Category Archives: food

Weekly posts

Consumer Protection & Regulation Oct 13/15

As a big consumer of online everything, I thought it was interesting to learn about the Consumer protection regulations that exist for us shoppers. These regulations can be helpful to those who have deposits in their bank, because it can protect them with their confidential information that may be seen by private firms, from taking out a loan with an unknown interest rate, and again, from being a victim of credit card hacking. The regulations are actually very helpful to consumers, because imagine trying to buy something that says it has no interests at all, and then finding out it has a 30% interest rate. I would honestly not be too happy about having to pay a 30% for a loan when I could have searched with a different bank for a smaller interest rate. One of the flaws that is mentioned is that having access to this information will do no good, when most of us are not understanding how to evaluate the financial information given to us. That is why it would be recommended to have a financial advisor that knows a thing or two about buying houses, so that you are able to make the best financial and personal decision on your dream home.

 

Early life and Childhood/Youth Prompt 1: Oct 20/22

 

Since I already used the Babies_Etc_ Slides for my first prompt, I decided to take on the first prompt on the Birth Slides. The first slide starts off the question, who are the consumers? In this case, mothers and father to be and the fetus. Parents to be are especially vulnerable to fall in the trap of thinking they need every single baby item that hits the market. They are also vulnerable to being pushed by other consumers or producers into which birth methods to use. It is very common to have babies at a hospital, since they will have people that can look after them from the moment they find out they are pregnant. There is, however, another popular method to giving birth and that is by having a midwife. Midwifes are to be licensed before practicing, as required by Washington state. Insurance companies cover this method, and Medicaid is one of them. On another note, I always hear mothers ask if they are getting epidural. You know, the big needle placed on the mother’s back prior to giving birth to help ease the intense pains. This needle process is known as an epidural and it is quite common for many mothers that give birth in hospitals. As common as epidurals are, it is also common to ask mothers that question, and it almost seems as if it done to see which mothers are NOT taking the epidural. Why is it so common to hear about epidurals? I would say it is, because many women are scared to have one during their labor due to the scary risks that they hear about. Finally, one of the most important slides that were mentioned (at least to me based on what I read because I have no children to actually know how these things are practiced) was the slide on maternity care. In terms of the baby’s health, it all starts off with the fetus. Babies can be born at full term, but may experience Fetal Alcohol Syndrome if the mother consumed alcohol while pregnant. One of the slides mentions that evidence shows that there is not enough resources for maternity care. It mentions smoking cessation support, which would be fitting for Fetal Alcohol cessation support. It is hard for many mothers to stop the bad habits that can affect their babies before they are even born like smoking, alcohol and drugs, which is why it would be helpful if mothers could find many resources to help them cease these habits (minimum throughout their pregnancy).

 

Financial Health Prompt 1: Oct 27/29

Financial health is just as important as physical and mental health, when it comes to taking care of oneself. I really can’t say what is important about financial health decisions, since I don’t make wise choices when it comes to that either. I can say that speaking for myself and for things that I feel I should always strive to improve on is making sure that I think about what I buy. Regardless of what is it, I tend to buy things without realizing (more like thinking about or acknowledging) that it can harm the environment or even myself. I am big fan of anything makeup, and I realize that I do have to work on buying less of it, especially since I have yet to go through my first eyeshadow palettes that I got years ago (which by the way they just had to be tossed out without being close to it being empty). My point is that we should all work towards consuming just a tiny bit less to help out our wallets, our health, and our mental wellness. My hope is that we can work every day, even if it is in small steps, towards simplicity. I guess that could be a challenge in today’s world of consumerism, but I do think that it is possible to maximize our health status. Policy makers, I think, should focus on the way that products are sold to us, by making sure that no label has even more “hidden” labels. It would make us as consumers really think about what is going into the products that we buy. Though it is a team effort (from policymakers and us as consumers), it is ultimately up to the person that is affected by the product directly and their friends and family to help them make wise choices as consumers. By consuming less, we can avoid financial problems with our credit cards, our housing situation, and even helping out those that may need a boost financially.

 

Prompt 1: Foods in Moderations does work? Nov 10/12

 

Okay, Okay, right off the bat I’d have to agree with the description that the article gives on what most of us consider “moderation”. That one doughnut, or that one pizza night will add up in the long run if that is the way that I eat every single day. “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” (Greatest.com). I definitely see myself as “justified” “moderator”, because I justify all the moderation that I do with my eating, and wow is that a big part of my diet. I tend to justify my eating habits by the amount of exercise that I do at my place of work. I walk at a fast pace all day and only sit to enjoy my breaks, which make me justify the way I eat when I get home, because I must have burned off all those calories right? It is true, that perhaps eating this way may at some point increase all probabilities of getting some sort of diet-related disease, and I should especially consider this because my dad and his family have hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol and other health problems that could be controlled better with a healthier lifestyle.

