Daily Archives: December 8, 2017

PhotoVoice Part 2

Diabetes is often misunderstood by the common consumer. Often times diabetics are stereotyped as being extremely overweight, inactive, unhealthy eaters. Many do not realize that this common visual is in fact false. Diabetes is not limited to those who struggle with controlling their weight. It can effect anyone, skinny, fat, healthy, or unhealthy in their habits. Chances of contracting this condition are mainly effected by family history and chronic stress, as well as daily living habits. Diabetes is classified as a disease that impairs the body’s ability to absorb sugars in the blood. It can be broken into two types: Type One and Type Two diabetes. Type One diabetic’s have difficulty producing insulin, causing blood sugar levels to rise or fall drastically. Type Two diabetic’s process sugars differently causing their blood sugar levels to fluctuate dangerously. Consumers should not limit their viewpoints of this disease to the stereotype. The photos shown below exemplify common everyday aspects of a diabetic’s life.

The two questions that I chose to address in this photovoice project are:

  • What choices do I have?
  • Why is it so difficult to be healthy/easy to be unhealthy?

What choices do I have?

Consumers should be aware that diabetics have same choices as them. The difference is that diabetics have to be more aware of their choices and how it may affect their bodies in the long run. A person suffering from diabetes can eat anything that a non-diabetic can, as long as they are aware of the nutritional content of the food and the portion sizes. Being a diabetic does not mean that a consumer is limited in any way. Some people look at diabetes as being a limit upon their lives, but that is very far from the truth. Diabetic consumer have all the same choices that any other consumer has.

Why is it so difficult to be healthy/easy to be unhealthy?

Diabetics must be much more careful in their choices than non-diabetics. Diabetics must keep careful track of calories, carbs, sugars, and fiber. Foods that are higher in calories, carbs, and sugars run the risk of being unhealthy and could negatively affect blood sugar levels. If the levels become erratic or out of control it could pose serious short-term and long-term health risks to the diabetic. It is both easy and difficult to be healthy as a diabetic. On one hand, it is difficult to be healthy as junk food is easy, cheap, and fast to get ahold of. It is an easy go to for many people as a food choice. This choice though, could potentially harm a diabetic and put them at risk for higher blood sugar levels. On the other hand, it is easy to be a healthy diabetic. To be healthy, a diabetic must control portions and eat plenty of healthy fibers to slow the absorption of sugars into the blood stream. Consumers often classify diabetics as being unhealthy when in actuality there are diabetics out there that are healthier than the majority of others. It all boils down to the individuals choices and how they care for themselves.

 

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Peer Review

In review of bcwu’s post on Thinking and Discourse:

I learned from this post that nutrition for your child shouldn’t stop being a top priority once they are able to make their own decisions in grade school. It would be good for a new parent to read this because they should be aware of all their choices as a consumer that should tailor specifically to their child. The strongest part of this post would be the emphasis on how children aren’t able to look after their own health (something some parents seem to not understand) I understood this post loud and clear, and didn’t find any typos or spelling errors. I would like to read more on this topic about the harmful chemicals that may be found in dishware for kids. I rate this contribution a 4, because babies are our future!!

Peer-Review

For this peer-review, I read a post about Direct to Consumer ads by @thejenetic that was published on November 28. From reading this contribution, I learned how this person feels about DTC ads. This person is against DTC ads. Also, I learned how the pharmaceutical industry is increasing its advertisement over the past 4 years; they’re spending millions, billions of dollars for this DTC ads. From what I understand, DTC ads affect consumers because they buy drugs that probably aren’t effective not to mention with a lot of bad side effects. It would be good for an older adult or a teenager to read this contribution because it will help these people understand and learn about the Direct to Consumer ads; it is important for people to know the truth. An older adult would benefit from reading this because I’ve noticed that there are a lot of DTC advertisement directed toward older adults. For example, some ads would say something like “Are you having back problems?, are you having a hard time walking?, etc.” For teenagers, they may benefit from reading this because most of them aren’t aware of the issues related with DTC ads. DTC ads target everybody but especially people who aren’t aware, I think. Direct to Consumer ads may say something “Are you having trouble sleeping?” I mean who isn’t having trouble sleeping sometimes?

