Monthly Archives: October 2017

Is Moderation Key?

I was shocked after reading this article. The opinions presented in this were very different from what I am currently taught in class. Jonathan Ross, the man who wrote this post, talked about how everything in moderation is not the answer and does not work. However, my professors preach almost the exact opposite.

For those who do not know, I am a nutrition major going into my last quarter of my bachelor’s degree. A specific professor sticks out to me. I remember her saying, “yeah sure, my guilty pleasure is nachos. But I don’t eat them every day. Moderation is key you guys.” And this spoke to me. Ross explains that those who practice moderation eat one treat each day. In that sense, yes of course moderation would not work because that is not what the moderation nutrition professionals speak of.

I can’t say that I see myself in this type of moderation. I eat generally very healthy foods, and try to include my greens into at least one meal a day. I pay attention to what I am putting into my body and how I feel after eating specific meals. However, if I would like to have a bagel for breakfast or a coffee with my lunch I will do so. I must mention that while doing this, I do not go overboard on the cream cheese and I’ll ask for a little less caramel in my Americano. That way I am still very attentive to the food I am consuming even if I did indulge on those things. The moderation Ross speaks of would not allow of this. If your friends ask you to go out and get appetizers are you not going to go because you already had a coffee that week?

This is where I disagree with his idea of “everything in moderation doesn’t work.” As an ‘almost’ nutrition professional myself, I think it is essential that we teach people to listen to their bodies rather than an outsider who does not know how their insides feel. If you order fries for your appetizer, just stop eating them when you become full and take them home in a box for another day, or for your roommate to eat. You do not need to finish them off. Also, just pay attention to the fact that you ate fries and maybe have a green salad with lots of veggies and chicken for dinner instead of another highly caloric meal.

I don’t feel like my practice of moderation is increasing my risk of chronic diseases what so ever. I think I am very aware of my body and very aware of that fact that what I put into my body will either impact me positively or negatively. As we know, harmful foods do not make the body feel refreshed and healthy, but rather sluggish and sick. A helpful tip to give people is to recognize how certain foods make them feel and how moods are impacted by food. That is what I would tell a consumer, rather than scare them into believing that eating a slice of cake is going to ruin their health immediately. Food is such a private and sensitive topic that I think the best thing we can do for the public and for consumers is to encourage them to create a happy and healthy relationship with food and eating. In my opinions, the article, written by Jonathan Ross, does a poor job of this.

Glossary Building Post – 3

From reading A Crackdown on Cheating Companies I thought contractors was a good term for this week. By definition, a contractor is an “Independent entity that agrees to furnish certain number or quantity of goods, material, equipment, personnel, and/or services that meet or exceed stated requirements or specifications, at a mutually agreed upon price and within a specified timeframe to another independent entity called contractee, principal, or project owner.2” Many companies today are calling full-time employees contractors so that they don’t have to provide medical benefits like health insurance, paid time off, sick leave or anything other benefits that a regular full-time employee would have. I think that it is important to know the difference between full-time and contractor especially if you’re trying to get the most value out of your job!

From the same article, A Crackdown on Cheating Companies, workers’ compensation is the next term. Workers comp is basically a form of insurance for employees so that in the event that they get injured on the job, the employee has a right to sue the employer for negligence3. Being 21 and not having hardly any experience with benefits let alone health insurance (under my parents), I wasn’t familiar with the term workers’ comp so I figured, maybe a lot of other people my age are also still figuring out what most of these terms are/mean.

The last word is grace period. ‘A grace period is how long you can wait after leaving school before you have to make your first payment.4’ I think this term is actually really relevant to college students because this is the time where many begin to start learning about loans and payments and how it all affects your overall credit.

Contractors: A person or company that undertakes a contract to provide materials or labor to perform a service or do a job5.

Workers’ Compensation: A form of insurance for employees so that in the event that they get injured on the job, the employee has a right to sue the employer for negligence3.

Grace Period: A grace period is how long you can wait after leaving school before you have to make your first payment4.

 

Sources

Contractors

https://parade.com/49312/parade/100411-a-crackdown-on-cheating-companies/

2 http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/contractor.html

5 https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/contractor

Workers Compensation

https://parade.com/49312/parade/100411-a-crackdown-on-cheating-companies/

3 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Workers%27_compensation

Grace Period

4 https://ticas.org/content/posd/top-10-student-loan-tips-recent-graduates

Challenge!!! Do you accept?!

When I was around 7-9 years old (maybe younger) I would naturally approach people and tell them how beautiful they were. If they were dressed up or not, were just taking  a quick trip to the store, whatever they looked or seemed like, something in me would draw me to people and I would tell them they were so beautiful. It made me feel good, but I did it more so for their sake. I wanted to spread smiles and happiness to strangers and give them something to feel good about. Some people need it more than you can see or even really know.

