Daily Archives: October 15, 2017

Kiwis and Eagles and Prescription Medication

The United States and New Zealand are unique in a very particular way: you’ll be able to see advertisements on television for different prescription drugs – you know, to mention to your doctor in case you suffer from any of the symptoms that the advertisement seems to mention.

They’re iconic for their awkwardness – whether it be the timing (watching an erectile dysfunction ad with family can be a tad offputting), or the endless barrage of symptoms (the joke that the drug will kill you before the actual disease does), the rule is unique to the US and New Zealand, two countries that share a language and an affinity for a bird (the bald eagle, and the kiwi, respectively), but are on completely different sides of the world.

While those will argue that it can offer some increased awareness of certain conditions, or treatments for conditions, and can give autonomy for patients, I think that this particular issue shouldn’t be something just given out.

Aside from the practical standpoint of it raising medical costs through a bloated advertising budget – I’m a public relations major, and I have come to fully understand that a television commercial campaign can become expensive. Other mediums tend to be less expensive for advertising, but in general, ads are expensive.

It also encourages people to ask for name brand, which, if a generic is available, should really be what is prescribed unless the taker has an allergy to binding ingredients in the generic, or something along those lines. If people specifically are able to get that same coverage for a name brand as a generic, when there is an alternative, it can bring up healthcare costs for all others and effectively raise premiums. Which, would be fine, if it was necessary: but when people are told that “Xyterna” (this is a fake name for a drug that I made up, if this is really the name of a prescription drug then I guess that’s the career path I should look into) is the way to go, many who may not be educated may demand to doctors thats what they want.

Not to mention: doctors should be making healthcare recommendations for patients, not the other way around. If that was the case, then I’m sure there’d be hundreds of people who were real proud of their ‘ice cream diet’ and how much it’s helping them lose weight.

I feel as though the protections that are in place in certain places are definitely a benefit: while I understand not everyone has the same worldview as me (that intervention through agencies and the ‘red tape’ of process and time, is, typically, the only way to make sure that things are not done for the gain of corporate interests), I do think, generally, it’s in peoples best interest to make sure that the things that they’re consuming are safe for them, and in the case of advertising on behalf of a pharmaceutical, it can be potentially dangerous. It’s a gross thing to me, advertisement for healthcare, though again: that’s one that’s up in the air, depending on your worldview.

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Food Labels Challenge

After a long conversation about food labels, I’m ready to share!

In today’s society, we are becoming more health conscious and reading food labels more, but do we actually know and understand what we’re looking at? Most people see a food label and take into consideration the calorie count, total grams of sugar and sometimes the ingredients list.

(After comparing the new and old food labels…)

“What stood out to me the most was the added sugars; I still however, don’t understand the difference between added sugars or general sugars… what difference does it make if they are all artificial sugars? I can’t tell the difference? More specific information would be great to the greater population/average consumer. Based on what I see on food labels today, I don’t know enough to make a decision as a consumer because I’m not entirely informed about it.”

Q: What would you like to see when it comes to food labels?

A: Not an overload of information, but yes enough information as far as what is included in the product, “dummied down”, easy to understand numbers… For example, grams or micrograms, that’s fine on a label but in relation to what? I think it would be easier to understand and gage how much of an impact each individual product I’m consuming has on my body/health in general.

OVERALL, I learned that we should make the information easier to understand in terms of everyday usage. For instance, there is 20 grams of sugar in a candy bar. Yeah, that’s great to know but 20 grams of sugar in relation to what? It has no value or meaning unless the overall measure of it is clearly defined. I don’t think that the Daily Value Percentages are as effective as they could be because people don’t generally spend more than 5 minutes looking at a food label, at least I don’t, to tally up the percentages for their daily value intake. There needs to be a more comprehensive way of portraying that.