The strongest (or most credible) part of this contribution is when this person actually read a lot of articles to back up what they said in this prompt. There are links to click on to take you to those articles just in case you want to know where they got the information. The weakest part (or something that someone might question) about this contribution is probably not citing all the information at the end. One part that I had to read more than once in order to understand it is ” The AMA also listed a study found that when medications were marketed directly to the consumer they saw an increase in the price of 34.2%.” The sentence structure got me confused. I found one error where this person said “To make things worse the pharmaceutical industry is pushing for more freedom in their advertisement practices so they can market drugs for off-label uses.” I believe this person may be missing a comma at the start of this sentence after the word “worse”. One part that made me want to read more on this topic is in general all the issues about direct to consumers ads. I am a curious person so it made me want to read more even though I also did read and watched videos about this DTC ads practice. On a 1 to 4 scale where 1 is the lowest possible and 4 is the highest possible, I rate this contribution a 3.5 overall because it contained informative information. But because, in addition, it had two sentences that were confusing and didn’t provide a citation at the end of the work.

Photovoice Final

The photos I took for my project are simple, but I intend for them to have a deeper meaning to readers. I have provided a photo of an ambulance, and a photo of a personal vehicle. This is the decision many Americans make in their own healthcare when they have a medical emergency. Americans will sacrifice their own health to save money instead of paying for ambulance transportation. In a personal experience, while outside an emergency room entry, a personal vehicle pulled into the bay next to our ambulance. A citizen stepped out and stated that their friend was going to need medical attention. Upon inspection, this was in fact the case and the friends of the victim had driven the person to the hospital via a regular car. This can be viewed as a consumer decision, because it is likely that they did not want to call 911 to pay for the ambulance ride. A large portion of the population in the United States has basic Medicare/Medicaid insurance. There also some individuals that have no insurance, especially in some areas of the country with high numbers of immigrants. No person should feel as though they cannot call for help and be treated by professionals due to their insurance or lack thereof. This class has discussed the choices we can make as consumers regarding our health. However, in my own opinion as a provider, this should not be a choice we are concerned with. Unfortunately, that is not the reality that consumers can exist in.

 

For two questions, I chose “What choice(s) do I have?” and “What is the usual discourse regarding this and similar services?” The choices for pre-hospital and hospital care are relatively simple. You can either take yourself to the hospital, or you can call an ambulance. Now, what most consumers are probably not aware of is that when paramedics show up, you do not have to take the ambulance. You are legally allowed to refuse treatment and transport, or you can be evaluated and choose to refuse transport. Regarding visiting the hospital, you can choose to be seen at emergency department for an illness or you may not. People have hundreds of varying insurance plans, and it is possible that it could be more affordable to be seen by an urgent care clinic or your primary physician. It is important as consumers that we be very aware of what our insurance does cover, so that we are not left with a hefty bill after we receive treatment or visit a healthcare site. Also, we must recognize how Medicare/aid differs from state to state in the event of using an ambulance or visiting the ER. A person may benefit from completing a project such as this, especially with this subject, because we do not consider disasters until they strike. It is rare that a young person in college (or any demographic) would plan ahead for an ambulance ride or ER visit. When the emergency is happening is not the time to stop and think how you will pay for the services.

PhotoVoice Project Part 2

When marijuana was legalized in 2012 in the State of Washington, it was not much longer before recreational stores started popping up everywhere. Even in Ellensburg there are 3 recreational marijuana stores. Cle Elum and Roslyn also have 3 stores in the area. The growing popularity of the cannabis industry can not be ignored and because of its contents, consumers should be aware of what they are being sold and what their choices are.

