All posts by punzy16

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.

 

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Peer Review

For my peer review I decided to review “Pharma Prompt 1” by jdie4. From reading this contribution I learned that drug companies hire actors to act like doctors to try to convince potential customers through direct-to-consumer ads that the drugs are endorsed by doctors. Due to these drug advertisements, many consumers will ask for the drug by name and doctors are more likely to prescribe it to them because it was explicitly asked for, rather than just buy the generic drug that may work better. These ads also cause some people to self-diagnose their problems based on the symptoms the drug commercial lists off. People should not be doing this based on commercials, they should go to their doctor for an accurate diagnosis.

It would be good for a person with health problems looking for a drug to solve the problem so that they realize that they should not listen to those ads. Instead, they should talk to their doctor rather than basing themselves off of information provided by the drug commercial that has no strict guidelines for what exactly is to be included in the commercial, making the commercials misleading.

The strongest parts of this contribution are the numbered talking points, making the information presented easy to find and straightforward, the quote cited from an article that helps back up the argument being made, and the call to action in the last paragraph as to what should be done over the drug advertisements. The call to action says, “have actual medical doctors endorse the drugs…Doctors should also be encouraged to inform their patients who come asking for these big-name drugs about alternatives and generics.”

The weakest part of this contribution is that there are no citations as to where the information talked about in the prompt was from. What is the article that was being discussed?

The contribution is straightforward and jdie4 makes it an easy read. I did not need to read it several times to understand what was being discussed and there were no typos or grammar/punctuation errors.

On a scale of 1 to 3, where 1 is the lowest possible and 4 is the highest possible, I rate this contribution a 3 because although the article was very good, it was not cited. I know that jdie4 wrote about direct to consumer ads, but not where the information discussed is from.

Greenwashing Post

Do you do anything to reduce your environmental footprint?

How can you improve/reduce your environmental impact?

There are things that I do that are helpful to the planet, even if they do not completely reduce my environmental footprint. This includes taking public transportation to school and recycling my plastic water bottles. However, I am not very good about reducing my environmental footprint overall. I do things that are harmful to the planet when there are other greener alternatives. I buy fast food or go to a restaurant and that food tends to be wrapped up in paper, foil, or it is placed in cardboard boxes, or Styrofoam containers. I don’t shop online often, but I do sometimes. My environmental impact increases with the transportation that is used to bring me those products. I also use harmful cleaning products to clean around my house, even though there are alternatives, and I use plastic bags in the grocery store.

Many of these things are easy fixes, all I have to do is make them a habit and I would be more green. I can take my own canvas bags to the grocery store rather than using the plastic bags provided. I can eat more at home rather than go out so much to reduce the amount of packaging that is thrown away, and I can mix up natural products to clean, like vinegar, baking soda, and lemon instead of using cleaning products that are harmful to the environment. Shopping physically in the stores also prevents the need for transportation to bring me my products. It is important to have sustainable habits so that we do not further harm the planet for future generation.

PhotoVoice Project Part 1

For my PhotoVoice project I will be answering the following questions:

  • How Healthy IS it?
  • Why is it so difficult to be healthy/easy to be unhealthy?
  • Who’s selling me what?
  • What choice(s) do I have?

I will create a powerpoint to demonstrate the choices people have when eating. I will compare the prices, nutrition information, and portions of food that can be bought in fast food places and restaurants and food that I will in turn make at home and take pictures of. I will show the pros and cons to both options so that we can better understand why we choose the food that we do.

Glossary Building 5

There is a lot of confusing terminology out there for consumers, especially when that terminology is found in drug advertisements on TV, newspapers, magazines, etc. Besides being confusing, the advertisements tend to throw a lot of information at you. Whether it is a voice over with someone quickly going through some of the major side effects that make you wonder if the benefits are really worth all of those risks or the small print at the bottom that is never really legible.

It is important to be an informed consumer and to have the knowledge to know if we are being mislead or not. At the bottom I have terminology that may crop up when listening to an ad and terminology of things that are required that the drug advertisements have. This way, you as a potential consumer may know what type of drug advertisement is being shown or if it really does include the requirements so that it is shown on air so as to know if you are being mislead or if information is being kept from you.

  • Product Claim Advertisement: Must include the name of the drug, its risks and benefits, and at least one FDA approved use of the drug. May also include other sources as to where you could get more information the drug.
  • Help Seeking Advertisement: Describes a disease or condition, but doesn’t recommend a drug treatment. Instead, they recommend you talk to your doctor or provides a drug company’s name and phone number. They are regulated by the Federal Trade Commission, but not the FDA because they are not usually considered drug ads.
  • Major Statement: Presentation of a drug’s biggest risks that have to be spoken on TV or radio.
  • Adequate Provision: “An alternative way for drug companies to provide risk information about a drug in a broadcast ad…The law allows broadcast ads to include only the most important risk information if the ads tell viewers or listeners how to get the full FDA-approved prescribing information” (Center for Drug Evaluation and Research).