Consumer Protection & Regulation Prompt One

The area that I chose to focus on for consumer health and this weeks topic of protection and regulations is within the automobile industry. I personally have dealt with this issue with Ford. I have a 2012 Ford Focus and I bought it in 2015. When I test drove the car, there was no issue during the that point in time. Then six months down the road, the car started to stutter when I would drive.

To elaborate, the newer models of Ford Focuses and Fiestas are made with a transmission that is automatic but acts as a manual (if that makes sense). It would shutter because the transmission would not move into gears quick enough – for example, as I would accelerate, the gears would not change quick enough to allow for a smooth transition. This was one of the first recalls that I had received for the car was for a faulty transmission.

To date, I have received five different recalls for my car since I purchased it in early February 2015. I have received two recalls for the transmission, one for the emergency breaks, one for the door latch, and one for one of the many computers that control the basic functions of my car. The recall for the computer was a pretty significant one because it was the computer that controlled the transmission and it had died. My transmission had over heated which caused my car to break down on the freeway in the evening and I was by myself trying to make it home.

As a consumer, I would have liked to know if there were any issues that I would face or if these issues were to happen, the issues would be fixed beforehand. Granted, all of the issues were fixed and covered by Ford – however, these issues could have caused larger issues. For example, what if I had caused an accident or anything along those lines? I think that as a consumer for an automobile, I should be told all of the information for the vehicle before hand because then I could have purchased another vehicle. The law that would have been beneficial to know is the United States Code for Motor Vehicle Safety (Title 49, Chapter 301) defines motor vehicle safety as “the performance of a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment in a way that protects the public against unreasonable risk of accidents occurring because of the design, construction, or performance of a motor vehicle, and against unreasonable risk of death or injury in an accident, and includes nonoperational safety of a motor vehicle.” I feel that this law would have showed me that my life would have been protected since the car had so many “unknown” problems at the time.

CP&R

The article that stood out to me the most was about automobile safety recall. When you buy a car, you expect it to be in top conditions, the last thing you want is to receive a letter in the mail saying your mode of transportation has a safety recall.

I think that as a consumer of Toyota products, I’m fairly protected since Toyota has a longstanding reputation of putting quality products on the market for a long period of time.

I know that they are pretty heavily regulated and have a rigorous process they have to go through in order to continue with production for mass consumption. I don’t know what the quality assurance/testing process is or how the reporting process works as far as defective parts.

I would think that the NHTSA is relevant to learn more about because they are responsible for issuing Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards to Congress in order implement laws that support safety.

It is important to understand that although safety regulations are issued, they are typically the bare minimum necessary in order to move forward with production. That being said, there is always more control in what you can do in being proactive with the more knowledge you obtain so that you can make adjustments in your everyday life.

Source

http://www.cleveland.com/business/index.ssf/2010/01/us_clears_toyota_gas_pedal_fix.html

Glossary Building #2

In the Overview of Nutrition PowerPoint the term eating patterns is used to describe food choices. After closely examining and considering the different aspects that go into eating patterns my understanding of the term is not solely dependent on what one person simply wants to eat. Eating patterns include preference, habit or tradition, social pressure, availability, convenience, economy, emotional needs, values or beliefs, attitudes, nutritional value and outside incentives.

Again in the Overview of Nutrition PowerPoint the term food culture is introduced. I was a bit confused with the term and considered the terms independently. Foods meaning any nutritious substance that people or animals eat or drink, or that plants absorb, in order to maintain life and growth. Then culture meaning the ways we believe, act and think. Together, my interpretation of the term food culture refers to the way we believe, act or think about any nutritious substance that people, animals and plants eat or drink in order to maintain life and growth. Simply put, food culture refers to the way we think, believe or act in regards to food.

In the same powerpoint, Overview of Nutrition, the term portion distortion is used. The term is followed by the question, “How much BIGGER are we eating?” which led me to think about what portion distortion meant. Individually, portion, refers to a helping, fraction or divide. Then distortion refers to misrepresentation or bend. Together, my interpretation of the term portion distortion would then mean the misrepresentation of a helping with regards to food. Basically, in this way our vision of what is an adequate serving or helping size does not accurately reflect what is healthy.

