Great to see you posting! Now for the details….

Hi everyone –

I’m seeing several of you posting now, and that’s terrific. Let me remind you all that it’s REALLY important – to ME – that you protect your identity online: See my note about that here, on the PUBH 209 page where I point you to the syllabus and other important stuff. So… again, please guard yourself, by choosing a username that does not identify you, and avoid sharing personal info such as where you work, etc.

Next order of business – let’s go out and find those readings and slide sets! Because now that you’re getting the lay of the land, you should start reading about consumer health. Then you’ll be able to start in with other posts.

Let’s start with a quickie. Here’s a brief page considering what it means to be informed, educated, and empowered – and how those definitions may differ depending on whether you’re the ordinary consumer or the folks selling us stuff. Thinking about these ideas should form part of your first work in learning about consumer health. Now, notice that this page is actually a sub-page under the PUBH 209 sub-page of “4 Other Course Resources.” See how this works?

Here’s a quick video (well, about 20 minutes long) showing you around the content areas of Consuming Health Matters. I show you around the PUBH 209 pages and sub-pages, and point you to how your reading will be connected to assignments, and where you’ll find everything.

Please note – at about minute 10 or so in the video, you’ll see I click on a link to a piece I wrote – and it doesn’t work! (Epic fail, right?) But I have fixed it now, so be sure to go to that page and read the piece. To make it easy, I’ve linked the page right here. Just click on “This is a piece…”

As noted, I’ll be rearranging the Content Pages a bit, and I’ll be posting a Slide Sets page! Look for that to happen soon, and to see your first post prompts popping up soon too. (For now, go ahead and get started reading and learning about the context of consumer health.

Happy Friday afternoon, everybody – make it a healthy and fun one!

–Dr. P


My Introduction

Today, here, and now, I am a full-time working mother of two in my early thirties. I have about 30 units left to graduate with my BS in IDS, and I am considering grad school for clinical psych. And if I don’t make it into grad school, I would hope to work for the state in some sort of social services setting. My husband also works full-time, and we live in a pretty great city in PNW, though it’s a little too far north, and a little too ‘crunchy’ for my taste. Still, as a consumer I am definitely ‘crunchy.’ I do buy a lot of organic foods, fermented foods, and essential oils. Ha! If there’s any sort of beneficial health claim to the product, I will buy it. And I’ve heard it said, that if it has to claim it’s healthy, it probably isn’t so. I disagree, even eggs have their own commercial. I want consume products that are good for my family and I, as well as our environment. Being as busy as we are, it can be very hard to consume consciously.

I firmly believe that we are all equal, and deserving of love, and safety. These values are more so ideals, and hopes, I guess. I believe a right we should all have, but don’t–is safety. Another right we should all have but don’t is: respect. I think it’s possible that if housing were accessible to all, and if healthy foods were also a right, that safety and respect would be easier to come by. That is, if basic needs could be met, the mental health of our communities would be greatly improved, so that respect and safety would become a priority instead of things. I think no matter who you are, the freedom of speech is a right we all have, though when I think of human trafficking, and abuse–I’m not too sure. And our freedom of association, is another right I’m pretty sure we do have, though it’s not always respected fairly.

My Intro Post!

I am a junior and this is my second quarter at Central. I am currently studying public health as my minor, and I will hopefully be majoring in film and video studies. I just recently graduated community college with my Associates in arts and sciences. I earned my degree December of last year, and I walked in the commencement ceremony last week!

I have a bad habit of spending frivolously. I choose products as I decide I want them, with little regard for long-term saving. However, I do try to save money when I’m buying particular products by choosing the version of the product that I’m looking for that is worth the least. When I’m shopping at grocery stores, I will look on each tag to make sure I’m paying the least per pound. When I’m shopping online, I check around to make sure I’m getting the best deal. So while I don’t put much thought into how much I’m spending overtime, I do think about how much money I spend on products as I choose them.

A goal of mine this quarter is to completely familiarize with the basic areas of public health and I identify which one or a few that I am very interested in. This way, I can form a better idea of what my long-term learning goals are in terms of this minor. I am also interested in learning more about our country’s complicated healthcare system, and how it will likely be affected by our new congress.

