Monthly Archives: September 2017

Thinking & Discourse

Prompt One

It’s easy to lead someone in any direction with the words you use. Especially when you are asking something that the person isn’t very knowledgeable in, or something that you want a specific result. From the two questions, the second is clearer than the first. A huge difference in the questions is the detail that is put into the second question compared to the first. This leads to the language of the question. What if the person has no idea what it actually means to expand Medicare because they have no idea what Medicare is? This then can lead them in a direction they don’t even agree with because of the way the question is presented. When a question is presented with the detail that the second one is, you are more likely to receive a more accurate response, because it guarantees that the people answering the question, actually knows what the question is asking. This is shown in the results too, because the first question is vague and I bet most people just put yes because they thought it meant that each American gets health care coverage. But in the second set of results, it’s a more even split because the detail of it gives more to agree or disagree with.

 Prompt Three 

I chose the birth slides, simply because I will be giving birth here shortly, so this whole set just applies to my life and my new learning of consumer health overall. Three important pieces of content that came from this slide set came more from the links within the slides, than the slides themselves. The first I am going to discuss is the link to an article posted back in 2012 titled “Beyond Contraception”. This article is referring a lot to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and how there were many changes coming to better serve consumers in their health care with birth control, vaccinations, awareness screening on specific sexually transmitted diseases, prenatal care for mothers and so much more. This article was informative to me, and it is very important because ensuring that a woman and a man, are “good to go” essentially to have a child is extremely important. Or in helping to prevent the spread of diseases or unplanned pregnancies. A person doesn’t know what they don’t know and the thought of going to the doctor is scary, not just because of the shots or discovering something new about yourself, but the PRICE. As a consumer, I believe everything from birth control being covered in a health plan, vaccinations against HPV and screenings for STI’s is a basic human right. The next important piece of this slide set is about caesarian birth. This applies to me because I’ll be delivering soon, and I really pray that I don’t have to get a c-section. I’m sure many other women have this thought too. From the slide about caesarian birth it gave some stats: the most common surgical procedure in the USA, in WA alone 11,000 caesarian births were not needed, and there are plans to make the cost of natural child birth and caesarian births equal in cost. After a quick google search of how much a c-section costs, it gave a ball park of $14-25k while natural child birth is $9-17k. No wonder there are reports of 11,000 unnecessary c-sections being done, they cost so much! This is extremely alarming as a consumer because soon I will be ready to give birth and who is to say that the doctor I have won’t suggest something based off a dollar amount than an actual need for me? Luckily, I know that won’t happen, but other women don’t. Which is why there is the birth survey. This is a link in the slides and this is about a project to help women stay informed on the doctors that have been used in the past by previous women, and for the doctors themselves to stay on top of their performance as well. This is extremely important to the consumer because then they know what kind of doctor they are buying into. Although when a woman goes through her prenatal care, it doesn’t really feel like she is purchasing a doctor or birthing plan, but essentially she is. The third important piece was the slide on the consumer. When it comes to birth, people automatically assume the consumer is just the woman, but a man is just as involved as the woman (in some cases). You don’t become a consumer once you or your woman becomes pregnant either, it begins before. Which I thought was an interesting idea because it does have a lot to do with your health and lifestyle when attempting to become pregnant and getting pregnant. On one of the slides a question was asked: Who’s responsibility is it to bring healthy babies into the world? (something close) And so I ask, what do you think? From a consumers standpoint, I am pretty much paying someone to bring my child into this world by the care and treatment I am seeking. But it also falls on the consumer as well because although I am buying something, it doesn’t mean money can buy everything and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is what brings healthy babies too. Plus, being able to receive the proper screenings, prenatal care, postnatal care. Overall, birth applies to everyone. Whether it be you, your partner, sister, cousin, friend, coworker, birth happens and being able to prepare for it through the basic rights of your health care insurance, to ensuring yourself if healthy. A person is a consumer of birth, at least once in their life.