What are my choices and who’s selling me what?
I took a trip down to Ellensburg’s very own Cannabis Central where I took pictures of a few of the products they had for sale. I asked for a sample of marijuana flower, oil,  edibles, and body balm to take pictures of.

They provided me with a 2 gram package of “DDAWG QUIN-N-TONIC”. This is an indica dominant hybrid strain with a total THC percentage of 21.26% that costs $20. When it comes to marijuana there are 3 types you can get. Indicas, sativas, and hybrids indicas tend to have a sedating, full-body effect on people. The physical leaves are short and bushy and when consumed it is said to help with anxiety, insomnia, pain, and muscle spasms (Leafly, 2017). Sativas, on the other hand, are said to give you a “head high”, as well as make you more focused, uplifting and spark your creativity. It is said to relieve symptoms of depression, ADD, fatigue, and mood disorders (Leafly, 2017). Hybrids are a mix of indicas and sativas. They can be a 50/50 mix of the two, or they can be dominant towards one or the other. This appeals to people who do not want the full effects of either strain.

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Next, they provided me with 1 gram of oil, with a total THC percentage of 75%. Oil is a more concentrated form of marijuana. It is much higher in percentage compared to other forms therefore the effects are felt much stronger. Depending on the strain and THC percentage, the price usually ranges from $20-$40. CBC is a component that is THC free and is very helpful with pain. With this, you do not feel like you are “high” and do not feel the effects that you would with indicas and sativas. Instead, the CBC affects only the sight of pain. CBC oil is said to be very helpful with individuals who suffer from frequent seizures. (Epilepsy, 2017).

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Edibles can come in tons of different forms. Cookies, brownies, candies, tablets, just to name a few. They gave me a package of blue raspberry candy pebbles that contained 10 candies, each with 10 mg of THC in them, totaling 100 mg THC per package. Edibles appeal to the crowd who are intending to feel the effects of marijuana but do not want to smoke it either due to health or personal reasons.

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Lastly, the body balm they provided me with 350 total mg of THC in it. Interestingly, it also contained Kava kava, which is notorious for its sedating and pain relieving effects on the body (WEBMD, 2017). Body balms, as well as lip balms, and moisturizers, are used on people who have muscle, skin, and joint pains in certain areas. After direct contact with the balm, the effects are supposed to relieve the pain temporarily.

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Experience taking the photos
At first, I thought it might be awkward to go into a store that sells drugs and ask to take pictures. After I got over the idea, I went in at a decently slow time of the day so I wouldn’t be disrupting their flow of business. Fortunately, there was a friendly girl working there who helped me out without hesitation. I informed her I was doing a school project and needed to photograph a few items and she recommended a few to her liking that I should photograph. This project helped my thinking in consumer health because it made me realize that especially when it comes to drugs, we should know what we are consuming and who is selling it to us. The great thing about marijuana being legalized now is that when you buy it, it tells you who it is from, when it was harvested, what is in it, and what kind it is. As opposed to buying it off the streets and not knowing anything about what kind it is and what is in it. I think as college students we tend to trust our friends a lot when it comes to drugs and alcohol and if I hadn’t completed this course or project I may not have realized the impact that we as consumers have on our own health.

If someone had never been exposed to discussions of consumer health issues and approaches, completing a project like this may be beneficial because it could inspire somebody to educate themselves not only about this topic but every topic. When people are more aware and educated there is more chance for change to happen and progress to be made. My project provides the general public with a basic standard of what you should expect to see when you walk into a recreational marijuana store.