One value that I hold is respect. I think that everyone deserves some level of respect. I do not believe that everyone deserves the same amount of respect. For instance I don’t think that a murderer and a humanitarian deserve the same amount of respect. However, we as human beings deserve to be treated as such. I also hold the value of equality. I believe that all humans deserve basic human rights, regardless of how they identify or look. However, I don’t think this is a value that our society as whole has.

As Americans, we have the right to life. Meaning that we have a right to be born into this world. This does not necessarily mean that we have the right to live a comfortable life, where we all have access to the basic things that we need to be happy and healthy.  It simply means that there we have a right to be born in this country, and we have a right to stay. We also have the right to consume. There are many regulations on what can be sold to consumers, but not so many when it comes to what consumers can buy. There are regulations on certain products to protect the safety of our communities, as well as certain products that it is illegal to buy and sell. But even with those regulations, there is very little that we cannot buy if we have the money to pay for it.

I think that we all should have a right to adequate access to food, water, and shelter. This means plenty of clean water and nutritional food, and shelter that has electricity and can withstand harsh weather. Over half a million people are currently homeless in United States, and many of those people don’t have a consistent income. There are programs in place that help homeless people obtain food, but there are not enough for them to reach everyone. I also think that we all have a right to enjoy life as we please, as long as we are not hurting ourselves or anyone else. There are a variety of things that that people choose to do to make their lives more enjoyable, many of those things may be seen as strange or different by others. I think that we all have a right to enjoy our lives as we want to, regardless of how others feel about it.


The Intro Post

My name is McKenzie and I am now in my third quarter as a Public Health major with the population health emphasis. I was originally a Language Arts Teaching major but throughout all of my schooling I was taking different health classes for fun; it has always been an interesting and important topic to me. After some things changed in our administration, I decided to make the switch to Public Health and I have never been happier.

As I see it, my personal consumer health status is slightly varied. I grew up near the poverty line and though my family has worked their way up, I still often find myself overthinking nearly every purchase I make. I bargain shop, I compare prices, I read reviews on the product at hand and while I feel these are good strategies, I don’t always follow them. When it comes to home items, clothing, materialistic things, I consider myself a “careful” shopper; however, things like groceries, cleaning products, coffee, I tend to just read the label and buy. I am a sucker for the “cage free”, “organic”, “fair trade” labels which are always more expensive and yet I haven’t done the research on whether these products are simply meeting the bare minimum of their claims, or not. I see an ad on Facebook for Bigfoot Java and next thing I know, I’m craving coffee. From this class I hope to help myself and other “suckers” combat this process. Also to learn the real research necessary before consuming and to really learn the ins and outs of this processes affects on health.

My first and most important value is my mental health. This is something not enough people focus on, and yet it affects all aspects of your life and who you are. My mental health and how I take care of it comes before anything, because without that, everything else that is important to me becomes harder to handle; relationships, school, work, etc. Being my best self and making sure that is my priority allows all other aspects of my health to fall into place. My other value is family, which is not simply limited to that which you were born into. Family to me includes relatives, chosen friends, in-laws, “step”, and pets alike. My family is my support system, my lifeline, my comfort zone and something I always put first.

As Americans we have the right to freedom; of speech, of religion, of sexual orientation, of political views. I feel this right seems to falter in the eyes of many, but it is there nonetheless and for that I am grateful. We also have the right to life and happiness (life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness right). As long you are not infringing on laws or causing harm to others, we as Americans have the right to pursue choices that provide self-fulfillment, to live in a way in which we choose for ourselves. As human beings we should all have the right to equal and accessible healthcare and also to have complete control over our own bodies and minds, though these rights are unfortunately not the case across most of the globe.

Public Health 209 Intro Post

I’m am currently a senior at Central Washington University and will be hopefully completing my Bachelors in criminal justice at the end of this short but exciting quarter. Prior to transferring to CWU I graduated from Grays Harbor College where I received my 2 year degree in Associated Sciences in criminal justice. I am from the west coast and I enjoy going to our coastal beaches. The area in which I live consists of a population of about 9,000 people and can be considered to be a very small town.

