Thursday, October 24, 2013

Coffee reigns as the number one beverage of choice for adult Canadians!

TORONTO, October 24, 2013 /Canada NewsWire/ - According to the CAC's newly released 2013 Canadian Coffee Drinking Study, coffee is a dominant beverage in the Canadian market. Only tap water enjoys equally high past-day penetration. The results of the research show that approximately two-thirds of adult Canadians (65%) consumed coffee in the past-day. Approximately three-quarters of Canadians aged 18-79 (78%) indicate they've consumed coffee in the past week. A total of 83% of Canadians say they've enjoyed coffee in the past-year. Coffee drinkers consume on average 3.2 cups of coffee per day.

Traditional coffee is the most common coffee type, with over one-half of consumers drinking it yesterday (55%), followed by espresso-based coffee (12%), instant traditional coffee (9%), iced/frozen blended coffee (6%) and decaffeinated coffee (5%).

In total, one-third of Canadians consumed an espresso-based beverage past-week (32%). The more popular espresso-based beverages are cappuccinos and lattes where 16% and 14% of consumers had them past-week. Specialty Coffee beverages and iced/frozen coffee are strongest among ages 18-34. Those aged 18-24 are less likely to drink coffee yesterday. In addition, those 18-24 year olds who do drink coffee tend to drink fewer cups.

Overall, roughly three-quarters of consumers who drank coffee past-day consumed it in-home (78%), while 37% consumed coffee out-of-home.

The drip coffee brewing format is dominant (53% of past-day coffee users drank a coffee prepared using a drip coffee maker), but single-cup machines are now in a strong second place (25% of past-day coffee users drank a coffee prepared using a single-cup machine). Single-cup brewer ownership is markedly higher in Canada than in the United States (20% vs. 12%).

"One of the features of the out of home Canadian coffee market is accessibility through the high number of outlets per capita," says Sandy McAlpine, CAC President. "In fact, coffee is second only to Italy in terms of menu importance for away from home coffee consumption. Further, the single cup phenomenon has dramatically changed the grocery store shelf and the at home coffee drinking experience for many Canadians."

Canadian Coffee Drinking Study

In 1998, the Coffee Association of Canada (CAC) commissioned the initial wave of the Coffee Drinking Study of Canada. The primary objectives of this study in 2013 were to:

...Determine the current disposition of coffee beverage consumption in Canada and identify changes over time;

...Investigate consumption and attitudes toward coffee consumed at-work;

...Further understand the market for single-cup brewing systems;

...Determine awareness, purchase, and attitudes toward cause-related coffee and attitudes surrounding environmental practices in the coffee industry.

The Coffee Association of Canada/Café Association du Canada

The CAC is the primary advocate for the coffee industry in Canada. The Association exists to undertake a leadership and spokesperson role to effectively address collective industry issues and enhance the coffee beverage experience by providing members and consumers with opportunities to improve coffee beverage knowledge and skills.

For over 20 years we have advocated on behalf our membership on government policy and regulations. We work with all levels of government and in partnership with other related industry associations to influence outcomes, ensure our objectives are met and that our interests are both promoted and protected. We endeavor to be a credible, comprehensive and accessible source of information and provide useful resources and valuable knowledge through targeted research and communications. This advocacy is funded by and depends on the commitment and the dedication of our membership.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tell us "Who Are You Fighting For?" for a chance to win at

TORONTO, October 22, 2013 /Canada NewsWire/ - Diabetes has reached epidemic proportions in Canada and around the world. With more than nine million Canadians living with diabetes or prediabetes, including an estimated one million living with undiagnosed diabetes, awareness is the crucial first step in the fight against the disease. In recognition of Diabetes Awareness Month this November, the Canadian Diabetes Association has launched Who Are You Fighting For?—a grassroots campaign that will provide a voice to people affected by diabetes across Canada.