References

Epilepsy. 2017. CBC Oil for Seizures. Retrieved from https://www.epilepsy.com/connect/forums/living-epilepsy-adults/cbd-oil-seizures

Leafly. 2017. Sativa vs. Indica vs. Hybrid: What’s the Difference Between Cannabis Types? Retrieved from https://www.leafly.com/news/cannabis-101/sativa-indica-and-hybrid-whats-the-difference-between-cannabis-ty

Web MD. 2017. Kava Kava-Topic Overview. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/balance/stress-management/tc/kava-topic-overview#1

Peer Review

I am reviewing cnevans1 post “Early Life and Childhood Prompt 1”. Their discussion of parents and future parents being incredibly vulnerable consumers is spot on. I have seen this first hand when my cousins and other family members have babies on the way. I believe that it would be very beneficial for a new parent or parent to be to read this post because it discusses the differences between a child’s wants, a child’s needs, and what a parent thinks the child needs. This comparison is the strongest part of cnevans1’s discussion because so often these three subjects become cloudy and it can be difficult to differentiate between wants, needs, and expectations. I wanted to read more about this topic when they discussed C-sections and natural birth. My mother had a C-section that saved our lives, my half sister had two emergency C-sections, and so many other women have C-sections for a variety of reasons. Recently, it has become normal to shame women for having C-sections. I have seen women tell other women that they are not real mothers and should be ashamed of themselves for not having a natural birth. And this breaks my heart because if anyone said anything like that to my mom, I would want to break them. I would love to do more research into the stigma behind C-sections and how to break that stigma. I would give cnevans1 a 3.5 out of 4 for this post. It was in depth and discussed multiple aspects of new parenthood and what it is like to be expecting a child.

Photovoice Project

Photovoice Final Project

For my photovoice project I answered the questions: How healthy is it? Why is it so difficult to be healthy/easy to be unhealthy? Who’s selling me what? And What choices do I have? I answered these questions in my powerpoint by comparing foods that one can buy in fast food chain restaurants or restaurant chains and similar foods that I made at home.
I made a food for every meal of the day, breakfast, lunch, and dinner and then compared the prices and nutrition information of my homecooked meals to that of the food of the well-known chain restaurants: McDonald’s (breakfast), Panera Bread (lunch), and Olive Garden (dinner). This answers the question, “Who is selling me what?” We all know that continuously eating food from fast food chain restaurants is bad for you, but sometimes we really need to see why. This is why I compared the nutrition information from those restaurants to my foods so that others can see just how much healthier it is, which answers the question, “How Healthy Is?” Homecooked meals have less calories, sodium, fat, etc. The price comparisons also allow you to see that cooking at home can be expensive, but we must also take into mind that the cost of eating out adds up as well. Also, in the long run it can be damaging to your health because it is loaded with so many things that can be harmful to you. Eating too much of this can lead to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, etc. Towards the end of my powerpoint I answer the question, “Why is it so difficult to be healthy/easy to be unhealthy?” with an explanation that centers around four main factors: time, cost, convenience, and choice. Ultimately, it is up to us to decide how to live out lives, but it is also important to be aware of what we are eating and just what choices we have, which is coincidentally another question that I answer with a list of pros and cons for both choices.
I don’t consider myself a cook. I know enough to vary my options a bit and actually feed myself, but as a bit of an aside to this project, I had never actually made chicken alfredo by myself before. Since I decided to make it for this project I showed myself that I could, so a point for me. This alone made the project a good experience, as well as taking pictures of my accomplishments and to inform others of the fact that they can also make similar healthier versions of food that is sold at their favorite chain restaurants. As a consumer, me answering the prompts listed above helped me realize that I really could just make my own restaurant-like foods, that are also delicious and filling rather than just going out. Although it may take more prep time than just buying something ready-made, I will more than likely have yummy leftovers I can reheat or turn into something else. This alone, is enough to convince me, since reheating leftover food from restaurant chains no longer tastes the same and often has a very greasy quality to it due to all of the oil and butter that is added when cooking it. This project requires work and your own research and a little exploring even. Whether that is just exploring the options that are out there as consumers or a little trip around town comparing advertisements or prices, depending on what prompt you are answering. This means that someone who has never been exposed to consumer health issues and approaches would definitely benefit from a project like this because they have to do the research to answer their prompt and will in turn find information that they had no thought of before, form connections, and even realize the types of techniques companies and businesses use to entice potential customers to buy or use their products. In all, the general public who sees my project and my writing on my blog, would be able to see the growth that I have gone through in learning about all of the topics we have discussed. Whether this be about pharmaceuticals or the types of care the elderly can have when they are sick or too weak to care for themselves. The general public will see that I have done my research. In my Photovoice project they will see an informed consumer, not someone who is struggling to make sense of the topic that is being discussed as I may have sounded like in the beginning, who is now in turn doing her part and informing other consumers of the options that are available to them out there so they too can make good choices.

