All posts by cwpearson

About cwpearson

faculty in public health program

All I can say is – SERIously?

What’s consumer healthish about the picture below? It came in an email ad mentioning something about always having a “backup drink” handy….

Do you want to wear a stylish bangle on your wrist filled with wine, just in case? Honestly.

Without even talking about substance abuse issues, I’m thinking this simply parallels something I wonder about lately – creating an environment where we’re eating (and now, maybe, drinking) all the time…. Stop and think, people! Don’t buy everything that’s sold to you.

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Challenge – Two options. Learn about an FDA decision that could hugely impact consumers!

Ok, so you’ve read about consumer protection and regulation. What? You HAVEN’T? Why don’t you visit the CP&R Matters page right now?!

Ok, so NOW you know a little bit about how regulation of industries can help protect people as consumers, AND can even help industries be safer and more viable.

Take a look at this piece by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) about what’s happening right now in the world of food labels – spoiler alert: It’s not good. The American public was supposed to have access starting in 2018 to better information about serving sizes, sugar, and other aspects of packaged products that are tasty, cheap, and fun but not all that great for our health. In fact, some food product manufacturers had already changed their labels to meet the new regulation’s requirements earlier. Now the Food and Drug Administration (the agency whose job it is to protect people by providing information about ingredients, allergens, and other things you want to know about packaged food choices) is planning to delay the new rules until at least 2020.

Here’s an example of a product with the new food label. Note the differences between it and an old/current label (meaning MOST package labels right now). Get a sense of WHY it’s more helpful for you as a consumer.

consumerhealthnewfoodlabelpic

Food labels CHALLENGE One: Try talking with someone you care about about what they know and understand about packaged food and beverage products. Ask them to look at an “old” label and this new one, for example, and have them tell you what they really want when it comes to food packaging info. Write a post discussing how the conversation went and what you learned by exploring food labels and information both on your own and with someone else. As always, use your username and Challenge as tags, and choose the Challenge category. (Oh, and UNchoose the uncategorized category!)

Food labels CHALLENGE Two: If you’re interested ENOUGH, and want to take action as a consumer to raise your voice, take a look at this “model letter” to the FDA Commissioner, provided by CSPI. Then visit the Federal Register Comment space for the labeling regulation delay, and add a comment of your own. Write a post that shares your comment, and discuss how it felt to be an active, informed, and aware citizen around this consumer health issue. As always, use your username and Challenge as tags, and choose the Challenge category. (Oh, and UNchoose the uncategorized category!)

 

Kittitas County Community Health Assessment – take the survey and share it!

Hi Consumer Health folks –

Here’s a GREAT opportunity to help contribute to community health, and that of course makes sense as a healthy consumer, right? (We ALL want our community to be a healthier place!)

Live in Kittitas County? Then YOU should speak up about community health and quality of life!

We need your input as part of the 2017 Kittitas County Community Health Assessment (CHA)!

It’s easy. Just complete a brief electronic survey, which you can take in about 10 minutes. Pssst – if you take the survey, you can enter to win one of three $50 gift certificates from the Chamber of Commerce!

The survey closes October 31, so why not take it today?

English version: https://cwu.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_1M13bjycwo34OA5

Spanish version: https://cwu.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_b1aurb8qXSltagB

The last local CHA took place in 2011-12, so we don’t get this chance to give community input every day. Please participate, and help get the word out by sharing this information with others, to make our 2017 data the best yet!

Want to learn more? Visit the Kittitas County CHA/CHIP Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/KittCoCHACHIP/ or contact Tristen Lamb, Health Promotion Specialist at Kittitas County Public Health, at 509-962-7029.

So – you’re reading and writing, right?

I’m seeing some good posts, and planning to be able to take some extended time to grade them very soon!

If you’re writing, it means you’ve found the post prompts (under the Assignments page, labeled 7 Course Assignments in the menu, with a page for each week’s topical prompts. Also see them at the Estimated Schedule page.)