Consumer Protection & Regulation – Prompt 1

After looking over the different articles I found the article concerning Walmart’s announcement to phase-out hazardous chemicals most intriguing. Since I had found out that I was pregnant I became very cautious and aware of the products I utilized as a consumer. I also plan to be this way when my little guy is born and it is eye-opening to see that products used everyday and of such popular brands have such harmful chemicals in them.

As a consumer I feel that I am not protected as much as I would like to be. This is because labels are just that labels. They hopefully reveal all that is in a product, but they also provide so much information on them that a consumer would be overwhelmed with the amount they’d have to Google before purchasing that item. For myself, I look at labels and for the most part it is a lot of language, so I Google what I don’t know. It would probably be in my best interest to learn or become better familiar with the Environmental Protection Agency, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, the Toxic Control Substances Act, and the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families coalition. All of these agencies and acts were introduced in the article provided by USA Today, which can serve as a great introduction to the issue. The knowledge of these agencies and acts combined with knowledge of products or chemicals that are hazardous to us are what can help us be healthier consumers. This issue is a lot to consider when going shopping for day-to-day products, but even simple awareness like looking closer at labels can really help us be better consumers for ourselves and those we care about.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/09/12/walmart-disclose-phase-out-toxic-chemicals-products-cosmetics/2805567/

CP&R Prompt 1

Like many of the other people in this class, I chose to discuss chemicals and hazardous materials in cosmetic products. I am not the most astute or knowledgeable in this area, but I do use quite a lot of makeup. There are a few laws and agencies that protect consumers that buy makeup including the Bureau of Consumer Protection and the FDCA (Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act). The BCP protects customers from unfair and fraudulent business practices while the FDCA gives businesses regulations and standards about the safety of the products.

What other consumers should know includes what is in the makeup we choose to buy and use as well as how to be a smart consumer. Doing research can really help protect individuals as consumers and can make a consumer more inclined to make smart decisions about what they choose to buy. This does not just apply to makeup and other cosmetics but any type of product in general. I also believe it is important to know that not all companies abide by the standards or they do the bare minimum to make their products desirable. Overall, I believe that we as consumers must pay more attention to the laws that are their to protect us as well as the lack of regulations.

 

A Morning Routine Challenge

Wednesday: Good morning! I woke up bright and early for my 6 am class. Gave myself some extra time to make a coffee at home, black and not how I like it at all. Yuck! I drank water and washed my face like normal. My breakfast was some warm oatmeal and now I can go brush my teeth before I head out for school.

Thursday: It’s almost Friday, woohoo! I continued the routine this morning as well. I feel great and the water is really helping me stay alert. I even packed a water bottled for my early morning shift today.

Friday: TGIF! Clean teeth and a washed face really set my day off to a good start. I am currently sitting at the table with my glass of water right now. Today I feel good so there is no need for coffee and no need to drink anything sugary, thank goodness for that.

Saturday: I woke up a little earlier than I would have liked to today. Oh my! I slept great. I almost forgot that I was partaking in a challenge this week. A lightbulb went on in my head and I quickly remembered to continue my routine. The day started off swell thanks to a nice glass of water, a fresh face, clean teeth and nicely combed hair. Now, off to work and persistent to stay away from sugary drinks.

Sunday: I am so tired and my house is cold. This morning I switched it up and drank hot water with some lemon instead. My face feels fresh and my pearly whites feel sparkling. Hey, coffee isn’t so bad with just a dash of almond milk. Now I must go brush this nest I call hair.

Well, that was fun. I hope I continue this tomorrow morning before school. I feel great starting my morning off this way so I don’t think there will be a problem. Cheers to a lovely week.

Challenge: are you using personal products with harmful ingredients instead of products that have organic or plant based ingredients? Reasons; read below.