 

Peer Review

I chose to do my peer review on jdie4’s Food Prompt 1 post. From reading this contribution, I learned that there are almost 100 different added sugars that are put onto food labels. So we as consumers barely know what we are eating nowadays. It would be good for a college student or parent to read this contribution because from this we can understand that buying products that have nearly no sugar in them, still have hidden sugars in them because the manufacturers hide the sugars on the labels. Or do not put them on the labels at all. The strongest (or most credible) part of this contribution is when the author talks about how to fix this situation, which is buying solely raw ingredients and avoiding things that come in a package. The weakest part (or something that someone might question) about this contribution is when the author talks about how the FDA may begin requiring all the food labels to say all the added sugar. But the manufacturers might fight this and not want to do it. (If any) One part that I had to read more than once in order to understand it is was no parts. The author made a great case when it came to defending his points on the added sugars with food labels. (If any) I did not find any typos, although just a few minor grammatical errors throughout. (Such as commas and semicolons).One part that made me want to read more on this topic is when the author brings up how this might be affecting Type 2 Diabetes. This hits close to home for me because a lot of my family members have Type 2 DIabetes, so we are very cautious when it comes to our sugar levels and what we eat. On a 1 to 4 scale where 1 is the lowest possible and 4 is the highest possible, I rate this contribution a 3.5 overall, because the whole article was great and I really enjoyed reading it. The one thing I would change would just to add paragraphs instead of one whole paragraph. Sometimes when people read a huge article and there are no paragraphs it can be overwhelming.

Dairy PhotoVoice

During my time in this class, working on this blog, there have been two industries I’ve hit particularly hard: the pharmaceutical industry and the dairy industry: both of which may come off as hypocritical, as I do consume things from both these industries. I take a hormonal contraceptive to combat a scourge of hormonal acne that has struck me in my early 20’s, and when I make a sandwich, a slice of swiss really does make it great. However, the beef I have with these is misleading marketing about healthful effects of their products.

Who’s selling me what?

Here’s the really interesting thing about the dairy industry in the United States – it is one of the main receivers of farm subsidies in the country. Starting in the great depression and continuing into World War II, the industry was subsidized for economic reasons – the depression because dust bowl areas were suffering, and just a general decline in consumption – these subsidies were to keep these small family farms afloat. During World War II, it was to keep these farms producing while people were away at war and the United States was such a powerhouse. Production and subsidies continued – with the government having an investment in whether or not that milk got sold – the farm lobby has a good stake in many policymakers. So the federal government, on top of these subsidies, bought milk and stored it in Missouri as reserves for cheese and butter. But here’s the kicker: these reserves, in 1983, were valued at over 4 billion dollars. So the government switched gears and began to take a pro-dairy approach to policy making – it implementing an advertising board and commission that made a choice to heavily market dairy products such as cheese. Got Milk, if you’re familiar, is a product of this commission, known as ‘Dairy Management Inc.”

That’s the who, here’s the what:

The dairy industry most definitely wants you to look at their product as wholesome, and healthy. A glass of milk on the side of your meal is their recommended consumption: so much so that school lunch programs are not allowed to call it a meal unless milk is served with it. Again, I don’t think milk is per-say bad for you – you’d be better off consuming a glass of milk than an equally sized glass of vodka, or even soda; but rather, the products that milk can end up in in the normal American diet (the ones that Dairy Management Inc. is promoting especially heavily – they’ve worked with pizza chains to make sure there’s MORE cheese in certain products) are at odds with what many dieticians and, even other government agencies, say is healthful to eat.