"My five-year old daughter, Avery, and I both live with type 1 diabetes and people need to be aware of what this disease entails," says Tanyss Christie, Chilliwack, British Columbia. "I'm fighting for my daughter and all young children with diabetes, because they deserve a healthy and carefree future."

Throughout the campaign, Canadians will be encouraged to:

1) Share their story about somebody close to them fighting diabetes at;

2) Share their Who Are You Fighting For? Facebook or fundraising page with friends, family and online communities to raise awareness and funds;

3) Learn more about diabetes; and:

4) Support Diabetes Awareness Month activities in their local communities or host their own local event.

"Canada plays a leading role in the fight against this global diabetes epidemic," says Rick Blickstead, President and CEO of the Canadian Diabetes Association. "Many people are living with diabetes and don't know it. Diabetes Awareness Month provides an opportunity to create greater awareness of this complex disease, helping people learn about the signs and symptoms as well as what they can do to effectively prevent type 2 diabetes and manage type 1 , type 2 and gestational diabetes."

Getting involved in the Who Are You Fighting For? campaign is easy. Visit to share your story from October 21 to November 30, 2013, to be eligible to win a 15" MacBook Pro, a $3,000 Visa shopping spree or other exciting prizes, courtesy of Novo Nordisk Canada Inc. Family, friends and colleagues can also show their support by voting and sharing stories with their online social networks and by making a donation.

"Novo Nordisk is pleased to support this unique online campaign that engages and encourages Canadians to share their personal story of who they are fighting for,"
says Vince Lamanna, President of Novo Nordisk Canada Inc.
"I'm fighting to ensure Canadians with diabetes have access to the best treatments, so they can pursue their dreams, like my friend Sebastien Sasseville, professional triathlete with Team Novo Nordisk and the first Canadian with type 1 diabetes to summit Mount Everest."

Diabetes is a disease with multifaceted causes and no known cure. It is defined by abnormal levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood and can lead to complications such as heart attack, stroke, kidney failure and amputations. Understanding the disease is critical to preventing type 2 diabetes and for effective self-management of all types of diabetes leading to healthy outcomes. Signs and symptoms of diabetes include: unusual thirst, frequent urination, weight change (gain or loss), extreme fatigue or lack of energy, blurred vision, frequent or recurring infections, cuts and bruises that are slow to heal, tingling or numbness in the hands or feet, and trouble getting or maintaining an erection. It is important to recognize, however, that many people who have type 2 diabetes may display no symptoms.

"The more awareness and funds we can generate, the more people with diabetes we can help,"
adds Blickstead.

About the Canadian Diabetes Association

The Canadian Diabetes Association is a registered charitable organization, leading the fight against diabetes by helping people with diabetes live healthy lives while we work to find a cure. Our professional staff and more than 20,000 volunteers provide education and services to help people in their daily fight against the disease, advocate on behalf of people with diabetes for the opportunity to achieve their highest quality of life, and invest in groundbreaking research. Please visit, join us on, follow us on Twitter @DiabetesAssoc, or call 1-800-BANTING (226-8464).

About Novo Nordisk Canada Inc.

Novo Nordisk is a healthcare company and a world leader in diabetes care and biopharmaceuticals. Novo Nordisk manufactures and markets pharmaceutical products and services that make a significant difference to patients, the medical profession and society. Novo Nordisk's business is driven by the Triple Bottom Line: a commitment to economic success, environmental soundness, and social responsibility to employees and customers. For more information, visit

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Collective action needed to reduce the growing burden of vascular disease

Leading Canadian Health Organizations Release a Vascular Declaration Calling for Urgent Action on Vascular Disease

MONTREAL, October 18, 2013 /Canada NewsWire/ - Ninety per cent of Canadians are facing an unacceptable risk of developing vascular disease and we have to act now to reduce its increasing burden, say leading health experts at the Vascular 2013 Congress in Montreal this week.

To galvanize action, leading Canadian experts working in the field of vascular health have signed and committed to a Vascular Declaration, a collective approach to reducing vascular disease in Canada.