 

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Thinking and Discourse Prompt 1

These two questions are essentially asking the same thing; however, they are obviously asking it in different ways. The first question can be interpreted to mean: would you agree that every American deserves health care? However, it fails to mention the costs that may come to the individual if favoring that question. The second question, however, is clearer and goes into more detail to explain the personal costs that will happen if Medicare is expanded to cover everyone, including those who cannot afford it. That is the reason that the percentages of “Favor strongly or favor somewhat” decreased by 16%. When given more information, the consumer was able to make a more informed decision.

This shows that language and wording are very important in everyday life. In consumer health, it is important to be as clear as possible, so that the consumer knows exactly what is going on and what they are getting. For instance, when buying foods, if you look at the label, all of the nutrition facts are listed, however, many people do not understand what they mean. At the very bottom of most nutrition labels the vitamin and mineral percentages are listed. Generally, it will say something along the lines of “Vitamin A 5%” and so on and so forth with different vitamins and minerals. When looking at this with little to no knowledge of how to read a food label, the consumer might think that 5% of vitamin A is low. However, if the percentage of a vitamin is above 20% on a nutrition label, that is considered high. But as many people are not aware of this, they interpret it differently. Not only do consumers need all of the information, but they also need to know how to interpret that information in order to make a fully informed decision.

Prompt 3: Birth Slides

When I think about being “informed”, it has a lot to do with what you are being informed about. But when it comes to being informed about pregnancy, there is a lot of information that is vital, from contraceptives (avoiding pregnancy) to wanting to start a family or your own (getting pregnant.  Not only do you need to be informed about how you treat your body during your pregnancy, but before and after care is also very important. Caring for yourself before, during and after will make your pregnancy less stressful and your child will most likely be healthier (if all goes as planned). Before pregnancy you need to be informed of the diet you need to have, what you can and cannot do, and the care that you put into your body (once again you are not only caring for yourself but also for your future child), the health risks for you and your future child, and obviously how much all of this will cost. There is a lot more that can be added to this list but those are some of the most important concepts that you need to understand and be informed about as a future parent.

With all that being said, planning is also a very important aspect of a pregnancy. Being informed and planning are tied very close together in pregnancy (and a lot of other subjects as well). If you are planning on having a child, you will most likely be informed on what you need to do prior, during and after. Planning for a pregnancy can go a long ways and can take a lot of time. Not only do you need to be ready financially for a child but you need to be responsible in a maturity sense as well. If you are not planning on becoming pregnant, planning is still crucial.

Being responsible fits right in with being informed and planning. If you are responsible, you will plan and get informed. It is as simple as that. Responsibility is where it all starts. Seeking care is a great way to start being responsible, even if you are not pregnant, but planning on being pregnant or just would like to avoid getting pregnant. Asking your doctor for guidance and asking about risk is a great place to start. Discussing contraceptives with your doctor or even just asking someone that you trust is also something that you should consider. Even if you don’t plan on being sexually active because being informed of all the ways to avoid pregnancy is a must when you don’t plan on becoming pregnant.

The consumers of a pregnancy are the mothers to be, fathers to be and obviously the fetus. Pregnancy is not something that should be taken lightly, not only for your sake but also for your future child. The health of the consumer is very important in pregnancy! If the mother is not healthy then that potentially means that the fetus could become unhealthy. When the fetus becomes unhealthy, it can cause an assortment of issues ranging from minor birth-defects to losing your child prematurely. Which is why we need to take all of the necessary steps before hand.

 

*I understand that there are situations where people are misinformed or even uninformed and I am not judging you in any way, I am just speaking of my ideal pregnancy that I would want and what I think would be best. I also think this is what most doctors would recommend.

