All posts by eBetancourt

PhotoVoice – Part 2

Photovoice-2

I don’t usually have fast food, but when I do, my two favorite places are Subway and Wendy’s.  For this project, I reviewed each locations’ nutrition facts as well as menu prices and compared them.

How healthy is it? Who is selling me what?

This nutrition sheet comes from Subway. There are 5 individual categories: Sandwiches, Salads, Breakfast & Pizza, Breads & Condiments, and Desserts & Sides. Each item listed includes the serving size, Calories, Calories from fat, Total Fat, Saturated & Trans-fat, Cholesterol, Sodium, Carbs, Sugars, Dietary Fiber, Protein and Daily Value Percentage for Vitamin A, C, Calcium and Iron. This may seem like a lot of useful information but to an uniformed consumer, all of this information can be overwhelming and might even be useless unless they are tracking all of their meals and calories. When I go in to subway, everything has nutrition facts, on the overhead and on the glass displays. However, when I order, I don’t usually look at those things, I choose/order what I know I like rather than what I know is good for me and this is the case for most consumers. For instance, I will get a 6 inch 9-grain honey oat bread (230), Italian B.M.T (410), and pepper jack cheese (50). The bread, meats and cheese alone are over 600 calories, keep in mind I haven’t added any vegetables or sauces yet. While choosing subway may seem like the healthy choice, it’s usually not; for a healthy person, one meal should not exceed 500 calories.

For Wendy’s, when you visit the website it has you select a menu category such as a burger, side, or drink and then a specific category whereas subway, just listed everything on one convenient sheet. When I go to Wendy’s I like to order the #1, this is a cheeseburger with fries and a drink. The burger alone has 570 calories, the fries have 320 and the drink depending on what I get (usually Sprite) has 200 calories. The total amount of calories for this meal alone is: 1,090. No, this is not the only meal you will have for the day and this is over half the amount of calories that the average person is supposed to consume daily.

Why is it so difficult to be healthy/easy to be healthy? Do I really know what I need to in order to make a healthy choice?

It is difficult to be healthy when you eat out because regardless of what you know (nutrition information), you will still (probably 8-9/10 times) choose what you like rather than what you know is good for you. It’s also difficult when there is a huge price difference in food. For instance, an entire meal at Wendy’s costs only $5-$6 (burger, fries and drink) but if you were to go to Fred Meyer for say, the burger patties will cost you $7.99 alone; it’s also more time-consuming to make it yourself. Essentially, we do know what we need to know (most of the time) in order to make a healthy choice but chose to ignore it.  Our job as informed consumers is to help inform other consumers starting with our parents or friends who will then tell their friends and continue this learning chain reaction. This is an easy way to begin making people healthier without it seeming like a chore (exercise or clean eating). If more people become informed on eating out and nutrition facts, slowly but surely we can begin to decrease the obesity problem in the United States.

In Ellensburg, I live near a subway which makes my ‘healthy eating’ a little difficult on busier days. The nearest Wendy’s to me is all the way across town where back at home, it was just a few blocks away from my house so this has been good on limiting how many times I go to Wendy’s. Now if I’m craving Wendy’s I have to stop and think “do I really want to drive all the way across town just for a burger?” the answer is usually no. While I working on this project, I realized how bad even Subway is for me. I try to track my calories on a daily basis and usually when I eat out I have a light breakfast or lunch or dinner so that I don’t exceed my calorie count and if I do it’s only by a few calories. However, when I go home on weekends or break, I don’t keep up with it as much and when my parents say let’s go have a burger! I don’t even think about it twice before ordering what I have now learned is really really bad for me.

After the food post in November and learning about moderation and how it doesn’t always work, some days I really have to restrain myself from having Wendy’s or Subway and set myself in the mentality that “okay just because you’ve been eating well for the last few days does NOT mean that you can have a burger today;” Eating out should not be seen as a reward and I’m glad that now I am able to catch myself on those days although it’s a challenge.

I have a 17-year-old brother who up until probably October, would eat out a lot! (Almost every other day or 2). I think someone like him and other high school teens could really benefit from completing a project like this because they would have a chance to see how bad or unhealthy fast food is even if it’s just looking a nutrition sheets and comparing them. Again, if we can stop the problem early on we can slowly but surely begin to decrease the obesity rates in the U.S.