If you’re reading, and using slides, it means you’ve found the Content Pages – (labeled 6 Content Pages – and with specific content pages organized under that page) and the Course Slides page (labeled 4 Course Slides).

If you haven’t been using those pages, how about starting tonight!

If you’re truly stuck, still, it’s ok. It IS online, after all, and a new modality for many of you. CALL me. Or EMAIL me. Check the syllabus (here) OR my emails to YOU for that info!

Challenge – What you do when you wake up!

Hi folks – There’s a little something I like to call MORNING coming your way tomorrow, the next day, and every time you get out of bed for the next several decades we hope!

Here’s a morning challenge for you. Whether you’re seeking extra learning, extra credit, or just want to try a healthy boost for your mornin’ routine, this one’s for you. (Oh, and if you think routines are for losers who don’t like excitement, you might want to rethink. Here’s an easy read that discusses saving your “willpower by developing habits and routine” as part of being successful and especially as part of being able to make healthier decisions when you really should.)

So – routine up, everybody! Start your day with a few healthy behaviors that can really become habit. Give it a try….

MORNING CHALLENGE HOW-TO
The minute you hit the bathroom tomorrow, after a needed potty stop of course, do all of the items on the list below. Oh, and keep it up for five days. That’s Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Do it. Then write at least three sentences per day about your experience. Post on Sunday, by 11:59pm. Use your username and Challenge, morning, and routine as tags, and Challenge as the category.

  • Drink water. At least a few sips. Water make you feel a bit sick first thing in the morning? Used to for me, too. Now I fill a quart jar at the sink, and get about 12 oz down first thing. So work up to it. Just take a sip or two, if you can’t stomach more.
  • Wash your face. That’s right. Cool water or warm, doesn’t matter. Just take a cloth, hold it under running water, put your face down, and give it a nice soft splash and gentle pat or two. Dry gently. Doesn’t that face feel GREAT now?! Guarantee your eyes are now open.
  • Brush your teeth and tongue. Did that before bed? Good for you. Do it before you start your day, too. Can’t hurt…. Especially if you sleep with your mouth open, you’re all pasty dry and yucky. Clean it up.
  • Comb or brush your hair. Why not? You’ll look snazzy!

Once you leave the bathroom:

  • Hold off on any sugary drinks until you just can’t STAND it. Don’t drink sugary drinks in the morning? Are ya sure? Not just talkin’ about soda. Also JUICE. That’s right. If you’re drinking apple or orange or some other fruit juice, you’re getting less of the fruit’s nutrition and more calories and concentrated sugar. Eat a piece of fruit instead. Oh, and it’s cheaper, too. Try it and see – a couple of pounds of apples or pears or bananas, etc seems spendy, until you grab that $5 smoothie or that $3 pint bottle of fancy juice. Just sayin’…. Usually have “coffee” with a bunch of flavored whitener or syrup in it before much of anything else? Try it without that; use a little half and half or a soy or nut milk creamer instead, but check for sugar in those other things. Just TRY your morning joe that way…. You may not like it at first, but your health (and your wallet) will thank you.

Staying on Track – Resources to help you!

Hi everyone –

I have just completed a page, Estimated Schedule and Staying on Track, that should clarify all the deadlines and help you indeed stay on track with PUBH 209 work.

Please review it carefully, and note that the clickable parts take you out to post prompt options, the Guidelines and Deadlines page, etc.

Let me know if you have questions and I do look forward to seeing your ongoing development as an engaged, informed, and empowered consumer!  –Dr. P

Help from Dr. P – and a great end to our first week!

Hi everyone –

Let me just say “Woo hoo!” because I’ve had some great chats with several of you and I see that folks are really getting started.

Again, reading my “Guide” WILL help you. I promise. Otherwise, once you’ve accepted the invitation and logged in, just click on the pencil “Write” icon at the top right of your screen, choose Consuming Health Matters at the LEFT, and start your post!

If you’re mostly concerned about getting started with readings and assignments, no worries! Note that (as explained in the syllabus) there are two deadlines, discussed below.