Thinking and Discourse Prompt

It is interesting and quite funny how having different wording for things, but still have the same meaning can affect the way people answer these questions. The differences between the two poll questions is that the first one is straight to the point (talking about Medicare), and the second one does not exactly say it is Medicare, only describes it. To me, poll question 1 is more clear because it is straight to the point as long as you understand what Medicare is and does. The second poll question may take more thought into answering because although it describes what Medicare is, the person might be taking other factors into thought about insurance such as having to pay more taxes.

Overview Nutrition Slides-prompt 3

Hello Everyone,

I am going to write about what I have understood about the overview on nutrition slides and from the other nutrition related articles.   The three concepts I personally do not like which is related to carnivore diet and it is shown in the slides are the high fat content from meat products, calcium deprivation, and diseases related to this kind of diet.

I can easily relate to these concepts from eating mostly vegan and sometimes vegetarian diet on a regular basis.   I saw a vegan movie called “What The Health” and in this movie, they show the American Farming Industry and it is relation to the dollars made at the risk of American health.   You would have to watch the movie to get all the details.   Because I don’t eat the typical American diet; I don’t have to worry about these concepts as much as a carnivore would have to but do need to be mindful of my intake of calories though it is plant based diet.

Benefits of meat products versus plant products;  I spend less; no hormones ingested from such products, and less time cooking and cleaning.   I don’t need worry about saturated fat as long as I am not eating bunch of processed junk vegan or vegetarian foods.   I try my best not to buy already prepared foods; they can also put a hole in your wallet if you buy a lot of them.  All the more reasons to stick with a plant diet.

Second concept; calcium deprivation from high protein and fat diet.   Again, this would apply to a typical American diet for example.    A vegan diet that is rich in greens would automatically be high in calcium and from other nutritious food products plus you can take a supplement also with D like it says in the slide.   If you take in a lot of dairy products; they interfere with calcium absorption too; again it is in the slide about high fat and protein prevent calcium absorbed in the bones.  I even saw this on “20/20” show one time when they were trying to educate some people about dairy intake.

Final concept; disesases such as heart attack, diabetes, and even forms of cancer are related to diet.   It is natural to understand; especially if you have taken some kind of Nutrition class that if you eat diet rich in saturated fat: such as hamburgers, fries, lots of refined pasta/rice, and desserts then your LDL(bad cholesterol is going to be high) and you are at risk for all kinds of diseases like the ones I have listed above.

These concepts are related in my daily life and to others in my life; because we eat mostly plant diet then we don’t have to worry about intake of fats as long as we are eating mostly non-fried foods and cooked in a healthy ways.   Meat and dairy products are acidic and choosing produce that is alkaline friendly is also important for staying healthy.  We are aware that we still need to exercise and eat healthy carbohydrates, protein, and fats and limit processed foods.

But vegan and vegetarian diet definitely saves us money, time, and less visits to the doctors.    Also meets the standards on the current Food Pyramid.  Moreover, we don’t have to worry about Mercury and nuclear wastes and contaminants from sea foods either.

Thinking and Discourse (Prompt 3)

There are certain aspects of consumer health that interests us more than others. For example, if you buy cosmetics, you might be interested in the financial, economic, and environmental issues that are caused by some brands more than others, and same can be said about consumer health- babies and small children.

I decided to answer prompt 3 for this week, specifically the slides on babies. I don’t have children, but my friends do, and I find it very interesting to understand what it is that they look for when they go out and purchase in the baby market/world.

I mostly found the slides about “Keeping kids Safe” interesting, specifically the section on “BPA in baby bottles”. It’s such a random thing to think about, or to even connect this point to the other, but I found this section interesting, because my friend and I were talking the other day about her newborns and their feeding schedule. She brought this up randomly, but she told me to spread the word about these amazing baby bottles she found at our local supermarket. I went looking for these baby bottles to gift to my friend for her baby shower, and that is when I discovered a million different bottles/ feeding utensils. It is ultimately up to the consumer to decide what to purchase based on their knowledge of the product. For example, you might have two parents looking for a baby bottle, but they might leave the store with something different than the other, because they are looking for something that caters specifically to their child.