As a consumer I believe that at times I have made many impulse decisions when it comes to purchasing items that I do not need. I typically do most of my purchases online and if I see something that I like the majority of the time I end up purchasing the item and paying for next day delivery. This class will potentially help describe the impacts and influences that the industries have on consumers. Healthy decision making and staying informed will hopefully shed some light on the choices and decisions that one makes during their lifetime. In my case I believe that many of the decisions that I have made are a result of impulsivity and lack of thought.

The two values that I feel are very important are honesty and integrity. Honesty in any profession is very important because without honesty you can not trust. In the line of work that I am involved in Honesty is among one of the most important values. An individual must hold him/herself accountable and be able to honestly tell the truth even though it may not be comfortable to admit. Integrity is another important value that is important when it comes to dealing with individuals and treating everyone with respect.

There are two rights that I believe are very important when it comes to our freedom and they are the First Amendment right to free speech and the Second Amendment right to bare arms. The First Amendment is very crucial because it protects the people from governmental intrusion. There have been many rallies and gatherings around the country to fight against many issues and being able to freely express ones voice is important. The only exception is when individuals use their First Amendment right to cause others harm and fear through intimidation. The second Amendment is also very important because it gives individuals the right legally possess a firearm if their able to pass the background. The Second Amendment gives Americans a choice to carry or not which in many cases has saved many lives.

Two other rights that I believe we should have is affordable health insurance and stricter electronic benefit transfer laws (EBT). It is my belief that everyone should be able to have affordable health insurance in order to properly take care of themselves. There are many individuals that do not have the ability to successfully obtain health insurance and I believe that this is something that should be done to assist those that do not have it. EBT cards are a touchy subject because there are many people that actually need them to feed their family. Yet, there has been an increase of EBT users that are just taking advantage of the welfare system. There are many individuals that are more than capable to work and or find jobs to support their families and it’s my belief that they should be made to work to even receive benefits. These are two areas that I believe laws should address to remedy some issues in our government system.


First blog assignment

Hello, I am a senior at CWU and I am working on completing two undergraduate degrees, one in economics and the other in public policy with a minor in political science. Also, I am an entrepreneur and a science enthusiast. Currently I live in Cle Elum, I grew up here. However, I have only recently moved back from Colorado Springs, Colorado in order to attend school at CWU and be closer to family.

As far as the health of my consumerism, I would say it’s pretty good. One of my more recent ventures was ecommerce and other online sales strategies. Unfortunately for me, I entered the game just as the online market bubble began to collapse. So even though I lost some money on the experience I’ve learned some very valuable knowledge in regards to purchasing and how to get the most bang for my bucks.

As a human and American, I believe that every person has the right to unlimited freedom so long as it does not infringe on others freedom. Second, I believe that everyone has the right to live and exercise their unlimited freedoms as they see fit. I believe in these rights in the most libertarian sense as possible without crossing over into the realm of anarchism within the western political spectrum. There has to be, at least at some level or form, of government which could allow for such a free society and market to exist.

Not all humans get to experience real freedom, only the freedoms granted by their governments. America is one of the only countries where most of our countries occupant’s freedoms are not legislated or grant by the government. There are actual unlimited rights that exist here, combined with a few exceptions of government granted freedoms. Between overreaching governments (National and Sub-National) and factions within our society, our right to freedom and life are constantly restricted or taken from us so that some governing entity can give it back to us as if it were some gift given to us by a deity for the purpose of good will. But that’s just what I believe.

Blogging for Public Health

Hi there, this isn’t my first blog post. I am currently a journalism student with a minor in photography. I am very excited to integrate my journalism skills with this class because there are a lot of similarities with facts and reporting especially to better update people and bring worldly issues to attention.

I have never taken a  Public Health course, so I am excited to see what I can learn and how it can improve my degree in journalism and knowledge. I hope this blogging technique will also improve my writing skills, since I have only been blogging for a quarter.