Retrieved from:https://consuminghealthmatters.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/whyeverythinginmoderationdoesntworkarticle.pdf

Prompt Two Oct6/8

Have you ever read a CBO report, or even a summary of one? Do you know what the CBO is? Consumers really should know about this important piece of our federal government.  CBO stands for Congressional Budget Office, and it provides nonpartisan (meaning not slanted toward either party) information and analyses surrounding bills and laws. Take a look at this agency’s take on the proposed American Health Care Act, that, if signed into law, would replace the ACA. Once you’ve read at least a bit of it, respond to the questions below. What did you learn reading this resource that you think many consumers probably don’t know? What do you want to know now? Where might you find out more?

 

I had never heard of what a CBO report consisted of or what it really meant in terms of a budget report. After doing a bit a research on the topic, I came to the conclusion that the CBO provides as the name states, the budget information to Congress. It is a nonpartisan agency that works with the staff from the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) in providing an estimate of what is spent from the ACA and how reductions in the budget for that program could affect the people and the government. It would reduce the spending of the program by 26% in 2026, yet it would also affect those who benefit from this policy if they became uninsured. One of the things that I learned about this report and this Act specifically is that the reports are very detailed with unbiased information on how the budget is used and how it can be improved. I would want to know about the CBO itself and what it is that is suggested for people to do if the budget is cut and they find themselves uninsured. I know that it is an informative website on budget, but it could also be helpful if they set up links where they could read more about how it affects them and where they can find resources where it’s in their area or online. In this case, I could probably find out more about it by searching other websites, or perhaps even by asking with local health insurance workers (clinics and hospitals).

 

 

 Prompt 1: Illness and Mortality Prompt Nov 17/19

Basic consumer help for illness, long-term care, and death and dying

I decided to type in long term care in the search bar, and the first website that popped up was LongTermCare. Gov. As soon as I clicked on this website, It gave me several links to topics like The Basics, Medicare & Medicaid, Where you Live Matters, How to Decide, Cost & Pay, as well as care according to age. I wouldn’t really say that there is anything that is less helpful, because the website also has links to help you find services and health studies, like Alzheimer’s. If this website didn’t work out, I would suggest for people to look at websites that might specifically cater to their needs or the needs of their loved ones. For example, if someone was only looking for illness care, then I would start off with that search, and if that didn’t work out, I would also try calling my local health care offices.

Retrieved from: https://longtermcare.acl.gov/

 

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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.

 

Glossary Post 4

Food Culture

Food Environment

Eating Patterns 

Food culture is a lot of things. It is how you grew up eating. It is how you grew up shopping. it is also what has been available to you most of your life. It is how the people around you cook. All of these things have taught you how to feed yourself when you grew up. It is hard to break routine and cravings, and sometimes that is not always necessary. Moderation and balance is what is necessary. We all have the comfort food that makes us think of home. But if that food isn’t the best for you health, it doesn’t mean it needs to go, you just means you have to make room for things better for you.

Food Environment is Schedules, Work/school places, Living situations, Neighborhoods, Finances, Social influences, Politics,  and Industry. All of these things can effect your behavior, your internal stress and time management. All of these things can have a huge effect on the weight management and diet. If you can take control of your life in one or more of these aspects, it could help a lot with  your diet and health outcome.

Eating patterns can be effected by Preference, Habit/Tradition, Social pressure, Availability, Convenience and Economy and more. These things are not as changeable, but can we worked around with some effort. Being aware of what you have and what you can work with can effect your outcome when it comes to diet and health changes. Even the smallest change can make a difference.

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.

Food Prompt 1

As i get older, i notice my body reacting differently in ways that i know might be correlated to my diet. “you are what you eat” is a saying that makes more sense as i start to become more health and food conscious. Most of the articles i have read about food habits and diets have mentioned that people (Americans) eat more and more convenient. Eating is now a pass time. Snacking has taken the place of full meals.  We are obsessed with what looks good and tastes good oppose to what is good for us.  What will it take to bring back the importance of making a full balanced meal and eating it company?

in a poll conducted in December regarding food labeling, many people reported wanting more food labels listing calories on places like restaurant menus and grocery stores. They stated feeling more confident and likely to make healthier food choices if they could see the calories listed on the menu. More woman than men are likely to report being in favor of wanting food labels on restaurant menus. While men do not speak out directly, most are in favor of food labels on menus at a sit-down restaurant as well. Many people reported already having the knowledge of how to make healthy food choices when grocery shopping which was a shock to me. So, what needs to happen to really encourage people to always be conscious of what they consume? if people are truly knowledgeable to make the right decisions then why don’t they?  what needs to be done to not only aid people to make the right dietary choices, but want to make the right dietary choices.