  1. Pick five products such as shampoos, soaps, hair coloring, toothpaste,  and make-up.
  2. Read the ingredients and see if they are all organic and safe ingredients.
  3. Please post as to if you’re planning to replace or already using safe products for your skin.

 

Many products list “fragrance” on the label, but very few name the specific ingredients that make up a “fragrance.” This lack of disclosure prevents consumers from knowing the full list of ingredients in their products. While most fragrance chemicals are not disclosed, we do know that some are linked to serious health problems such as cancer, reproductive and developmental toxicity, allergies and sensitivities. Clearly, there is a need for stronger regulations, more research, and greater transparency.

FOUND IN: Most personal care products including sunscreen, shampoo, soap, body wash, deodorant, body lotion, makeup, facial cream, skin toner, serums, exfoliating scrubs and perfume.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR ON THE LABEL: Fragrance, perfume, parfum, essential oil blend, aroma.

WHAT IS FRAGRANCE? Fragrance is defined by the FDA as a combination of chemicals that gives each perfume or cologne (including those used in other products) its distinct scent. Fragrance ingredients may be derived from petroleum or natural raw materials. Companies that manufacture perfume or cologne purchase fragrance mixtures from fragrance houses (companies that specialize in developing fragrances) to develop their own proprietary blends. In addition to “scent” chemicals that create the fragrance, perfumes and colognes also contain solvents, stabilizers, UV-absorbers, preservatives, and dyes. MORE…

HEALTH CONCERNS: The International Fragrance Association (IFRA) lists 3,059 materials that are reported as being used in fragrance compounds.[1] Of these 3,059 ingredients, some have evidence linking them to health effects including cancer, reproductive toxicity, allergies and sensitivities.

A 2016 study assessed self-reported health effects from fragrance. This survey of a random sample of US residents found that 99.1% of participants are exposed to fragranced products at least once a week from their own use, others’ use, or both. Participants also reported an extensive list of health effects experienced when exposed to fragrance ranging from migraines and asthma to gastrointestinal problems and cardiovascular problems. The findings showed that a high percentage of the participants did not know of the chemicals included in fragrance and would not continue to use a fragranced product if they had previously known it emitted pollutants.[2]

Acetaldehyde: Acetaldehyde adversely affects kidneys and the reproductive, nervous and respiratory systems.[3] This chemical is listed as known or suspected to cause cancer in California’s Proposition 65.[4] Both the International Agency for Research on Cancer and the National Toxicology Program classify acetaldehyde as potentially carcinogenic to humans.[5], [6]

Benzophenone: Benzophenone is linked to endocrine disruption and organ system toxicity,[7] and experimental studies suggest benzophenone may lead to several kinds of tumors.[8] Derivatives of benzophenone, such as benzophenone-1 (BP-1) and oxybenzone (BP-3), are potential endocrine disruptors.[9]Benzophenone is listed as a possible human carcinogen under California’s Proposition 65.[10]MORE…

VULNERABLE POPULATIONS: All, especially pregnant women, infants

Many products list “fragrance” on the label, but very few name the specific ingredients that make up a “fragrance.” This lack of disclosure prevents consumers from knowing the full list of ingredients in their products. While most fragrance chemicals are not disclosed, we do know that some are linked to serious health problems such as cancer, reproductive and developmental toxicity, allergies and sensitivities. Clearly, there is a need for stronger regulations, more research, and greater transparency.

FOUND IN: Most personal care products including sunscreen, shampoo, soap, body wash, deodorant, body lotion, makeup, facial cream, skin toner, serums, exfoliating scrubs and perfume.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR ON THE LABEL: Fragrance, perfume, parfum, essential oil blend, aroma.

