Category Archives: Course content

Reflection

I absolutely love Public Health–the application of sociological philosophies! If I do make it into a graduate program, I’ll be considering public health in addition to clinical psychology! I learned a lot of why the ACA is so important; making it illegal to discriminate against pre-existing conditions when applying for medical insurance, the expansion of mental health services through Medicare, and I recently learned about this website: https://openpaymentsdata.cms.gov. I also discovered a lot of information about 401k fees, and my personal finances. I learned that public health has been the driving force behind many consumer protection laws, like; seatbelts, the distracted driver laws, baby back to bed, making lead and asbestos in consumer products illegal, and of course regulations for our food, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. I have learned that even with all of these laws, we still need more. And to reiterate yet again, information and regulation brings autonomy. Thank you so much, I have learned a lot about public health this quarter!

Welcome to Week Six – Winding down and taking stock….

As you focus on catching up, and producing a powerful photovoice assignment, take a moment to reflect on the PUBH 209 course objectives outlined in the syllabus. Please review them.

Course Objectives Reflective Prompt – due PW Friday July 28 or LC Sunday July 30
By the LC deadline of next Sunday July 30 at 10pm, post a reflective statement about your progress in consumer health, how meaningful you believe it is for most public health students (or even others) to be able to do the things on the list, and other thoughts about the course objectives, especially as they relate to improving personal and societal health and other outcomes. Use your username and Course Objectives as tags and Reflection as the category. I’ve copied the course objectives here below for your convenience.

Course Objectives: By the end of the course, students will be able to:

  • describe the impact of recent health care legislation on consumers;
  • describe U.S. consumer protection laws, agencies, and strategies;
  • find and use credible information about health-related services & products;‎
  • describe industry influence, fraud, quackery & unscientific claims
  • collect and share qualitative data regarding consumer health
  • outline key historical events that affect people’s choices and outcomes in a given realm of consumer decisions
  • provide and analyze examples of credible, accessible consumer-relevant information and sources, with an emphasis on helping others to distinguish between sources that help and hinder healthy decision making.
  • compare health-related policy and societal decision making in the United States and other locations, as well as across regions of the United States; as a result of comparing these contexts, they will be able to emphasize any apparent links to health behavior, choices, and outcomes.

It is my hope that you find that, through the materials provided to you and the requirements for you to read, think, explore, and write about consumer health-relevant issues and strategies, you can do at least 5 of the listed items very well, at least one other on the list fairly well, and at least one other adequately.

(Keep in mind that at THIS point we still have 1/6 of the class to go, so if there is an item you believe you can not do at all or can only do marginally at best, you still have a week to work on that skill! You may perhaps decide to address that intention in your reflective statement….)

Finance Prompt Two

In reading “The Public Interest Research Group’s Tutorial on John Oliver’s Retirement Income Episode and the Fiduciary Rule” I understood it more compared to that of the “Investment Advising Company’s Debunking of the Arguments Against the Fiduciary Rule.” According to The Public Interest Research Group’s Tutorial on John Oliver’s Retirement Income Episode and the Fiduciary Rule, “fiduciaries is the legal term for a broad group of professionals who are required to put customer’s interest’s first” (The Public Interest Research Group’s Tutorial on John Oliver’s Retirement Income Episode and the Fiduciary Rule, 2016, para. 1). As a consumer I believe that it does help explain what the positive and the negative aspects of the fiduciary rule. In reading the article I found that if brokers were to act solely in the interests of the client without compensation of any sort they will not work as hard to assist the consumer in reaching his or her financial goals. In this case according to the article The Public Interest Research Group’s Tutorial on John Oliver’s Retirement Income Episode and the Fiduciary Rule, “advisors aren’t currently bound to act in your best interest, they can steer you to make investments that benefit them but might not be the best choice for your retirement savings” (The Public Interest Research Group’s Tutorial on John Oliver’s Retirement Income Episode and the Fiduciary Rule, 2016, para. 2).  Do to the conflicted interests that advisors have with their consumers they make little profit without regard for their clients interest. The Department of Labor attempted to come up with a rule requiring that all advisors handling consumers accounts be bound by the fiduciary rule to act in the consumers best interest. In this case this article provided useful information in regards to the fiduciary rule and how it could potentially have beneficial benefits to consumers but the catch is that the advisors will no longer be able to collect compensation from these accounts which will in turn change the amount of effort they apply to these accounts.

References

4 Arguments Against the Fiduciary Rule Debunked. (n.d.). Retrieved July 16, 2017, from http://www.truemeasure.com/blog/2016/4/14/5-argument-against-the-fiduciary-rule-debunked

Blog. (2016, June 14). Retrieved July 16, 2017, from http://www.uspirg.org/blogs/blog/usp/last-week-tonight-john-oliver-retirement-industry-minefield-here%E2%80%99s-answer

Glossary Post: Two

Market:

According to Coleman (2017) “A market is defined as the sum total of all the buyers and sellers in the area or region under consideration. The area may be the earth, or countries, regions, states, or cities. The value, cost and price of items traded are as per forces of supply and demand in a market. The market may be a physical entity, or may be virtual. It may be local or global, perfect and imperfect.