One deadline is “Perfect World” on Fridays, every week at 10pm. The second is “Last Chance” on Sundays at 11:59pm. Please try to have your Intro post up for THIS week’s Last Chance deadline, if not today’s Perfect World deadline, ok? Once you get the hang of things, you’ll be posting like a pro. And remember – choose “Intros” as your category, and be sure to add your username as a tag.

You can have the course blog open in one window, and be writing your post in another window. See what I mean? Visit the front page of the blog, here, and then open it again if you want to and then click the pencil/”Write” icon.

This “1-2-3” list should help you get started and feel relieved. Keep reading…

  1. Visit the intro post instructions here: 1 Getting Started in PUBH 209 work
  2. Then go out and read the first content page, A Page to Start with: Thinking and Discourse Matters, here. (Be sure to click the clickable items in it so that you are ACTUALLY reading this important piece of introductory course content and understanding my “basics” of consumer health!)
  3. Next go view the Overview slides here: 4 Course Slides
  4. Now you’re getting ready to write your first “real” post, the Thinking and Discourse post, which you will find here. Remember, you are responsible for ONE prompt each week. The Thinking and Discourse prompt is due NEXT Friday (PW deadline) or NEXT Sunday (LC deadline). PLEASE NOTE: You’ll find three Thinking and Discourse prompts, meaning you have options. It also means that, if you want to, you can start on Extra Credit/Extra Learning (explained in the syllabus) this very week!

Ok, get started. We’ll talk soon, especially if you’re still SO lost that you can’t log in and start writing. –Dr. P

 

 

Welcome to PUBH 209 – Fall 2017!

As you know if you’ve reviewed the course syllabus, grading rubric, and “Note” on points, grading, and learning, I expect that (through exploring this content) YOU will become engaged, perhaps a bit enraged, and ready to take on the world of consumer health issues. This material, to me, is among the most fascinating and concerning in public health – and it’s also quite poorly addressed. Because we honestly do not know what to do about the societal issues we face that are, when it comes down to it, our own fault. Yep, I said it. We’re the cause, ultimately, as a society, of our own issues. And now we have to face them as individuals and as a nation and a world.

Start considering the breadth and depth right now. Get a bit confused, concerned, annoyed, or what have you, and then go take a nice bath, a walk, a breath. Share a meal with someone you care about, pat a puppy, read a good book, or watch a stupid TV show. Then come back to this stuff in the morning. I can’t promise you’ll enjoy every minute, but I bet you’ll be interested most minutes… Again, welcome. I’m so glad to have you in this class with me, with each other, and with the world. This quarter. “See” you very soon. –Dr. P

Welcome! You’ve found consuming health matters.

If it’s sometime during the week of 19 June 2017, and you’re reading this, chances are you may be one of my summer session PUBH 209 students. If not, you’re welcome here anyway, and I won’t even make you post to earn a grade. Such a deal. Whoever you are, I hope you continue reading and that you find this site valuable in many ways.

Ok – If you ARE a student and you’ve successfully set up your account and logged in, it’s time to post your first post. Click over to the “Getting Started in PUBH 209 work” page and read the Intro post prompt. Then go into your Dashboard and hover on Posts, then on Add New. Start talkin’…

As a public health academic, one focused on helping people make the kinds of change they want in their own lives and for others, I too have found that consuming health matters – a lot. What and how we consume truly does matter, for a variety of reasons. And there’s a lot to discuss when it comes to consuming health matters. (No, I’m not above pointing out the obvious puns when I find them.)

The evidence is growing: What we spend time and money on has impacts on our own lives, on others’ lives, on the planet. Over time this site will grow, and include consumer health-related information on a broad range of topics.

First order of business? Involving public health undergraduate students in the fascinating, frustrating, and frazzling world of consumer health issues and information – and making sure they can move on from there to improved capacity to make better decisions for themselves and help others. Want to take a look at the course content? Start here. Interested in a specific issue area? Hit a “… Matters” page and see if you learn something you can use – and enjoy what you find there. Have a suggestion for a product or topic area we should take on as the site grows in scope and capacity? Contact us through the contact page.