So, now I challenge you to do the same! For the next three days (or longer if you want, and I encourage) to tell 1 stranger a day, something nice! Whether it be about their looks, intelligence, goals, aspirations, or achievements. For each person you say something to, take note of how they reacted and how you think it affected the person. Did they smile, laugh, get embarrassed? Do you think it made their day better or worse, that they will tell their friends what happened? Next, take note of how you feel, before you tell them and after! Were you nervous to approach them, were you excited to compliment them, did you back out of the first few attempts? Lastly, do you think this is something you’ll keep doing? Sometimes it takes just being challenged to do something to start a trend in your daily life.

I am excited to see, should anyway take this challenge, how your experiences go! You’ll see it’s really not as scary or nerve racking as it seems. Good luck!

Glossary Building Post #2

Glossary Terms:

  • Direct To Consumer advertisement (DTC)
  • Cesarean Birth (C-section)
  • Cord Blood

Parents, and soon to be parents, are vulnerable consumers. They are often bombarded with new fads in childbirth, some new product, etc. Many times these products or services being offered to them are unnecessary, fake, or not truly safe for their children. Terms such as fertility treatments, cesarean birth (C-section), and cord blood are thrown around often these days, but do these consumer truly understand what these terms mean?

Consumers who wish to be parents but are experiencing difficulties conceiving may often seek fertility treatments. Many fertility clinics post DTC advertisements on the web targeting those with difficulties in conceiving. “DTC ads are responsible for 12 percent ($2.6 billion) of the total growth in drug spending in 2000” (Walden 2017). These advertisements tend to overstate treatment benefits, misleading and manipulating consumers to believe that their specific treatment will guarantee results. “47 percent described their success rates as “superior” or “among the best”, without indicating what they were comparing themselves to” (Walden 2017). What vulnerable consumers do not hear about with these advertisements is the actual success of the advertised product. Many times the product has a very small success rate, but vulnerable consumers do not know those details they only see that the treatment is supposed to work. Many consumers end up spend exorbitant amounts of money with little to no results to show for their effort. Consumers should be aware of DTC ads and should look into the advertised products success rates before they buy into the product.

Consumers who are pregnant or wish to become pregnant should also know about the cesarean birth (C-Section) option. C-section births have become a very common method of delivery, though in many cases the procedure is not even necessary. Consumers should also know that in many cases if a woman has had a C-section in the past, then they are at risk to lose the option to deliver their next child in a different way. “in some parts of the country, women who have previously had a cesarean are denied the option to try for a vaginal birth because of hospital policy or because they can’t find a doctor who will agree to the option” (Roan 2017). Consumers should be aware of this term because by doing a cesarean birth option they could potentially lose their choice of birthing method for their next child.

Consumers should also be aware of terms such as cord blood. A consumer may be offered to save and freeze their newborns umbilical cord because the stem cells could prove to be useful in curing any complications later in their newborns life. This new fad is not all it seems though, there is no real guarantee that spending the money on saving the cord blood can actually help. If the newborn is born with a disease, then the cord blood is likely to have the same contaminates. The consumer is not informed of this issue though, they are led to believe that they have secured their child’s future in case of the worst.

Resources: 

Moninger, J. (2017). The Cord Blood Controversy. Parents. Retrieved 23 October 2017, from http://www.parents.com/pregnancy/my-baby/cord-blood-banking/the-cord-blood-controversy

Roan, S. (2017). Birth options: More women should have choice of vaginal birth after C-section, panel says. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 23 October 2017, from http://www.latimes.com/health/la-he-0323-hosp-vbac-20100323-story.html

Walden, Rachel. 2017. “Direct-To-Consumer: Fertility Clinic Advertising On The Web – NWHN”. National Womens Health Network. https://www.nwhn.org/direct-to-consumer-fertility-clinic-advertising-on-the-web/.

 

Food Label (challenge)

So for this challenge, I asked my friend about food labels and what she would like to see on packaged food and beverage products. My friend said that she would like to know a lot of stuff that could possibly harm her health and more.When I asked her about what she would like to know about food packaging information, she said that she would like to know more about the preservatives, fats, and in general the (real) calories.

My friend and I talked about that we want to know if the product we buy is from free range animals or factories. It is good to know all the information that we can. I have seen some products with the “free range eggs” label sometimes. It would be more informative if the sellers were more honest about the products they sell because some customers do not want to buy factories products because some factories make the animals suffer; it is unethical the way they can treat the animals.