Description: What are the different types of markets?

A market can be called the ‘available market’ – that of all the people in the area. Within the available market, there is the ‘market minimum’- or the market size, which will buy goods without any marketing effort. This is the lowest sale that a company could get without any action on its part. In today’s world, this level is sinking ever lower” (Coleman, 2017, para 1-3).

In this case market can also be related to the stock market, supermarkets, and other such services. In the developing years market has been developing its own definitions and many individuals relate to it in different ways.

Market Justice:

According to Budetti (2008) “Individual resources and choices determine the distribution of health care, with little sense of collective obligation or a role for government. Known as market justice, this approach derives from principles of individualism, self-interest, personal effort, and voluntary behavior” (Budetti, 2008, para. 1).

Social Justice:

According to the Article The Market as Part of the Consumer Health Context by Consumer Health it states that “social justice is a basis for most public health efferts, in contrast to market justice, social justice suggests that societies have a responsibility to help ensure fair outcomes for all. In this view, fair outcomes are not based solely on what a person or group earns by choosing healthy behaviors” Consumer health, 2017, para. 17).

References

Budetti, P. P. (2008, January 2). Market justice and moral compass. Retrieved July 20, 2017, from http://www.pnhp.org/news/2008/january/market_justice_and_m.php

Coleman, B. (2017). Definition of ‘Markets’. Retrieved July 20, 2017, from http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/definition/markets

Consumer Health (2017). The Market as Part of the Consumer Health Context. Retrieved July 20, 2017.

 

Thinking and Discourse: Prompt Two

In reading the article about the market as part of the consumer health context I found that market, market justice, and social justice have equal the importance when it comes to consumer health. They also have their own definitions and meaning. According to the article, market has many different meanings in regards to peoples views and opinions. In the article it brings up the fact that when people hear market they think of the stock market. In the article it goes on to talk about how there are many other types such as what I mentioned above (market justice & social justice). Market justice and social justice are two different ideas and they help understand different views about consumer health.

Market justice is found to be related to people who are financially comfortable and have  earned their comfort in the world of consumer health and the people who are less comfortable have earned that situation in life. A persons own lifestyle and choices are responsible for the negative and positive effects. In this case regulations play an important role but some corporations find it difficult to sell their products. In conclusion market justice can be seen as dominant over social justice.

Social justice in the other hand also has its own meaning in the consumer health realm. Social justice defers form market justice because social justice seeks to make all outcomes fair for everyone. In this case policies and procedures it what helps make this happen. According to the article The Market as Part of the Consumer Health Context, “in this view, fair outcomes are not based solely on what a person or group earns by choosing healthy behaviors, rather, they are actively fair, based in policies or processes that allow for or provide equitable benefits and risk of harm to all.”

In my response to this if I had to choose among market justice and social justice I would be right in the middle. In many cases I believe in self-determination, self-discipline, benefits based solely on personal effort, and I have a strong obligation to the collective good. In understanding the types of markets and where you stand can better help you make a positive decision when it comes to consumer health.

References

Consumer health matters (2017) “The Market as Part of the Consumer Health Context”

Food Matters: Prompt One

What information is new to you as an eater?

Information that is fairly new to me as a consumer of snacks is that almost everything that I consume on a daily basis contains a large quantity of sugar. I have always understood that sugar is not the greatest but I paid it no mind. According to the article “Hidden in Plain Sight” by sugar science the unsweetened truth “there are at least 61 different names for sugar listed on food labels. This include common names, such as sucrose and high-fructose corn syrup, as well as barely malt, dextrose, maltose and rice syrup, among others” (Sugar Science the Unsweetened Truth, 2017, para. 3). In this case the FDA does not require manufacturers to include total added sugar just the total sugar content. According to the article men are not supposed to exceed 9 teaspoons of sugar, females are not supposed to exceed 6 teaspoons. Snacks in this case contain many servings of sugar and according to the article “The Snackification of Everything” by Akst “we gravitate toward snacks because they’re fast, easy and require little commitment” (Akst, 2017, para. 6). In reading these articles I have found that even healthy food can contain a high level of sugar content.

How concerning is this information and what might you do with it, either for yourself or someone you care about?

This information is very concerning considering I use approximately 2 teaspoons in my coffee every morning. Throughout the day I have about two cups of coffee accounting for 4 teaspoons of sugar leaving me with 5 teaspoons of sugar that I have left over. In reading this article I have found that sugar has many names not just sugar. When I walk into a store I typically walk down the snacks isle and pickup a couple of candy bars amounting to 44 grams of sugar total. Understanding the impact and staying informed will help reduce the amount of snacks and sugar consumed.

What policy decisions appear to affect people’s choices and health outcomes around your area of concern?