References:

Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. (n.d.). Prescription Drug Advertising – Prescription Drug Advertising: Questions to Ask Yourself. Retrieved November 20, 2017, from https://www.fda.gov/Drugs/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/PrescriptionDrugAdvertising/ucm071915.htm

Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. (n.d.). Prescription Drug Advertising – Drug Advertising: A Glossary of Terms. Retrieved November 20, 2017, from https://www.fda.gov/Drugs/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/PrescriptionDrugAdvertising/ucm072025.htm#M

Pharmaceutical Industry: Prompt 2

When clicking on the link to the Food and Drug Administration website, it immediately takes me to the introductory page of the FDA site called, “Background on Drug Advertising.” On the left hand side there are links that take you to other pages, such as: a glossary of terms, questions you should ask yourself as a consumer when watching drug advertisements, and even a sample of correctly and incorrectly made drug advertisements. These are helpful to consumers because it arms people with the knowledge to identify if a drug advertisement is misleading or not. The site does a good job of putting their information under headings that make it easy to find information that somebody may be looking for, making the FDA website user friendly for consumers.

Specifically, what consumers may find to be the most beneficial on the website is the description of the requirements that different types of drug advertisements must include in their ads. Ads like those of product claim advertisement must include, what the drug is, its major risks, and “at least one FDA approved use for the drug.” among others. People have a right to know these things before deciding to take a product.

However, consumers may still be at risk because the advertisements are not required to name all of the side effects a drug may have, just some of them. Instead, companies may choose to tell consumers where else they can find more information on their drug. There is no requirement as to where that could be. The FDA only has suggestions as to where the company could put more information, like a website, providing a toll free number, or a printed ad in a magazine. These things should be required, not suggested. Also, not all types of advertisements are required to list their side effects, like Reminder and Help-Seeking Advertisements because they don’t describe what the drug does, even if it alludes to it. Despite not listing its uses consumers may still be at risk because a person may take the drug without knowing if it is really helpful or not. It may end up harming them instead. Especially if they don’t know if that drug may clash with another drug the consumer is taking or if it really will be beneficial to the condition the consumer has.

References:

Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. (n.d.). Prescription Drug Advertising – Prescription Drug Advertising: Questions to Ask Yourself. Retrieved November 20, 2017, from https://www.fda.gov/Drugs/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/PrescriptionDrugAdvertising/ucm071915.htm

 

Glossary Building 4

As people grow older and become elderly, they tend to need more care than younger people do. There are many options out there as to the kind of care that is available depending on how much medical care or assistance an individual needs or if their medical insurance, like Medicaid, covers it. There are many websites out there with information about all of the long term care that ia available for the elderly, but it can be confusing. However, I recommend the DSHS website as it is rather straightforward.

I had heard about a few of the types of care available out there, but didn’t really know what it meant until I had to answer the prompt for illness and mortality. I found it helpful that one of the websites out there explained what some of the terms were. I also found out that there were so many more types of long term care out there than just nursing homes I hadn’t known about. Below I define what some of those types of long term care options are and what the health care coverage Medicaid, that many people have is.

  • Medicaid: a joint federal and state program that helps with medical costs for some people with limited income and resources. Medicaid also offers benefits not normally covered by Medicare, like nursing home care and personal care services (Medicaid).
  • Nursing Homes: a public or private residential facility providing…long-term personal or nursing care for persons (such as the aged or the chronically ill) who are unable to care for themselves properly (Nursing Home).
  • Assisted Living Facilities: facilities in a community setting where staff assumes responsibility for the safety and well-being of the adult. (Long Term Care Residential Options).
  • Retirement Communities: housing exclusively for adults (normally 55 or older). The person is generally healthy…staff at the retirement community does not take on the general responsibility for the safety and well-being of the adult (Long Term Care Residential Options).

References:

Long-Term Care Residential Options. (n.d.). Retrieved November 20, 2017, from https://www.dshs.wa.gov/altsa/residential-care-services/long-term-care-residential-options

Medicaid. (n.d.). Retrieved November 20, 2017, from https://www.medicare.gov/your-medicare-costs/help-paying-costs/medicaid/medicaid.html

Nursing Home. (n.d.). Retrieved November 20, 2017, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nursing%20home

 

Illness and Mortality: Prompt 1

I found the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) site to be very helpful. There was a page on there called, “Getting Started.” It includes a “What You Need to Know” section. This section included things like explaining the basics of finding adult care, what that includes, and the types of care that are available. There are resources within the website that are helpful to people as it provides links to other pages with more information and has a phone number for people who may want to call in with further questions. Besides the getting started page there is a “Medicaid” and “Long Term Care Housing” page that explains what Medicaid is and how it applies to residential care facilities. The latter page explains the different types of adult care that are available ranging from nursing homes to assisted living facilities to retirement communities, and explains what each of them mean.