Since babies are…well.. babies, they depend on others to look after their health. This would include bottles, nutrition, risks at home, clothing, toys, and the list goes on forever. Another slide that caught my attention for this reason was the “Feeding older Kids”. Once children leave their home and go off to school for the first time, it is essential to make sure that they are not only being fed, but also making sure that they are given the best possible options like fruits and vegetables. Laws have been passed that help provide schools with local and fresh foods, and also help fund low-income elementary schools that may not be able to source out healthy snacks.

Thinking and Discourse Prompt 1 & 2

After having reviewed the two questions and polling results are very similar, I noticed that both question ask the same thing. However, both of these questions use different language to express the same meaning. For example question number one, In my opinion presents the information in the question clearly and easy to understand since the question goes straight to the point about how people feel about the health insurance to ask whether the people favor or oppose it. I believe this question is the more appropriate to highlight the importance of language in consumer Health, because it is clear, its easy understandable and it presents the information with simple words that stress what the question is all about in this case Health Insurance offered to every American.

On the other hand question number two asks the same thing but in a more complex way as it uses more words, some of which are not relevant to what the question is about. For example, I believe that the system to be used to provide health insurance to every American should not be mentioned in the question as it is not very necessary, because that is not what the question is about. Also, It can make it confusing for people to understand it thus resulting in inaccurate pool results.

 

 

Social Justice vs. Market Justice

 

Social Justice vs. Market is a very interesting piece that explains the meaning of the word market and how it has changed over time as well as the ideas about it. For example, before  the word market was used as a noun a simple idea of a place where shoppers would make everyday purchases they needed. However, as time  progressed the idea and meaning to the word market has changed to become an abstract word one with different meanings. The paper discusses how the two opposing ideas of Social Justice vs. Market Justice play an important role when making decision for ourselves and other people,  according to the Market Justice system corporations sell their products as long as there are consumers willing to buy them, and states that regulations for the demand of products and services are unnecessary. On the other hand, the Social Justice system believes that societies have a responsibility to help ensure fair or equitable outcomes for everyone. After reading this piece now I understand why there are so many corporations that produce many products and services that are harming on an individual and societal level. An example of this is the numerous amount of fast food restaurants that put everyone at a higher risk for health issues such as obesity and heart disease. Now its easier for me to understand why there’s so little to be done about these corporations since Market Justice is the dominant worldview in our society. Therefore as long as there are people consuming this possibly harmful foods they are going to continue selling it because all they are doing really is meeting the products demand. Therefore, one’s values lean more towards the Social Justice system it is important to make healthy choices and refuse to buy harmful products and ask for quality products and services this is one way to make some corporations providing possibly harmful products  disappear.

Is there justice in the market?

Thinking and Discourse Prompt 2:

Market Justice assumes that the market will regulate itself: if a company makes bad products or conducts itself deemed unacceptable it will lose business. With the levels of dishonesty in health marketing, how can the consumer change the market, if they do not even know they need to demand it?

For example (I talked a bit about this in my introduction) there is a brand called Stevia in the Raw which does not even contain stevia as the main ingredient. A consumer would assume that with a name insinuating that it is pure stevia, that it would actually be made of stevia.

The seafood market is often mislabeled, many labels claim to be wild when they are not. Oceana is a non-profit which has conducted the most sweeping tests nationally found that 58% of stores had mislabeled or fraudulent seafood labels (https://tinyurl.com/y6vp2maf).

We have a bunch of names for different egg products. When people buy  free-range, they most likely envision chickens in large open spaces where the can roam around. This is not the case; free-range does not mean they get to run around, it only means they have exposure to the outdoors. The product people want when buying free-range is actually pasture-raised; maybe due to demand, pasture raised has started to show up in more stores.

One thing the consumer can do is to boycott brands when they do things the customer disagrees with. But this method does not work for big cooperation’s, a company like Nestle (who was the most advertised food brand worldwide in 20l5) has over 8,500 companies over 80 countries. How do you boycott that?