Currently the FDA is working on considering revising the current label design by addressing the way manufactures measure size and the amount of sugar added. Other policies and regulations that have helped with addressing the food industry is that of the Food and Drug Administration. Also According to Martinez (2013) “in the early 1990’s Congress passed the most significant piece of food labeling legislation Education Act of 1990. This legislation established lebeling regulations that require nearly all packaged products to carry the Nutrition Facts label. The regulations, which are implemented and interpreted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, also identify which voluntary HNR claims are allowed and under what circumstances they can be used” Martinez, 2013, para. 3).

If people are less well informed than you, what do you think their responses might be when you tell them about this information?

It is my belief that once people learn about the information and resources I have provided they will begin to understand that it can and will affect their health. The very food they eat can affect them. In this case it was found that even healthy food contains an unhealthy amount of sugar. Many manufactures try to confuse their consumers by using names other than sugar to confuse people that purchase their products. Many corporations pay stores a large amount of money to keep their products near the isles while people pay for their food so that temptation or even a craving can make people buy their unhealthy products.

 References

Akst, D. (2017). The Snackification of Everything. Retrieved July 19, 2017, from http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la/oe/akst-snacks-20141221-story.html

Hidden in Plain Sight. (2017). Retrieved July 19, 2017, from http://sugarscience.ucsf.edu/hidden-in-plain-sight/#.WW7w18aZOCS

Martinez, S. (2013). Obesity and other Health Concerns Lead Food Companies to Step up Health and Nutrient Claims. Retrieved July 19, 2017, from https://consuminghealthmatters.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/healthconcernsleadtolabelclaims.pdf

End of Week Four – Happy Friday, but let’s talk about death and dying a bit….

As you’ll hear if you head over to Canvas and listen to the recording of today’s conference/chat session, today I attended a memorial for the brother of close friends. It made me think about the individual choices we have – and CAN make – as consumers, and how difficult that decisionmaking and choosing IS for many of us.

As I noted in the recording, you have access to a Content Page on Illness and Mortality Matters, but I want to call out a couple of the resources included there.

First, take a look at the FAQ page of the Honoring Choices website. It’s a really good place to start for folks wanting to learn more about this important aspect of life and how best to make sure their own wishes are known and respected. Here comes a challenge….

CHALLENGE: After reviewing Honoring Choices information, have a conversation with someone you love (OR have an imaginary conversation with that person). How do you start the conversation? What do they say? What does it feel like to take this step as a consumer?

Post your reply by PW deadline of NEXT Friday July 21, or LC deadline of Sunday July 23. Use your username and Challenge as tags, and choose the Challenge category!

NOTE: If thinking about death and dying is hard for you, I understand. It’s hard for all of us, and in my family we tend NOT to discuss it (or our options) at all. It’s simply TOO difficult for some of my family members. I really wish it wasn’t that way, because I know there’s going to be a time when I will simply have to deal with the dying and deaths of my parents. And I know that would be just a little easier if we’d shared our thinking and wishes in advance. Btw, I intend to take myself up on this challenge. I think I’ll be doing the imaginary version. But that will help prepare me to push again to hold a REAL conversation and become an active, healthy consumer in this area of life….

 

Week Four middle… Keep at it. I am too!

You’ll now see ALL the remaining post opportunities up for your viewing and responding enjoyment, under their appropriate sub-pages below the Course Assignments page. You’ll also note that, at the bottom of the Guidelines and Deadlines page, the Photovoice project guidelines are up!

If you have time, join me in Canvas at 4pm (just a few minutes away, as I write this). If not, perhaps Friday at 2 – or you can review the recording once I figure out how to share it.

Happy Wednesday afternoon….  –DrP

The Monday July 3 Summary/Digest. Read here!

Hello and happy odd holiday weekend, right?

Rather than posting two separate posts leading you to responsibilities and opportunities, here’s a single post with information you should have right now.

First, if you have NOT yet been using the slides, please start. Although I haven’t specifically required you to include info from them as part of your posts, you’ll learn a great deal from them about consumer health as an area of public health. AND – bonus! – there’s a “Challenge” in one of them. Scavenger hunt!!!!! You know you want to…..

You’ll also find a third “Thinking and Discourse Prompt” up, and it specifically does invite you to make use of slides information. I look forward to seeing some of you posting to that prompt. Visit it here!

Glossary Building Posts – here’s how!

A total of five* Glossary Building posts are due by the end of the quarter. Try to post GBs every week, when new terms are hitting you, rather than rushing to post all five and having to search for terms to include. (*Note: Because I’m just getting the guidelines to you and there are only four weeks left officially, you may opt to replace one with a “challenge” or other “extra learning” post.)

Click here to see the GB guidelines at the Guidelines and Deadlines page, or keep reading.

A glossary is a specialized list of terms and definitions. You may find regular words, just like in a dictionary, but with an additional meaning or a “twist” for the context. You may find some acronyms or even concocted terms or phrases very specific to a given field, industry, or organization.

Each of your GB posts should include at least three terms that you believe are important for a glossary in consumer health, particularly if consumer health content is a chance to empower others to make the healthiest choices they want to make.

Posting on time, with attention to detail, correct citing of sources, and a readable, user-friendly approach – AND using your username as a tag and glossary as the category – will earn you the possibility of a High Pass (5/A) for your GB post.