I personally, am a saver not a spender. Some would consider me a hoarder, but then when it comes down to spring clean, I get rid of everything. I would love to be up to date with the latest trends and in’s going on around the world and with my peers, but my saving habits often keeps me from participating in being trendy.

When it comes to technology, I think we can all agree that we are more consumers than we ever have been in the world. I am guilty of this, as I am on my phone half the time without realizing it.

Some values I have would be one: working hard. Sometimes I work to hard, which can be a draw back, but at the end of the day, the best feeling to have is “I did my best, and that is all I can do.” I am not good at a lot of things, but I like to try hard and work hard as best as I can. Through trying, I have learned a lot and indeed have opened mind to a lot of things.

Another value I have is kindness. Living in the world we have today can be a bit scary, as government and world news and attacks are becoming more and more common. When times like this occur it is easy to be rude and self centered, which I myself am guilty of as well. But then I think where does this get me? It is better to be patient and have an open heart. We all have our struggles and never know what is going on in others lives.

One right Americans have is freedom. I know some people wont agree with me on this but you can not look at it as in the government controlling. There will always be a censorship we wont have, but Americans are not walking out of their house everyday in fear that a hidden bomb is going to go off and having plans flying around their house. Have you read news about Syria and Mosul? I would never leave my house if I could. We have the right to play sports, girls have more rights than they did back centuries ago, we have a lot going for us that we miss because we are focusing on the bad. It is important to be informed of course, but not let it cloud what we already have.

Another right I feel I have is the ability to work. No matter what, a degree or not a degree, Americans still have the right to earn money. In some countries, that is hard, especially being a woman.  I am just happy I can work while working towards a degree which will enhance my pay one day but it also allows me to become an all around person through all the experience I have had working at various places. Again, it goes with the value of working hard and trying news things and saying, “Yes, I have done that.”

Honestly, Americans do not have a big right of freedom of speech. Being a journalism student, I have learned a lot about the 1st Amendment and for how many rules and how many different cases have different levels of scrutiny is very unnerving. It is all grey, and no black and white. So how can we be exactly sure we have freedom of speech especially with everyone being so sensitive to everything these days.

The last right we should have is owning a house at an affordable cost. Today, I am hearing more and more about how high house prices are getting and how less and less people are able to buy a house or even losing their house. The homeless rate in Seattle is increasing and the average cost of a house in Seattle is now $700,000 according to a recent news article. That is almost $1 million. If owning a house is the American dream, why is becoming almost impossible for people to get one even with having well paid jobs.




I’m a senior who already walked for graduation, and this is my final class at CWU. I’m a political science and public policy major, so this class is about a topic which is important to me. I’d like to learn more so I can do a better job addressing these topics for the public. I’m not super healthy when it comes to my diet, but I guess I’ll take care of that when my metabolism catches up to me.

When it comes to buying products, I tend to do too much research on occasion. If its something I’m interested in, I’ll even help friends research the product. Getting a minor in economics added onto that tendency. When it comes to the more simple/cheap items, I usually just buy whatever is cheapest. I value liberty and responsibility, I believe that we should be more free to live our lives as we choose, so long as we do not harm others. Responsibility comes with that as a sort of requirement, we have to own up to or fix our mistakes, keep our promises, etc.

We have the right to speak our minds, though limited in some cases by government or social interaction. We also have the right to defend ourselves from violence, though some governments (the United Kingdom) do not allow this.

We should have the right to do as we please with our bodies, so long as we do not harm others. Activities such as abortion, drug use, suicide, experimental drugs, sexual preferences, are limited by governments across the world. These limitations violate the most important right of all, self ownership. We should also have the right to property, but governments violate this regularly through civil asset forfeiture and a multitude of other laws.


Hi, it’s me

I am currently a student here at CWU trying to earn my spot in the adult world. Public health is so important to me and so is nutrition, these are my two areas of study and they integrate so well. My goal in life is to be a nutrition advocate in the educational system, so that people will have the necessary education about nutrition to prevent so many of the chronic diseases that are plaguing our country right now. Nutrition education if taught properly and at early ages, I believe, can really help change the world. This is a big dream and I know it will be a constant uphill battle but this is what I am truly passionate about.