It’s hard to make informed choices in our market and looking at information like this, it is hard to imagine that my choices as a consumer make an impact. But people are becoming more vigilant, social media can be used to spread the word, call out large corporations and the internet has made information easier to locate (or fact check) if you know what to look for.

I have a recent example of this ‘in-action’. I saw a post on social media talking about animal testing in makeup. I do not want to support animal testing, so I googled cruelty free brands. Social media reminded me of this issue making me become an informed consumer. Boycotting is important, but I also think that what you choose to support is just as (or even more) important. If companies see interest in a market, they will try to make a product. The initial product might not be ideal but it would be a step in the right direction, what the consumer supports can keep driving things closer to the goal.

Glossary Building Post 1

Posted below are some terms that most everyone is familiar with, however, when reading through the material, a different meaning was discovered for each of these terms than the conventional meaning. A market may be thought of as a farmer’s market, or as the stock market, however, in consumer health, the term takes on a whole new meaning. The market seems to be all consuming and heavily impactful on the life of Americans. The market also influences food choices; supply and demand are a large part of the market’s driving force.

Every five years the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Health and Human Services (HHS) publish a joint report called “Dietary Guidelines for Americans” that contains dietary information and guidelines for the general public. However, after reading the slide set entitled “DietaryGuidelinesAndSugarSlides2017,” it became obvious that not all dietary and health information was published in the 2015 version. In other words, consumers are not given all dietary information and therefore are not able to make a fully informed choice when buying food. Consumers are people who buy things. Everyone in this class is a consumer, and nearly everyone in America is a consumer as well. It is nearly impossible to not buy anything ever; to make everything you need, to catch or harvest or grown all of your own food, it becomes difficult. Consumerism has become all consuming, consumers have become consumed with consuming. The market and Dietary Guidelines for Americans influences what consumers buy, and as the market has become so powerful, and the guidelines less adequate, consumers are buying items that can be harmful to themselves and the planet.

  • Market: A powerful concept that heavily influences the daily life and decisions of society.
  • Dietary Guidelines for Americans: An official set of dietary recommendations that does not include all of the information necessary for consumers to make an informed choice.
  • Consumer: Nearly every individual in the United States as it is almost impossible to opt out of consuming.

Glossary Building Part 1

The three words I chose for my glossary building post I believe are important in consumer health because people should have a basic understanding of what these words mean.

  • Vaccine
  • Hegemonic
  • Consumer health

 

So, the first word I chose is vaccine. Vaccine is an important to have in my glossary of consumer health because it can have multiple meanings. Also, people need to consider what the consequences are to have a vaccine. Vaccines are used to provide immunity against a disease. Vaccine could also be defined as” a program designed to detect computer viruses and inactivate them” (Dictionary.com). People also need to know that vaccines are great to provide immunity to diseases. But overtime, the issue is that the disease/bacteria get stronger because of the bacteria’s ability to grow stronger and become immune to the vaccine.

 

The second word is hegemonic. Hegemonic is also important for consumers to understand because it has multiple meanings. One of them is when people buy what is being sold when they don’t need it, people buy what is being sold even when it harms others, people buy what is sold, even though it messes up the world, and people keep buying what is sold without them trying to understand more about the product (The New Consumer Health Overview, slide 16). So, I think it’s important for people to know that although the products won’t make us feel good or are not good for us, as consumers, we think it’s the norm, so we do it anyways.

 

Consumer health is another word that should be in the glossary. It is important because if someone would have asked me last quarter what consumer health is, I would have said that consumer health is when a person (the consumer) is aware of what diet is healthy or not and which one they should follow. However, my definition would have only been one of other key factors. Consumer health is also having the fact and understanding them to make a good decision, avoiding decisions that are based on misinformation, and lastly, choosing not to be alliterate (The New Consumer Health Overview, slide two).