Although I only covered two restaurants and compared them for my project, consumers will be able to see a typical fast food restaurant meal and compare it to the healthy alternative and realize that it’s not as healthy as we would’ve all expected. At Wendy’s your meal can range from 300-1,000 calories and at subway your meal can range from 400-1,000 calories as well depending on sandwich size and if you count every topping, sauce, chips, drink and sometimes cookie. I am hoping that consumers will become curious and begin researching more fast food nutrition facts and compare them, making them informed consumers.

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Peer Review Comment

For my Peer Review Comment, I reviewed asinnersthoughts on food! I have left a comment on the original post and below is a copy.

“The main point of this contribution is found in this sentence “…it can cause a lot of shock onto your body because it is not the same nutrients”.

From reading this contribution I learned a lot about you. I personally think it takes a lot of strength and discipline to carry out this lifestyle and it would be very tough for me to change my entire eating habits to become a vegetarian. I am also relieved to know that I am not the only one with the common misconception of justifying all carb loaded foods because “I’m not eating any meat products”.

It would be good for a college student to read this contribution because some of us, including myself, think that being a vegetarian is only eating vegetables, however, you mentioned that you also eat pastas and bread which honestly never crossed my mind. I am also glad that you touched on the moderation subject because usually, most people think you’re really healthy because you are a vegetarian but like you said “I justified eating all of these” … (unhealthy foods) … “under the idea that it was in moderation and that there was no meat in the meal.”

The strongest part of this contribution, to me, was the part where you said, “I feel like this is a concept that we as consumers are not super familiar with and that’s why moderation becomes a back-burner concept to a lot of us.” It’s true, I think that everyone falls guilty of practicing moderation and most of us don’t even entirely know the proper way of it.

Something that someone my question about this contribution is when you said “I am a vegetarian and that can go wrong very quickly.” A few questions that could arise are:

How could being a vegetarian go wrong very quickly? Does this have to do with health? Money? Habits?

Aside from this, this post was generally good and easy to read and understand.

I did find a couple grammar errors which I’m sure were just you trying to type as fast as you could so you wouldn’t forget your thoughts (me all the time). They were both in the first paragraph, the first one came from this sentence “I did wanted to exceed those limits.” (want rather than wanted), and the second came from the following sentence: “Now that I am adult…” (Now that I am an adult…).

Your section on being a vegetarian made me want to read more on this topic. Maybe for the new year I could try it out (not sure how long it would last) but I am sure that there are healthier alternatives to eating meat (I mostly just eat chicken or seafood… so maybe I’m kind of almost there? Probably… not really…)

On a 1 to 4 scale where 1 is the lowest possible and 4 is the highest possible, I rate this contribution a 4 overall, because you answered the prompt in a clear and concise way, and made it personal. I hope that you have been able to practice moderation cautiously like you wanted to!”

 

Greenwashing

Prompt:
What does it mean to go “green”? How can you contribute to a green environment?

After reviewing the slides, I learned that greenwashing is essentially a market of products that companies sell as green in order to seem environmentally friendly. This can vary from water bottles that are made from 100% recycled plastic to organic pillowcases or recycled paper.

Going green is ideally growing to become more environmentally friendly through our everyday choices. That being said, you can contribute to a green environment by taking the bus or walking; recycling rather than just throwing everything in the trash, or using reusable bags when you go grocery shopping instead of plastic bags. By also investing in a water filtration system and a hydro flask it can help save the environment long-term even though the initial costs can be expensive.

Helping the environment is like saving pocket change, it may not seem like much at the time but in the end, it adds up quickly.

Glossary Building Post – 5

These final terms come from the Pharma Slides.

The first term is NDA. NDA stands for New Drug Application. Even after reading what the acronym stood for, I still had no idea what this meant. According to the FDA page on NDA’s, this stands for

The NDA application is the vehicle through which drug sponsors formally propose that the FDA approve a new pharmaceutical for sale and marketing in the U.S.

The goals of the NDA are to provide the drug reviewer with information to assess the drug in safety, benefits vs. risks, if the labeling is appropriate and whether the manufacturing methods preserve the drug’s identity, strength, quality and purity (Center for Drug Evaluation and Research). I believe that this term is important for consumers because in a way, it makes sure that companies advise and report everything about the given drug from clinical trials to ingredients and safety to packaging. Without this information, the FDA cannot approve a new drug and this is what keeps consumers safe and large companies from selling just about anything.

