The Salt for the People

via GIPHY

For the region of Uttar Pradesh anemia is a big problem and the solution is to be salted. At the University of Toronto they have developed a new kind of salt that has been proven to reduce amen rates and improve the health of the population. Called double-fortified salt the new kind of salt is iron rich which took 20 years of research to create. It’s been proven to work in India so maybe it can work in other parts the world too.

Diosady began testing the efficacy of his creation during a pilot project in 2004 in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, where the government supplies impoverished school children with one hot meal each day.

Regular salt was replaced with double-fortified salt in the lunches of more than three million children, 85 per cent of whom were anemic.

“In eight months, we cured a million kids from anemia,” Diosady said. “At the end, only 50 per cent were anemic.”

Read more.

Even Moderate Exercise Can Stave Off Depression

There’s a bunch of scientific evidence that already proves the benefits of exercise for one’s mental health, and now we know that even moderate workouts can have a huge impact. Even walking for just 20-30 minutes a day can improve resilience to depression!

So if you don’t want to go to the gym or lace up for a run then don’t – just go for a short walk.

This is the first longitudinal review to focus exclusively on the role that exercise plays in maintaining good mental health and preventing the onset of depression later in life.

Mammen—who is supervised by Professor Guy Faulkner, a co-author of the review— analyzed over 26 years’ worth of research findings to discover that even low levels of physical activity (walking and gardening for 20-30 minutes a day) can ward off depression in people of all age groups.

Mammen’s findings come at a time when mental health experts want to expand their approach beyond treating depression with costly prescription medication. “We need a prevention strategy now more than ever,” he says. “Our health system is taxed. We need to shift focus and look for ways to fend off depression from the start.”

More from UofT and here’s the full report in a medical journal.

Public Bikes and Public Spaces

Back in July, Toronto announced that it would attempt to bring the Bixi bike sharing programme to the city. A big condition was that Bixi would need to have 1000 people purchase the $95 annual subscription to the service before the imposed deadline of November first. Well here we are on October 19th, and Bixi has reached the 1000 member mark, in large part due to an investment from AutoShare.

The car-sharing company AutoShare announced Monday night that it bought 100 of the $95 annual subscriptions, pushing the total over 1,000. The announcement was made to room full of BIXI subscribers gathered for a party at the Steam Whistle Brewery. “There was a big cheer, that’s for sure,” said AutoShare president Kevin McLaughlin, who called the purchase an investment in BIXI. “The bigger picture is bringing a better transportation system to Toronto,” he said.

Read more at The Toronto Star, or at Bixi Toronto.

In other good Toronto news, the University of Toronto is experimenting with the creation of new, pedestrian only spaces. The idea is undergoing a real-time evaluation by closing down little-used roads and setting up tables, chairs, and fake grass. Although one area wasn’t very successful (Devonshire between Bloor and Hoskin), the other is flourishing. Willcocks Street between St. George and Huron is being heavily used by students, faculty, and random passers-by as a place to meet, work, and enjoy free Wi-Fi. Evaluation of the concept will continue until the winter, when a decision will be made whether or not to turn the temporary set-up into something more permanent.

More information can be found at Spacing.ca.

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