. It reflects recent emerging interventions and better practices with a variety of groups of pregnant and postpartum women, with an added section on high-risk populations of pregnant smokers.

Read about their research, download the report and find resources for women here: Expecting to Quit: Best practices in smoking cessation interventions for pregnant and postpartum girls and women.

Also, see the attached Expecting to Quit Info Sheet.

New! Engaging men and boys to reduce and prevent gender-based violence

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The White Ribbon Campaign this week launched Engaging Men and Boys to Reduce and Prevent Gender-Based Violence, an Issue Brief commissioned by Status of Women Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada.

The Issue Brief provides an overview of efforts to engage men of all ages in efforts to reduce and prevent gender-based violence in Canada and around the world.

This Brief is rooted in three basic premises:

1.   Work with men and boys is necessary. As perpetrators, the target audience for primary prevention, holders of social norms, influencers on other men, and positive agents of change; men must to be engaged to reduce and prevent gender-based violence.

2.   Work with men and boys can be effective. As the evidence base grows, evaluation data appears, lessons are learned, and best practices are shared, we know this may be the missing compliment to past decades of work.

3.   Work with men and boys can be positive. There is a much broader spectrum of positive roles for men and boys to play than perpetrator or potential perpetrator of gender-based violence. These roles not only prevent and reduce violence against women and promote gender equality, but also improve the lives of men and boys by freeing them from these harmful and limiting aspects of masculinities.

Read more about the Brief, and download English and French versions from the White Ribbon Campaign website.

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