As a consumer, I have to say that I honestly am fairly naive, I do not investigate most times and I do not compare prices or reviews for everyday items. I am what you call, an impulse buyer, sometimes, yes, I experience buyer’s remorse. I could not tell you how many shoes I have bought that I have only worn once. Not proud of everything I have bought but I would like to say that I am learning something! I think that it is vital for consumers to know what they are getting when buying a product, especially, when it comes to products they digest into their bodies. Consumer health in my opinion should be an open window, the consumer should know exactly what they are getting and more specifically the amount of the ingredient on the label. right now, I am thinking of the supplement market, because it is so under regulated that the consumer is always at risk.

While talking about supplements, this falls right into my values. I value the fact that I am a loyal person. Loyal in friendships, relationships, and in commitments in general. I also value loyalty from other sources. I value people who do not see me as someone that they can use till they find someone better, or companies that use people to get their money without really being loyal to what they claim on their products. Loyalty is huge for me, I honestly think that is why I am such a dog person.

I also value honesty. Lying to me is the easiest way to get me to cut you out of my life. I have dealt with liars before as has everyone else, but I can honestly say that I would 100% be told the honest truth than a comforting lie. False marketing, stretching the truth, and neglecting to disclose all the information are all forms of lying.

Rights, what are basic human rights? This unfortunately is a very sad conversation that we as a species keep coming back to and changing. As humans, not all humans though, in this country we have the right to publicly speak our minds on controversial matters with out fear of federal or state punishment. Free speech is such a basic humane right that I honestly cannot believe that in the 21st century this right we do not have this globally. The next right I am certain that I as an American citizen have, is the opportunity to vote and chose the people that I would like to see in power. While not all elections go in favor of the vote cast, it was a right we are given as Americans. Human rights are a very touchy subject because they are not seen as human rights every where around the world. Here in America there are a few rights that are  not seen as rights, The idea of a woman choosing to do with her body as she wishes should be a fundamental human right, but here it is under great scrutiny because as a country we do not agree agree that it is a basic human right for a woman to choose. Globally, the right to not engage in sexual encounters if you do not want to should be considered a right, am I right? Unfortunately I am wrong, in some countries, leadership just announced that marital rape is not rape. I am sorry did that just say martial RAPE is not RAPE? I’m pretty sure being forced to engage in any sexual act against their will is rape, marital rape is rape. Apparently the right to not be raped is not a basic human right given to everyone.

Welcome! You’ve found consuming health matters.

If it’s sometime during the week of 19 June 2017, and you’re reading this, chances are you may be one of my summer session PUBH 209 students. If not, you’re welcome here anyway, and I won’t even make you post to earn a grade. Such a deal. Whoever you are, I hope you continue reading and that you find this site valuable in many ways.

Ok – If you ARE a student and you’ve successfully set up your account and logged in, it’s time to post your first post. Click over to the “Getting Started in PUBH 209 work” page and read the Intro post prompt. Then go into your Dashboard and hover on Posts, then on Add New. Start talkin’…

As a public health academic, one focused on helping people make the kinds of change they want in their own lives and for others, I too have found that consuming health matters – a lot. What and how we consume truly does matter, for a variety of reasons. And there’s a lot to discuss when it comes to consuming health matters. (No, I’m not above pointing out the obvious puns when I find them.)

The evidence is growing: What we spend time and money on has impacts on our own lives, on others’ lives, on the planet. Over time this site will grow, and include consumer health-related information on a broad range of topics.

First order of business? Involving public health undergraduate students in the fascinating, frustrating, and frazzling world of consumer health issues and information – and making sure they can move on from there to improved capacity to make better decisions for themselves and help others. Want to take a look at the course content? Start here. Interested in a specific issue area? Hit a “… Matters” page and see if you learn something you can use – and enjoy what you find there. Have a suggestion for a product or topic area we should take on as the site grows in scope and capacity? Contact us through the contact page.