"This Declaration calls for urgent action and outlines a comprehensive approach that can vastly decrease the impact of vascular disease on Canadians," says Dr. Duncan Stewart, the scientific chair of Vascular 2013. "The health sector cannot solve this problem alone."

Vascular diseases are a result of disorders in the blood vessels (large and small) throughout the entire human body. Diabetes, stroke, hypertension, heart disease, dementia, kidney diseases, certain lung and eye conditions are all vascular diseases.

Five unhealthy behaviors - unhealthy diet, smoking, lack of physical activity, excess alcohol intake and stress - are well-established risks for more than 50 diseases including these.

The declaration, called Making the Connection: A Call to Action on Vascular Health, calls for an integrated, multifaceted approach to address the prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and end-of-life care for people with vascular disease.

It is a landmark approach to an urgent and debilitating health issue.

"We need to form a united front against this massive challenge to our society and economy," says Dr. Stewart, a practicing cardiologist who is also the CEO and scientific director of the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, vice-president of research at The Ottawa Hospital and professor of medicine at the University of Ottawa. "Direct action is required at all levels to achieve meaningful impact on vascular health."

The Declaration calls on sectors across Canada to unite and take action

To all Canadians:

Make your health a priority. Adopt healthy behaviors. Advocate for healthy communities. Work with your health care provider to modify your vascular risk.

To health care practitioners:

Maximize inter-professional collaboration to comprehensively manage vascular risk and prevention. Keep up-to-date on, and follow best care practices. Collaborate with other sectors to advocate for and address legislative, social and built environment factors that impact population health.

To federal, provincial and municipal governments:

Commit to sustained action on vascular health by implementing effective public policies and regulations that foster healthy food, physical activity and smoke-free environments. Be inclusive of the needs, interests and abilities of specific populations within their local contexts and settings. Monitor the impact of public policies and regulations on health, economic productivity and chronic care costs.

To researchers and academia:

Develop approaches to address evidence gaps on vascular health issues. Foster the integration of knowledge across sectors, disciplines and conditions to impact vascular health through advocacy, programs and best practices.

For not-for-profit organizations:

Maximize impact through joint action. Align messaging and resources for the public on vascular risk and chronic disease management. Build partnerships for action on vascular health, advocate for healthy public policies and translate knowledge on vascular health into programs that improve the health of Canadians

For the private sector:

Ensure a healthier and more productive workforce through implementation of healthy workplace policies and programs. Build intersectoral partnerships to advocate for healthy public policies. Partner with the health system to support prevention and screening.

"By working together, we can leverage skills, innovations and knowledge to collaboratively act to reduce the burden of vascular disease in Canada," says Dr. Stewart.

Vascular diseases are the leading cause of preventable death and disability in Canada. Twenty four million Canadians have at least one risk factor for vascular disease and 10 million have three or more.

Canada's aging population, combined with alarming trends in obesity, physical inactivity, high blood pressure and diabetes are expected to further increase the social and economic impact of vascular diseases in the coming decades, unless there are major changes in health policy.

"Risk factors for vascular disease can be managed by lifestyle behaviors," says Dr. Duncan. "For example, lifestyle changes and prevention or treatment of chronic conditions such as high blood pressure can prevent an estimated 54 per cent of Alzheimer's cases in North America."

Even more concerning is the increase in vascular risk factors among Canada's youth, and ethnically diverse populations.

Also alarming is the fact that between 1994 and 2005, rates of high blood pressure among Canadians aged 35-49 increased by 127 per cent, diabetes by 64 per cent and obesity by 20 per cent.

The declaration was created by health experts representing the Canadian Diabetes Association, Canadian Society of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Canadian Cardiovascular Society, Canadian Stroke Network, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, and Hypertension Canada.

Vascular 2013 is a one-time national congress for knowledge exchange and community building in vascular health, bringing together experts from multiple sectors and health disciplines to focus on and expand our understanding of vascular disease prevention and management.