Another thing my friend talked about was that she wants to know if the chemicals or something in the ingredients can harm her health. She said they should put how safe the product is so that she can make her own choice to buy it or not to buy it. She emphasized that she wants to know what the preservatives can do to her like the result of eating it. I know some preservatives aren’t good.  For instance, butylated hydroxyanisole. According to David Zinczenko, butylated hydroxyanisole has shown to be carcinogen. Carcinogen is something can cause cancer and it is important to know this information on the food label.

Sources:

http://www.eatthis.com/8-ingredients-you-never-want-see-your-nutrition-label/

 

Finances Prompt 1

The first article I read was the Crackdown on Cheating Companies. After reading this article it doesn’t surprise me that large companies are misclassifying their employees to save themselves some money. Companies take advantage of full-time employees without actually having to pay or offer benefits that normally would come with being a full-time employee. The next article I read was about student loan debt and how to overcome it. This article was really helpful especially for college students like us who probably all have some sort of loans out that will need to be paid back after graduation. I think it is critical for people to know about the consequences that happen when you ignore your loan payments. Personally I know there have been times in my life where I have ignored responsibilities and it only causes things to get much much worse. That why these tips were helpful! Lastly, I read the article that touched on Debt and Deceased Relatives. This article really surprised me because I honestly thought that when you die, your debt is erased, simply because well, you are dead. Who’s going to pay it? Collecting estate to pay off debt seems reasonable if the person dies, however I think going as far to collecting it from significant others is drastic. I think it’s important to know that debt collectors are only allowed to contact third parties in order to obtain contact information ONCE. Its also important to know that you are legally allowed to have collectors stop contacting you. Just make sure to send that letter and get a return receipt for proof. As a consumer, it gives me hope that there is more investigation being done on companies who are misclassifying their employees. As an employee of a really large company myself, I would have to be taken advantage of by being called a “contractor” when I am still abiding by all company rules and not my own work. I think the first step in solving these problems is creating awareness for the consumers (I did not know about this deception going on, how many others don’t?) The more consumers know about it, the more change can happen. As for policy makers, it sounds like they are headed in the right direction with investigating unlawful companies. Making stricter consequences for companies misclassifying their employees could also aid in solving this issue.

Finance Prompt 1

When I first saw that the topic this week was going to be finance, let me just say I was a little worried. For me, Finances have never been my strong suit. I never really was taught in high school either about certain finance topics that others were taught. So reading the course materials made me very informed and I was able to actually learn about finances. The first article I read was about student loans, and some tips on how to pay them off, and what to do when you do have a bunch of loans. One thing I learned, in particular, was that you should always start with paying off the most high priced loan first. And then continue to pay the rest, this way you will get the big chunk out of the way and will able to pay little amounts and soon enough they will be paid. The second article I read talked about what happens when a deceased person still has debt. I actually found it very interesting that when a person passes away and they may not be here, their debt definitely still is. When that person passes away, a loved one, relative or someone still has to pay the debt of that person. I found that astonishing, I had no idea that it still would have to be paid even though they are no longer here. The third article I read focused on what you would want to do with your finances and what you should know about how expensive they can be. For instance, starting a business, before starting a business you should do research about the certain business you are wanting to start; ranging from an internet company all the way to opening your own franchise. There are many things that come to the forefront way before signing any kind of papers. You must consider your financial situation, your abilities, goals, and most importantly if this is actually going to make you money.

Works Cited:

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0401-thinking-about-buying-franchise

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0081-debts-and-deceased-relatives

https://ticas.org/content/posd/top-10-student-loan-tips-recent-graduates

Why Finance Matters: Lean into the blog’s title.

It’s a relatively straightforward thing – finance matters, making sure that you are able to effectively manage funding is an incredibly important part of the human responsibility scale. And it’s not just to make sure that you’re able to get a coffee with almond milk, or have endless access to the hits of the mid aughts on Apple music – financing is an important part of making sure the you now and the you later will be able to live a life that’s worth living, and by being aware that companies who provide financial services, typically, are in the market to: wait for it, make money. Some may be trustworthy, but having a good grasp on the risks you take when dealing with financing is important.

Examples being, as provided through this class, working as an independent contractor in lieu of being an official employee – though again, it depends on the context of the situation you’re operating within. As a contractor, medical benefits aren’t awarded to you and you have to do some more intricate taxation processes come tax day – employers also have no legal liability to keep you on. So, while the idea of contracting tends to be appealing to people, knowing the different things – and being able to identify if your position extends beyond the contractors purpose (if you’re working full-time on something that extends beyond the reach of a specific things) – be wary, as you could potentially be getting more kickbacks from your employer.

I think, though, a majority of the time it really comes out to being aware of the things that you do financially and the profit incentive behind it – whether it be the girl you went to high school with who’s already had a couple kids and wants to “have it all’ and have you join her in selling makeup over Facebook or if it’s as something as predatory as payday loans. Making sure you’re aware of the things that happen in this context is incredibly important – don’t be doubtful, be skeptical.