How Healthy is it?

Again, I’m not doubting the benefits that milk can have on your calcium intake – it’s, weight-wise, the best thing you can consume if you’re looking solely at calcium levels. A glass of whole milk is a 103 calories, so it’s not especially bad calorically either. However, don’t let the milk lobby talk you into thinking it’s the only source of calcium: dark, leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach or okra; white beans and soybeans; and some types of fish such as salmon, perch or rainbow trout are also good forms of calcium.

Milk, however, is something people can be sensitive to: lactose intolerance is relatively common among humans. It also can aggravate acne in those who are prone to breakouts; and those who consume skim or nonfat are more likely than those who consume whole to be overweight.

But milk itself is not the problem – rather, the problem is the things that milk pops into as an ingredient.

Dips and Syrups

These products are some dairy products that I found in my family’s fridge – all of these are not especially healthy uses for dairy. These items include sundae syrup; various dips and coffee creamer.

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Other dairy in our fridge also included cheeses – while the Brie and Provolone were slightly healthier, and more high quality in production, the shredded mexican cheese was not incredibly healthful.

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This is the creamer – while the calorie count doesn’t seem to be high, it’s also an artificially low amount for coffee creamer. Just a tablespoon?

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100 Calories for a topping? Wow.

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2 tablespoons as a topping is 18% of your daily saturated fat.

Why is it difficult to be healthy/unhealthy?

It’s difficult to know what’s healthy because people like to make clear-cut choices – “I won’t eat X because it’s not healthy” is a really good rule until you get into a complex process, such as the dairy industry. While it’s not bad for you on it’s own, and can have nutritional benefits, it’s difficult to make these close calls because they are able to add things to it and make it not-healthy-at-all.

 

Reflection:

Overall, I thought taking these pictures and putting together this post was fun – I really love doing research, so learning so much about the dairy industry and its subsidies was something that I really took in stride. As a history buff, I also LOVED being able to dive into some Great Depression and WWII history. (I most definitely had the Molly American Girl doll!) Plus, learning about billions of dollar in what is basically cheese reserves parallel something I learned about Canadians – that they have a syrup reserve. We’re not the only crazy ones, apparently.

I thought it was interesting seeing what my parents had in their fridge – I got home for the holiday last night, and this morning, rustling through the fridge, I noticed their eating patterns while we were gone. My parents are fairly health-conscious people, but the holiday season (and I’m thinking, having their two daughters home from college) may have spurred them to spring on some items they may not usually dive into. I’ve realized I’m not an incredibly artistic person, through my PR degree, but at this point I’m comfortable enough behind a camera to construct something that doesn’t look like it came out of Blair Witch Project.

Being not versed in iMovie (I’ve tried!), putting together a long-form blog post was a little more my speed. I thought it was an intuitive project for me – even though I wish I was a little more humorous with my captions. I try incredibly hard to be funny and witty, but not quite sure that this topic could support something like that.

I’m also shocked about how calorically dense caramel syrup is – I’d make a joke and say I should “Switch to magic shell”, but I’m convinced that’d be even worse… somehow.

Glossary Post 5

  1. Pesticide
  2. Herbicide
  3. Sustainability

Pesticide is the overarching term for herbicides, insecticides, and other substances that control pests. Pesticides are often highly debated due to concerns about safety for those consuming the crops but not those picking the crops but that is a whole political debate that I don’t want to start right now.

An herbicide is a pesticide that kills weeds. Often called weedkillers, herbicides can protect crops from weeds as well as anything that the weeds attract including animals, insects, and diseases.

Sustainability is the ability to maintain or stay at a level. Oftentimes, manufacturers and businesses are not sustainable because there is not an equal balance of output and gains. This also applies to the earth. Without sustainable agriculture, the environment becomes too affected by the production and in turn the production becomes affected because their was not enough balance to ensure sustainability.