WHAT IS FRAGRANCE? Fragrance is defined by the FDA as a combination of chemicals that gives each perfume or cologne (including those used in other products) its distinct scent. Fragrance ingredients may be derived from petroleum or natural raw materials. Companies that manufacture perfume or cologne purchase fragrance mixtures from fragrance houses (companies that specialize in developing fragrances) to develop their own proprietary blends. In addition to “scent” chemicals that create the fragrance, perfumes and colognes also contain solvents, stabilizers, UV-absorbers, preservatives, and dyes. MORE…

HEALTH CONCERNS: The International Fragrance Association (IFRA) lists 3,059 materials that are reported as being used in fragrance compounds.[1] Of these 3,059 ingredients, some have evidence linking them to health effects including cancer, reproductive toxicity, allergies and sensitivities.

A 2016 study assessed self-reported health effects from fragrance. This survey of a random sample of US residents found that 99.1% of participants are exposed to fragranced products at least once a week from their own use, others’ use, or both. Participants also reported an extensive list of health effects experienced when exposed to fragrance ranging from migraines and asthma to gastrointestinal problems and cardiovascular problems. The findings showed that a high percentage of the participants did not know of the chemicals included in fragrance and would not continue to use a fragranced product if they had previously known it emitted pollutants.[2]

Acetaldehyde: Acetaldehyde adversely affects kidneys and the reproductive, nervous and respiratory systems.[3] This chemical is listed as known or suspected to cause cancer in California’s Proposition 65.[4] Both the International Agency for Research on Cancer and the National Toxicology Program classify acetaldehyde as potentially carcinogenic to humans.[5], [6]

Benzophenone: Benzophenone is linked to endocrine disruption and organ system toxicity,[7] and experimental studies suggest benzophenone may lead to several kinds of tumors.[8] Derivatives of benzophenone, such as benzophenone-1 (BP-1) and oxybenzone (BP-3), are potential endocrine disruptors.[9]Benzophenone is listed as a possible human carcinogen under California’s Proposition 65.[10]MORE…

VULNERABLE POPULATIONS: All, especially pregnant women, infants

SOURCE:   http://www.safecosmetics.org/get-the-facts/chemicals-of-concern/fragrance/

 

Next ingredient to avoid in skincare products since it is so many of them is Paraben.  Below is another article about the dangers of Paraben in products.

Parabens are synthetic preservatives used in foods, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and personal care products such as deodorants, moisturizers and shampoos. Common parabens include methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben and butylparaben. Parabens allow skin care products to survive for months or even years in your medicine cabinet; however, they also enter your body through your skin when you use these products. According to Mercola.com, the body can absorb as much as five pounds of cosmetic chemicals every year. Parabens can mimic hormones in the body and disrupt functions of the endocrine system.

Breast Cancer

Colby College’s Clean Makeup website reports that parabens can mimic estrogen and disrupt the body’s hormone system. Cornell University reports that a high lifelong exposure to estrogen can increase breast cancer risk. Estrogen, and synthetic chemicals that act like estrogen, play a role in stimulating the division of breast cells and affect other hormones that stimulate breast cell division. Your body does not easily break down synthetic estrogen, and it can accumulate in fat cells, including breast tissue. In 2004, a study by the University of Reading in the United Kingdom found concentrations of parabens, particularly methylparaben, in human breast tumors. The study examined only the presence of parabens in the tumors but did not determine that they were the cause of the tumors.

Decreased Sperm Levels

Parabens can also adversely affect the male reproductive system. In a study by the Tokyo Metropolitan Research Laboratory of Public Health, researchers administered parabens to three-week-old rats. After four weeks, researchers examined the rats and found their sperm production significantly decreased in relation to the amount of parabens they had received. The rats who received the highest dose of parabens, which was consistent with the daily acceptable intake of parabens in Europe and Japan, showed a significant decrease in sperm concentration.

 

This is why I do not purchase any products with these ingredients and other harmful ingredients.   I have only listed two harmful ingredients but there are others that can mess with our health.    Yes, it costs more but your skin absorbs everything so don’t  you want what goes on the body is the best for your skin; afterall, I have read skin is our biggest organ.   I use coupons which help me save some monies plus it feels good when I use better for you products.

Let me know if some of you are replacing and what you think of this information.

Thanks,

Indera