Although the choice to eat healthy is a personal decision, we do not decide between the options we have to pick from. In order to make an impact on physical health and childhood obesity in America. We have to consider the quality and nutritional value of the foods offered. Food makes a journey from the production facility/farm all the way to your home and on your dinner plate. It is important to be aware of the products we are buying and serving to our selves and our families. To be able to track the journey of your food means to be able to ensure people are capable of making good diet choices.

Sources:

http://beta.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-akst-snacks-20141221-story.html

http://www.nccor.org/projects/hei/

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/12/31/poll-says-majority-americans-support-menu-labeling.html

 

 

Glossary Building Post # 4

Glossary Terms:

  • Superfoods
  • Moral Licensing
  • Moderation

Every consumer is facing the same problems when it comes to food. Hot topics such as nutrition, healthy eating, and the newest celebrity fad diets are popular among consumers of todays society. The question is how much do consumers truly understand about healthy choices when it comes to food. Many consumers do not have a healthy relationship when it comes to food. Terms such as moderation and superfoods are thrown around with abandon. Consumers also face issues with moral licensing, which can lead to an unhealthy relationship with food.

Many consumers think of moderation as not overeating, but it goes further than that. Moderation is technically an avoidance of extremes, this means too little and too much. Consumers have to understand that moderation is not eating healthy at certain meal and having donuts for breakfast, and a pizza for dinner a few days later because you have been ‘good’. Moderation practices such as this can lead consumers to engage in moral licensing. Many consumers have an unhealthy mental relationship with food, they categorize foods as good or bad when there really is no such thing in food. Consumers who engage in moral licensing will tell themselves, “I can have this pizza because I was good and ate that salad earlier”. This type of thinking becomes a destructive habit, consumers are more likely to eat junk food if they think this way. Consumers should not base their moral well-being on food as it ruins any chance of a healthy relationship with food.

Consumers should also be aware of market terms such as superfoods. Superfoods are not real, there are no new food that act as a nutritional superhero. Claimed superfood like blueberries, kale, spinach, salmon, etc. have always been around, but only recently have they been marketed as superfoods. Consumers should not take the label of superfoods at face value, instead they should be looking at the actual nutritional value of the food item and consider if it is actually what they need.

 

 

food! it’s simple. (not really.)

Food – it’s important. It’s relatively straightforward, typically, the way we discuss food and nutrition, but it’s even more interesting to see the underlying systems that dictate what is labeled as ‘nutritional’, and what certain agendas of food manufacturers have. For background on my particular diet and I know, for me, I try to make guided choices on what I eat – for environmental sustainability, primarily. For example, I avoid dairy if I can and don’t eat pork or beef. I practice weekly ‘vegan days’ (referred to as a meatless Monday by many, but the day floats in my case) where I make a conscious effort to stick plant-based for the day. Though, for most of my days, I stick to chicken or turkey and eggs as the animal products I consume – I don’t practice an incredibly healthful diet, either, but I do think it’s better than the typical ‘American diet’. I limit myself to one non-water beverage on most days, I snack on vegetables or fruit if given the chance, and if I do have dessert, I don’t make it a regular thing. I have a package of birthday cake oreos, and if I’m really craving something, one of those does the trick.

So, when looking at the resources, there’s a lot of emphasis being put on the addictive qualities that additional sugar can create – sugar is something our bodies naturally crave, so by artificially adding sugar to things that may not need it, it’s creating a dependency on that, or risk a crash or dissatisfaction with the next meal. Seeing as the average US citizen eats 66 pounds of additional, refined sugar is kind of terrifying – in no world is it acceptable to sit down and just eat tablespoons of sugar, but according to the foods we eat, it seems to be a relatively accepted practice that people have become complacent in. Simply, people are not informed about food choices and don’t have the knowledge that this is happening – I have family members, for example, who seem to think that there’s nutritional value in consuming, ice cream, because it constitutes “calcium” – but seem to overlook the added sugar and general unhealthiness of what they’re consuming. Rose tinted glasses or just making excuses for eating habits? We won’t know. (Disclaimer: I love ice cream as a treat. I’m not putting it down, I promise, just know it’s not nutritionally good for you in the slightest.)

Many of the articles really reflect one thing about the current state of the food industry – it is truly about making money. Whether it refers to the whiskey boom (thankful I’m not a whiskey drinker – wouldn’t want to feel ripped off by these companies – and my distaste for fireball is making a lot of sense now, it DID always give off a ‘this should not be anywhere near me’ vibe) and how they’re not as artesian as they may claim to be, or to the ability to make everything snack-able (I know for sure that when I’m snacking through the day, I eat far more than any other situation.) This, effectively, makes money for these companies – you need to eat, of course, but food companies have a vested interest in making sure that you eat more than you may need.