Overall, I believe the DSHS website was helpful because it explains all of the terms found within it and how it applies to the subject that is being addressed. My only complaint is that people may get lost in the various pages provided and the links within the pages themselves. However, there is a phone number provided along with the times that people can call in case anyone has further questions.

https://www.dshs.wa.gov/altsa/long-term-care-services-information

 

Glossary Building 3

Money is an integral part of the world. Since it is such an important aspect, it would do well to know more about it, but many people are lost in the terminology that comes along with finance. I really didn’t know what it was all about, nor was I concerned about it because I figured I wouldn’t have to worry about it for another few years. However, the least we could do is know the terminology so that when the time comes to put it into use or it comes up on the news, we know what they are talking about. John Oliver is good at presenting an issue, explaining why it should concern us, and telling us what can be done about it so we can help ourselves. The review on U.S Pirg over the John Oliver retirement episode, was very informative and was able to walk me through the issues people of retirement age face when being taken advantage by non-fiduciary brokers. They are not told what exactly it is they are investing in and usually what the broker does invest their client’s money in, tends to benefit him/her rather than the clients, gaining commission and splurging. Terms that are important to know are:

Glossary terms/definitions:

  • Fiduciary rule: legal term for a broad group of professionals who are required to put customers’ interests first. They cannot accept compensation or payments that would create a conflict of interest (Lee).
  • Hedge funds: highly active funds with very high costs
  • Index funds: A list of stocks are bought and you receive the average return for that class of stock from that particular index you chose.
  • Best Interest Contract Exemption (BICE): a full disclosure contract under the fiduciary rule (Tucker). Ensures that investors know exactly what it is they are investing in.

References:

Lee, K. (2016, June 14). Blog. Retrieved November 09, 2017, from https://uspirg.org/blogs/blog/usp/last-week-tonight-john-oliver-retirement-industry-minefield-here%e2%80%99s-answer

Tucker, P. (n.d.). 4 Arguments Against the Fiduciary Rule Debunked. Retrieved November 09, 2017, from http://www.truemeasureadvisors.com/2016/04/20/20164145-argument-against-the-fiduciary-rule-debunked/

Glossary Building 2

There is indeed a lot of business to be made with new parents, which makes them some of the most vulnerable consumers. This is especially true because the grand majority of parents would do anything to protect their babies and the companies/industries that are targeting them use fear and emotion to convince them to do the “right” thing for their baby, and since many first time parents are trying to figure out the parenting thing, they will believe them. In the Early Life Matters page, I read several articles that provided some interesting terms and information on companies that are thriving on new parent’s fears. One of the worst industries that targets parents is that of the cord blood industry involving private cord blood banks. Private cord blood banks convince new parents to pay to store and freeze their baby’s cord blood since the blood in the umbilical cord has a plethora of stem cells that have been used to treat over seventy different diseases. The idea is that if their baby is found to have a life threatening disease in the future, the cord blood is there for them, but if the baby was already born with a disease, their infected cord blood does nothing for them. For other families, they pay, but never use that cord blood. It’s money wasted.

Women who have had C-sections during one birth are usually not allowed to go through a vaginal birth because doctors won’t agree to do it it or it is against hospital policy. Unless, going through a vaginal birth for their next child is life threatening or would cause severe complications for the mother and her baby, it should be the mother’s choice what type of birth she should have.

Glossary terms/definitions:

  • Cord Blood Banking (Public/Private): The practice of preserving for future use fetal blood that remains in the umbilical cord at the time of birth. (medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com)
  • Stem Cells: an unspecialized cell that gives rise to differentiated cells (www.merriam-webster.com)
  • Cesarean Section (C-Section): A surgical procedure in which incisions are made through a woman’s abdomen and uterus to deliver her baby (medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com)

References:

https://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/cesarean+section

http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Umbilical+Cord+Blood+Banking

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stem%20cell

Moninger, J. (2017, August 30). The Cord Blood Controversy. Retrieved November 08, 2017, from http://www.parents.com/pregnancy/my-baby/cord-blood-banking/the-cord-blood-controversy/

Roan, S. (2010, March 23). More women should have choice of vaginal birth after C-section, panel says. Retrieved November 08, 2017, from http://www.latimes.com/health/la-he-0323-hosp-vbac-20100323-story.html