The next term is product claim. This is one of three drug advertisement methods. Product claim advertisements are very straightforward. They name a drug and explain which conditions/diseases the drug can treat. Reminder ads only give a drug’s name but not the use and help-seeking ads discuss a disease/condition but doesn’t make any recommendations on which drugs to take to help with treatment.

I think it’s important that all consumers know all of these drug advertisement methods. While they all serve different purposes, essentially, they all get consumers thinking “Do I have that?” “Do I need that?” “I should ask my doctor what is typically used to treat ____.” “I wonder what that drug is used for?”

  • New Drug Application: The vehicle through which drug sponsors formally propose that the FDA approve a new pharmaceutical for sale and marketing in the U.S.
  • Product Claim Ad: Names a drug and explains the conditions it treats.
  • Reminder Ad: Only gives drug’s name but not use.
  • Help-Seeking Ad: Explains a disease/condition but doesn’t make any recommendations on which drugs to take.

 

Sources

Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. (n.d.). New Drug Application (NDA). Retrieved

November 21, 2017, from

https://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DevelopmentApprovalProcess/HowDrugsareDevelopedandApproved/ApprovalApplications/NewDrugApplicationNDA/default.htm

Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. (n.d.). Prescription Drug Advertising – Sample

Prescription Drug Advertisements. Retrieved November 21, 2017, from

https://www.fda.gov/Drugs/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/PrescriptionDrugAdvertising/ucm168421.htm

Pharma Slides

Pharmaceutical Industry

Prompt 2

There are three links I find relevant on the FDA website about DTC prescription drug advertisement:

  1. Background on Drug Advertisement
  2. Basics of Drug Ads
  3. Sample Prescription Drug Advertisement

The Background on Drug Advertisement is important and consumer friendly because it goes over the FDA’s purpose

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) protects public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of a wide range of products, including human prescription drugs. We also advance public health by helping people get the accurate, science-based information they need to use medicines appropriately and improve their health.

which I believe is reassuring to consumers. This link also goes over the FDA overseeing advertisement on drugs to make sure that the ads are not misleading. At the very end of this section it is clarified that this website is not to expose ads that may potentially violate laws but rather give an explanation of ideas and concepts related to drug advertising.

The Basics of Drug Ads section explains the difference between over-the-counter and prescription only drugs. This section also goes over the different forms of advertisements and what is included and not in the advertisement, for instance, drug name rather than drug use.

The Sample Prescription Drug Advertisement section is very consumer friendly in that, it provides three different examples of correct and incorrect advertisements:

  1. Product Claim Ad: Names a drug and explains the conditions it treats.
  2. Reminder Ad: Only gives drug’s name but not use.
  3. Help-Seeking Ad: Explains a disease/condition but doesn’t make any recommendations on which drugs to take.

It is important for the consumer to know the difference between these advertisements and what they look like in order to be informed.

From the readings and pharma slides, consumers might still be at risk because today more people are getting exposed through advertisements and becoming interested in DTC prescription drugs. Now they also have a choice between generic and original – price difference – and ‘me too’ drugs which are similar to existing generic drugs with little to no additional benefits.

 

Sources

Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. (n.d.). Prescription Drug Advertising – Sample

Prescription Drug Advertisements. Retrieved November 21, 2017, from

https://www.fda.gov/Drugs/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/PrescriptionDrugAdvertising/ucm168421.htm

Pharma Slides

PhotoVoice – 1

For my PhotoVoice project I will be answering the questions: How healthy is it? Who’s selling me what? Do I really know what I need to in order to make a healthy choice? and Why is it so difficult to be healthy/easy to be healthy?

I think that all of these questions go hand in hand. I will most likely use power point to display images as well as short clips of various foods, menu’s, and perhaps even nutrition facts provided by restaurants. Normally, I don’t eat out so I might also include home cooked meals and with thanksgiving around the corner, making healthier choices as well as eating healthier will be a challenge!

Illness & Mortality

After visiting a few of the provided websites, there was one specifically that stood out to me; it was the state agency website with information about aging in place – DSHS: Aging and Long-Term Support Administration.

Reading through the information on this website with the eyes of an uninformed consumer was easy for this post because this is not something I have to ever think about.

When you first arrive to the website, the title is at the top centered, Services that help an adult remain at home. All of the categories and subcategories are in a different color (blue) and a larger font than the rest of the information making it easy to navigate through and find what you’re looking for without reading paragraphs at a time. There are also great informational videos and reference numbers to call if you have further questions (right hand side gray box – at least 5). While all of the links provided are very helpful, an older person navigating through the website might have a more difficult time keeping track of all of the information and different webpages.