Finances

Prompt 1

As a consumer we am automatically at risk  for some sort of financial struggle. As people age and slowly become more financially independent, more expenses tend to come into play.  Credit card offers, Schools loans, Personal loans, Legal assistance, Car Payments, Bankrupts, and more. These will most likely occur at least once in your life time. These things can be a product of disaster, enabling to accomplish many things and often make life much more difficult than it should be. Unfortunately young adult consumers are a main target for financial traps  because they are often much less financially knowledgeable and easier to receive money from (this is why young people receive so many credit card offers).  young consumers are the best consumers because of their willingness to spend money and participate in things that could possibly get them more money. This is what gets them in trouble. Not knowing how to budget, missing payments and not reading the fine print can put young people in a sticky place. This is when dept comes in. Not knowing how to manage your finances can leave someone with limited options of how they can live. By being more knowledgeable on things like how to manage student loans, apply for a credit cards and avoiding late fees, it could save someone a life of struggle.  The goal should always be to buy smart.

Student loans are one of the first things people experience when growing into an independent adult. Student loans are sometimes the only way most people can fully afford a higher education. The first time a student loan is taken out, we don’t have to think about how we are going to repay it because that moment isn’t for another 4+ years. But the truth is, we should always consider what we can do in the mean time. There are options. first, you can get acquainted with which loan or loans you have. You should learn what type it is, its terms and conditions, their interests rates, as well as what their grace periods look like. It is possible that if you begin to pay your interest rates sooner, the amount you’ll have to pay in the future can be a lot less. The grace period for most loans can start between 6 to 9 months, meaning you’ll have time to figure out what your financial situation is depending on the loan. what ever your financial situation may be, you may have options on what kind of payments you are able to make each month. when your financial situation changes, you may also have the ability to adjust how you make your payments. The goal is to stay in contact about your situation and try to NEVER miss payments. It is also helpful to keep in mind that if you obtain a job in certain fields such as, government positions, Non profit, public service, teaching positions, Americorps, peaceCorps, and more, you may be eligible for loan forgiveness programs. These could be extremely helpful in the long run. Knowing more about what your future may look like can prepare you for much more.

We also must watch out for ourselves when entering the work force. Depending on our field and position, we may be a risk for being taken advantage of by the companies and businesses we work for. We must stay aware of the rights we possess, what we are eligible for and how the places we work for “run”. This could avoid misclassification, mistreatment, lack of qualification/benefits and other unethical practices that could negativity affect workers. It is our right to uphold our employers to the laws and regulations that protect us as workers. We must be aware that our health and well-being is much more important than any amount of money or tax break. By being unaware mistreatment, could possibly enable workers from greatly benefiting from things they may qualify for. Doing the research could make a huge difference.

It is great to be a smart consumer. it could save you from a world of hurt and struggle in the future. If we take initiative and begin to use our resources for information and answers, we can avoid financial traps. to be aware means that you are using your knowledge to make smart choices. Choices that could benefits your future in very positive way.

Sources:

Financial Slides

P. (2013, August 23). A Crackdown on Cheating Companies. Retrieved October 30, 2017, from https://parade.com/49312/parade/100411-a-crackdown-on-cheating-companies/

Project on Student Debt. (n.d.). Retrieved October 30, 2017, from https://ticas.org/content/posd/top-10-student-loan-tips-recent-graduates

 

Finance Matters

As a consumer, especially one who’s largest financial investment is higher education, financial responsibility is of utmost importance. There are very few citizens in the United States who can afford a college degree without taking out some form of student loans. As young adults, we are expected to be responsible enough to figure out how to finance and have a plan of how to pay back our loans once we finish. The reality is, a nineteen year old kid has no idea how to make a decision that costs thousands of dollars (generally). To land most jobs in America, a young person needs a college degree to at least show they can be dedicated to something. Due to this social norm, every high school graduate is becoming a college student. And some are still not finding jobs when they get out, or are cheated out of full-time benefits and a true job title (as stated in one of the resources this week.) Therefore, the amount of national debt accrued by all these students is astonishing. Even after former President Obama’s administrative changes to increase Pell grants and other funds for students, every young American is still in debt. In my own experience, there was little education offered to me as to how I should pull out these loans and how much I’d be paying monthly once I was out. I did not receive many scholarships, and with the current FAFSA calculation, I got about a thousand a year. However, my parents did not assist me with any payment for college, thus my loans were going to be massive. I have gained a lot of advice through research and this class, such as how to be smart when taking out a loan and having the foresight to look ahead at what my monthly payments may be. A course of action I learned through some of the content this week was that banks offer financial education to those who are taking out loans. Perhaps all college freshmen should be required to take a course in managing their loans.