Q&A: How important is image in the political arena?

picture of a giant "Y"

As Mayor Rob Ford kicked off his the Cut The Waist challenge – a charitable campaign to shed excess pounds across the city – Global News spoke with Dennis Pilon, professor of political science in York’s Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, about the importance of image in politics and how people – and the media – unfairly characterize people who are heavier. Read the story

Don’t bite off more than you can chew
York University Professor Roni Jamnik, a certified exercise physiologist at the School of Kinesiology & Health Science, told the Toronto Sun Jan. 17 that rushing to shed 50 pounds with too little food and overly-strenuous exercise could hurt Ford and his brother, Councillor Doug Ford. “The approach has to be sensible if you want to have a permanent and positive impact,” Jamnik said. Since the Fords may not have been physically active recently, “they have to start slow, with exercise.” She said they should adopt “Active Transport”, including daily 10-minute walks and fewer elevator rides, with increased, structured activity later. Too many people give up when the going gets tough and scales are too slow to budge in the battle to slim down, Jamnik warned. “I appreciate them doing this publicly,” she said. “If they do it well, they’re going to set good examples.” No link available

Homemade music videos have become a must on campuses across the country
The Toronto Star noted Jan. 17 that York University made a lip dub last fall that starts with top brass in a mock emergency meeting about the “chaos” the event has caused. Read the story

Students to get help with eating disorders
Students at Toronto colleges and universities will be able to get much-needed support in understanding and coping with eating disorders thanks to an endowment from the Toronto Community Foundation (TCF), wrote the City Centre Mirror Jan. 16, noting that York is among those receiving funds. Read the story

10 secrets to happiness (that really work!)
Among them are random acts of kindness, such as opening doors for people, giving directions or stopping for pedestrians, wrote Chatelaine Jan. 16, citing a study from York University. Says lead researcher Myriam Mongrain of York’s Faculty of Health: “It’s a sort of twice-blessed scenario when you perform an act of kindness: The recipient believes maybe it’s not such a harsh world after all, and you feel good about helping others.” Read the story

Is focusing on UK’s gross domestic product ruining the economy?
Peter Victor, an economist in York’s Faculty of Environmental Studies and author of Managing Without Growth, talked about the limits of growth with Metro UK Jan. 17. “If we were working less, we would be producing less and consuming less, but we would have a better balance in terms of the way we were living,” he said.  Read the story

‘Convert Chembai music college into university’
York music Professor Trichy Sankaran said Carnatic music had become popular across the world, wrote India’s The Hindu Jan. 17, in a story about the all-India conference on music education at India’s Chembai Memorial Government Music College. There is growth of Carnatic music all over the world, said Sankaran. Read the story