Overall, I think that this website has great useful information. It’s clear, concise and every category is relevant to the subject on aging in place.

 

https://www.dshs.wa.gov/altsa/home-and-community-services/services-help-adult-remain-home

Glossary Building Post – 4

My terms for this post come from Why “Everything in Moderation” Doesn’t Work.
This article discusses in detail why moderation is a misconception.

Moderation according to the article can be defined as: restraint; avoidance of extremes or excesses; temperance. Typically, when we say ‘everything in moderation’ we think less of something rather than avoiding it all together. For say, you go out to have a couple of drinks and tell your friends, I’m drinking in moderation tonight. While you are still performing the ‘bad’ task you justify it by setting a limit rather than avoiding it and being the ‘party pooper’. As the article mentions When you are eating something from the same category of non-health foods once a day, it’s not a treat – it’s a habit. Which leads us into the next term, habit.

Habit can be generally defined as a constant routine that while in some cases may be good, it could develop into a bad norm that can be difficult to stop. An example of a good habit that turned into a harmful one is exercise. For many people going to the gym 4-5 times a week for 1-2 hours is normal and a good healthy habit. However, when a person begins to FINALLY see results they start making the gym a priority and rather than continuing their healthy gym habit they begin to work-out in excess. This means they start going to the gym 6-7 times a week and instead of only being there for 1-2 hours they increase the time to 3-4 hours (could even go twice a day). This then impacts their social life because they’d rather go exercise than hang out with their friends; it impacts their mental well-being because all they can really think about is exercise and it impacts their physical health because while yes, they are exercising, exercise in excess has been proven to develop negative health effects.

The final term is Superfood! According to the article, there is no such thing as a superfood. A common ‘superfood’ is avocados. Yes, avocados are high in fiber and potassium but they have always been, they didn’t just recently become a super nutrient-dense food. (Personally, I hate them, I’d rather eat kale or broccoli…) Anyway, this is an important term because in today’s society of clean and healthy eating there is a large emphasis placed on certain foods to be labeled superfoods and it’s important for consumers to know that Superfoods are only nutrient-rich food considered to be beneficial for health and well-being. (fruits and vegetables)

Moderation: restraint; avoidance of extremes or excesses; temperance.

Habit: Habit can be generally defined as a constant routine that while in some cases may be good, it could develop into a bad norm that can be difficult to stop

Superfood: a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being.

 

Sources

https://consuminghealthmatters.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/whyeverythinginmoderationdoesntworkarticle.pdf – Why Everything in Moderation Doesn’t Work

Google define: superfood

On Food

Prompt Two
This article definitely hit home. I am one of those people who practices ‘moderation’ and says ‘everything in moderation’. I laughed a little when I read that because of how relatable it was. After reading the example of a not-very-moderate food week that feels moderate, I was able to identify with it. What I thought was ‘healthy’ and ‘harmless’ could actually be killing me. Here’s an example of my last week (dinner only)….

Monday: Grilled steak salad with lemon garlic vinaigrette – glass of water (salad…water = healthy)

Tuesday: I made some homemade general chicken tso with steamed vegetables and some white rice, for dessert: 2 scoops of chocolate ice cream.

Wednesday: Grilled steak salad with lemon garlic vinaigrette (again) – 2 glasses of organic watermelon cucumber lemonade (salad + organic juice = healthy right?) dessert: bowl of nacho cheese Doritos with cheese dip….

Thursday: Oven baked frozen stuffed crust pizza with a glass of Dr. Pepper and 1 serving of doritos.

Friday: Vegetable spaghetti and ground turkey with meat sauce a Pepsi.

While this is only Monday through Friday, I thought I was making healthy dinner decisions but the simple fact that I drank soda instead of water or had a ‘dessert’ made my clean eating not so clean. I didn’t realize it then but now when I was trying to remember exactly what I had for dinner I was almost ashamed that I had so many chips in over the course of 5 days.

My next step is to start becoming more aware of what I’m putting into my body so that I’m not counteracting all of my better habits. I use to use an app called MyFitnessPal which basically counted my calories and daily exercise, but after moving away from home I was so overwhelmed with being alone for the first time and having to cook for myself rather than eating a cup of noodles every day that I stopped logging my meals. I also plan to drift away from the ‘occasional’ soda and instead of eating chips, have some healthy popcorn or even cashews or almonds (nuts).

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