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Feb 06, 2003

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A compendium of articles that appeared in the media during the last few weeks quoting members of the SFU community.



Weighing the truth about fat loss
Ottawa Citizen, Feb. 1

The war on fat in North America has turned into a war on the truth about weight loss. With this being Eating Disorder Awareness week in Canada, organizations, such as the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance (NAAFA), are renewing their criticism of anti-obesity crusaders. Health experts belonging to the California-based movement argue that misleading information and self-serving interests, such as pharmaceutical companies, are driving governments' push to get North Americans to lighten their load. They say that the use of tools, such as the body-mass index (BMI), to measure a person's degree of fatness often leads to overweight people being labelled as unhealthy when according to other criteria they are fit. Diane Finegood, a SFU professor who heads the institute of nutrition, metabolism and diabetes at the Canadian institutes of health research, acknowledges the BMI is problematic. The BMI “is not the best index,” but “it's the best one we have,” says Finegood. She also concedes that scientists have not established a definite causal link between obesity and type 2 diabetes. But Finegood adds that shouldn't make us complacent about weight loss. “There are definite associations and correlations of waist circumference and ill health or potential for ill health.”



Business as usual in B.C.
Prince Albert Daily Herald, Jan. 29

Simon Fraser University professor Gary Mauser predicts the political catastrophes that have befallen B.C.'s Liberal government won't touch off a political collapse. The expert on political marketing views the recent triple whammy that hit the Liberals as an indication that the long tradition of scandal and resignation is still alive in well in B.C. politics. It's just business as usual. “We have a very antipathetic culture where the losers of the last election don't give up, and we have a media that energetically sees itself as the true opposition,” says Mauser. Three recent events have made the governing party an easier target than usual for its opponents. Premier Gordon Campbell was arrested for drunk driving while on vacation. Agriculture minister John van Dongen had to resign because of his involvement in a police investigation. And a group seeking to unseat Liberal MLA Val Roddick in Delta South has collected more than enough voters' signatures to trigger her recall.



Curbing crime in Whalley
Vancouver Sun, Jan. 24, 2003

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum says his municipal government is launching a fight-back program akin to the city of New York's to reclaim the streets of Whalley from criminals. Two recent, vicious home invasions, during which the residents were beaten, prompted McCallum to launch the initiative. Similar to New York's effort, Whalley's zero-tolerance approach to crime will involve beefing up the presence of police, firefighters, bylaw enforcement officers and city engineers in the area. SFU criminologist Paul Brantingham says the theory has worked well in New York but he cautions it requires more than just the commitment of city and police workers. “You have to have the courts on side,” says Brantingham. “Everybody in New York was on side, so that if the police busted people, then the judges applied the law and they kept at it.” Brantingham adds the crackdown in court along with community policing and a lot of crime-prevention activity “shut down the opportunities for crime.”















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