To read Making the Connection: A Call to Action on Vascular Health, go to:

Friday, October 18, 2013

University of Guelph Professor Wins SSHRC’s Highest Research Honour

GUELPH, Ontario - October 15, 2013 - University of Guelph News Release - A University of Guelph professor who is one of the world’s leading authorities on climate change has won this year’s top research honour from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).

Barry Smit received SSHRC’s 2013 Gold Medal, which includes a $100,000 grant, today during the World Social Sciences Forum in Montreal. He is the first U of G professor to win the prestigious award.

“This is a fantastic and well-deserved honour for Barry,” said Kevin Hall, vice-president (research).

“Barry has always been one of the most outstanding and recognized researchers at U of G and in his field internationally. This gold medal goes beyond that and distinguishes Barry as truly one of the country's most innovative social science researchers.“

Smit was among the first to investigate human vulnerability and adaptation to climate change. His work has taken him to 68 countries and dozens of towns and villages in some of the most remote and underdeveloped regions of the world.

“Part of the brilliance of Barry's research is that he makes the connections between social science and the natural sciences,” Hall said. “We also recognize Barry for his outstanding role as a mentor for young faculty.”

Part of SSHRC’s prestigious Impact Awards, the Gold Medal honours scholars for original thought, work and leadership that has advanced understanding in their field and enriched Canada’s cultural and intellectual life. The winner is chosen by jury, and the prize money is to be used for research, promotion, knowledge mobilization or related activities.

Smit called the award “a significant honour.”

“It represents encouragement for colleagues across Canada in the field of climate change, especially its economic and social implications," he said.

“The issue itself is complicated and challenging -- never mind the unfortunate discouragement of researchers seeking to understand our climate, humankind's role and effects on our ecosystems, communities and our economy, and the implications of possible solutions. These are important issues for which substantive research is needed in Canada.”

Smit has been a member of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC) since its establishment 25 years ago. He was lead author of the IPCC’s fourth assessment report published in 2007. The IPCC team, including Smit, shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with environmental activist and former U.S. vice-president Al Gore.

Smit has written books, research articles and government reports, taught hundreds of students, attended international conferences and gatherings, and advised organizations, governments and world leaders.

He has held the Canada Research Chair in Global Environmental Change for a decade. Earlier this year, he received the Order of Ontario, the province’s highest honour. (Read more about Smit's career here)

Smit, who retired from U of G in August, plans to use the prize money to promote climate change research and to provide mentoring, contacts and networking opportunities for graduate students and colleagues.

"The medal recognizes my geography colleagues at U of G and the many former students who have contributed to this work and who now are highly regarded researchers and practitioners across Canada and beyond,” he said.

“They have provided expertise, support and encouragement, along with intellectual challenge and a collegial environment that has meant I got up every morning enthusiastic about continuing this sort of work.”

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Herbal Products Omit Ingredients, Contain Fillers - University of Guelph Study

GUELPH, Ontario - October 11, 2013 - University of Guelph News Release - Consumers of natural health products beware. The majority of herbal products on the market contain ingredients not listed on the label, with most companies substituting cheaper alternatives and using fillers, according to new research from the University of Guelph.

The study, published today in the journal BMC Medicine, used DNA barcoding technology to test 44 herbal products sold by 12 companies.

Only two of the companies provided authentic products without substitutions, contaminants or fillers.

Overall, nearly 60 per cent of the herbal products contained plant species not listed on the label.

Researchers detected product substitution in 32 per cent of the samples.

More than 20 per cent of the products included fillers such as rice, soybeans and wheat not listed on the label.

“Contamination and substitution in herbal products present considerable health risks for consumers,” said lead author Steven Newmaster. An integrative biology professor, he is botanical director of the Guelph-based Biodiversity Institute of Ontario (BIO), home of the Canadian Centre for DNA Barcoding.

“We found contamination in several products with plants that have known toxicity, side effects and/or negatively interact with other herbs, supplements and medications.”