And while food blogs such as Vani Hari’s Food Babe may seem to help remedy the solution, she has some idea of how things work and she generally encourages food producers to be more transparent about their tactics, she’s also not a trained doctor or dietician. This worries me, as people may start to adopt tactics that mirror hers and may be unhealthy for them in the end – those with certain dietary restrictions or lifestyles may not be able to do the things she does. While I may agree about certain aspects of things with her (for example, labeling GMO’s – I consume products that are genetically modified and don’t have a problem with it, especially in the context of ensuring people in developing countries can eat, but consumers should at least know what they’re consuming, due to pesticides such as round up being used on crops that are typically genetically modified – from an ecological and somewhat (ish) health perspective), I think her rhetoric may stick to people and eventually drive into unhealthy relationships with food, especially for those who are prone to eating disorders.

Overall, I think food is multifaceted and there’s no one right answer – it takes a village to recognize that there’s profit incentive behind everything an that not everything is black and white. There’s many shades of grey.

Food Prompt 2

I’m just going to come right out and say that my eating habits are probably considered really unhealthy. However, after reading Why “Everything in Moderation” Doesn’t Work, I was definitely more aware of the food i was putting in my body. Quite often, I am short on time and grab something quick and cheap on the go. I normally don’t even keep track of what foods I eat at all, meaning some weeks I will cook all week and others I won’t cook at all. It just depends on the day and what my plans are. After taking this class and reading this article specifically, I have learned that my unhealthy eating habits can not be justified by moderation anymore. Because I am young, I don’t really think about the effects that eating unhealthy can have on my body. Most CVD don’t develop until older ages so I have always just eaten whatever I want. This article really opened my eyes to my eating habits and how these things can really take a toll on your body If I were to start taking my eating habits seriously I think my first step would be to eliminate all sugary drinks from my diet. Soda and juice contain so much sugar and other “super villains” in such small amounts. After that I would probably cut out snacks and add more veggies to my diet. The article stated that you need far more “ordinary” food to cancel out the super villain food, so incorporating more veggies and nutrients in general would be a great start to changing my diet.

Food Prompt 2

After reading the short article about moderation, my eyes were really opened. The information did not surprise me, but rather packaged it into a view that was easily understandable. I definitely practice meaningless moderation and often eat without moderation at all. Our society and culture has perpetuated this idea about rewarding ourselves through food. This ideology has allowed us to believe we are appeasing either ourselves or those around us who may be judging our dietary choices. The reality is, diet and health choices do not make someone a morally good or bad person. If someone is overweight or eats junk food everyday, does that mean they are not a caring and responsible person? We constantly judge those who do not follow health trends or exercise regularly, especially in my own generation. My course of action is to eat healthily for my own longevity and health, not to make myself feel better or have others to view me as a “better” person because I am on top of my nutrition.

Food Prompt 1

The most concerning new information to me as a consumer was just how misconstrued food labels can be. With almost one hundred different names for added sugars that are used on food labels, it is almost impossible for consumers to be aware of what they are buying. The government and FDA have implemented several policies in recent years in an attempt to make ingredients and sugar content more clear. However, food companies have found ways around these regulations in order to cater towards current shopping trends and continue to make money. Groups in America have made strides towards encouraging a healthy eating trend with people turning to more nutritious foods and diets. Manufacturers have picked up on this and put products on the shelf that are marketed as healthy, but have large amounts of hidden sugar. Truly the only way to avoid this misconception would be buying solely raw ingredients and avoiding anything packaged. To combat this, the FDA may begin to require a section on food labels to state how much added sugar is in a product. Most foods have naturally occurring sugars and are made worse by manufacturers adding refined sugars, syrups, etc. As studies have revealed, it is likely that our consumption of these hidden sugars may be what is causing the skyrocketing rates of diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes. Action I will take for myself, and those around me that will listen to my stance, is to attempt a more wholesome lifestyle by buying large amounts of produce and meats, reducing the number of cardboard boxes in my home containing refined sugar. For those who have not made themselves informed on this issue, I suspect some would not listen to what I have to say; but I feel most would be horrified to know what they have been consuming. Especially consumers with families to feed, this data should be very concerning.

Resources used from Food Matters page:

http://sugarscience.ucsf.edu/hidden-in-plain-sight/#.WgkHk8anHIX

https://consuminghealthmatters.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/added-sugar-subtracted-sciencecsducsreport.pdf

https://consuminghealthmatters.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/healthconcernsleadtolabelclaims.pdf