One product labelled as St. John’s wort contained Senna alexandrina, a plant with laxative properties. It’s not intended for prolonged use, as it can cause chronic diarrhea and liver damage and negatively interacts with immune cells in the colon.

Several herbal products contained Parthenium hysterophorus (feverfew), which can cause swelling and numbness in the mouth, oral ulcers and nausea. It also reacts with medications metabolized by the liver.

One ginkgo product was contaminated with Juglans nigra (black walnut), which could endanger people with nut allergies.

Unlabelled fillers such as wheat, soybeans and rice are also a concern for people with allergies or who are seeking gluten-free products, Newmaster said.

“It’s common practice in natural products to use fillers such as these, which are mixed with the active ingredients. But a consumer has a right to see all of the plant species used in producing a natural product on the list of ingredients.”

Until now, verifying what’s inside capsules or tablets has posed challenges, Newmaster said. His research team developed standard methods and tests using DNA barcoding to identify and authenticate ingredients in herbal products.

“There is a need to protect consumers from the economic and health risks associated with herbal product fraud. Currently there are no standards for authentication of herbal products.”

Medicinal herbs now constitute the fastest-growing segment of the North American alternative medicine market, with more than 29,000 herbal substances sold, he said.

More than 1,000 companies worldwide make medicinal plant products worth more than $60 billion a year.

About 80 per cent of people in developed countries use natural health products, including vitamins, minerals and herbal remedies.

Canada has regulated natural health products since 2004. Regulators face a backlog of licence applications, and thousands of products on the market lack a full product licence. Globally, regulatory problems involving natural health products continue to affect consistency and safety, Newmaster said.

“The industry suffers from unethical activities by some of the manufacturers.”

The study also involved research associate Subramanyam Ragupathy, U of G student Meghan Gruric and Sathishkumar Ramalingam of Bharathiar University in India.

This research was supported by Genome Canada through the Ontario Genomics Institute; the Canada Foundation for Innovation; International Science and Technology Partnership Canada; and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Master Class Youth Series mentors young singers across Ontario

photo credit: Marco Martins-Costa via Flickr

LONDON, Ontario, October 4, 2013 /Canada NewsWire/ - Young vocal students from across the province are being invited to participate in an innovative collaboration between Conservatory Canada and The Canadian Music Centre.

Now in its second year and supported through a three-year grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, The Master Class Youth Series gives students across Ontario the opportunity to participate in a unique form of artistic engagement that combines both a performance and a composition element within a single masterclass.

Each masterclass brings ten students chosen through consultation with local teachers and music educators together with one Conservatory Canada Clinician and one Canadian Music Centre Associate Composer for two days of performance, composition, and improvisation.

Upcoming masterclasses are being offered in Aurora (October 18 & 19), Kanata (November 8 & 9), Midland (November 15 & 16) and Kingston (November 15 & 16).

"These types of intensive workshops are usually available only in larger centres," notes Conservatory Canada national executive director, Victoria Warwick. "We are delighted to be able to offer this level of professional mentorship and development to students in smaller communities as well."

Voice and piano pedagogue, Michael Faulkner, worked with students at last year's piano masterclass in Kanata. "It was a truly amazing and enriching experience for everyone involved," says Faulkner, who will be mentoring voice students on behalf of Conservatory Canada this year in Kanata and Kingston.

"Each participant will be preparing two selections by Canadian composers to perform and receive feedback on," he says. "They will also be given tools to compose their own music, and be able to work on them with the Conservatory Canada and Canadian Music Centre clinicians."

At the end of the two days, students will share what they have learned for family, teachers and the community at large, says Warwick, adding that the ultimate goal is to keep young singers inspired and engaged in their musical studies.

Conservatory Canada is a national charitable organization focusing on advancing the performing arts through music education.

The Canadian Music Centre promotes the work of its associate composers in Canada and throughout the world, loaning scores and selling CDs, as well as providing an on-demand publishing service and consultations.