Category Archives: photovoice

PhotoVoice Part 2

Diabetes is often misunderstood by the common consumer. Often times diabetics are stereotyped as being extremely overweight, inactive, unhealthy eaters. Many do not realize that this common visual is in fact false. Diabetes is not limited to those who struggle with controlling their weight. It can effect anyone, skinny, fat, healthy, or unhealthy in their habits. Chances of contracting this condition are mainly effected by family history and chronic stress, as well as daily living habits. Diabetes is classified as a disease that impairs the body’s ability to absorb sugars in the blood. It can be broken into two types: Type One and Type Two diabetes. Type One diabetic’s have difficulty producing insulin, causing blood sugar levels to rise or fall drastically. Type Two diabetic’s process sugars differently causing their blood sugar levels to fluctuate dangerously. Consumers should not limit their viewpoints of this disease to the stereotype. The photos shown below exemplify common everyday aspects of a diabetic’s life.

The two questions that I chose to address in this photovoice project are:

  • What choices do I have?
  • Why is it so difficult to be healthy/easy to be unhealthy?

What choices do I have?

Consumers should be aware that diabetics have same choices as them. The difference is that diabetics have to be more aware of their choices and how it may affect their bodies in the long run. A person suffering from diabetes can eat anything that a non-diabetic can, as long as they are aware of the nutritional content of the food and the portion sizes. Being a diabetic does not mean that a consumer is limited in any way. Some people look at diabetes as being a limit upon their lives, but that is very far from the truth. Diabetic consumer have all the same choices that any other consumer has.

Why is it so difficult to be healthy/easy to be unhealthy?

Diabetics must be much more careful in their choices than non-diabetics. Diabetics must keep careful track of calories, carbs, sugars, and fiber. Foods that are higher in calories, carbs, and sugars run the risk of being unhealthy and could negatively affect blood sugar levels. If the levels become erratic or out of control it could pose serious short-term and long-term health risks to the diabetic. It is both easy and difficult to be healthy as a diabetic. On one hand, it is difficult to be healthy as junk food is easy, cheap, and fast to get ahold of. It is an easy go to for many people as a food choice. This choice though, could potentially harm a diabetic and put them at risk for higher blood sugar levels. On the other hand, it is easy to be a healthy diabetic. To be healthy, a diabetic must control portions and eat plenty of healthy fibers to slow the absorption of sugars into the blood stream. Consumers often classify diabetics as being unhealthy when in actuality there are diabetics out there that are healthier than the majority of others. It all boils down to the individuals choices and how they care for themselves.

 

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PhotoVoice Project Part 2

When marijuana was legalized in 2012 in the State of Washington, it was not much longer before recreational stores started popping up everywhere. Even in Ellensburg there are 3 recreational marijuana stores. Cle Elum and Roslyn also have 3 stores in the area. The growing popularity of the cannabis industry can not be ignored and because of its contents, consumers should be aware of what they are being sold and what their choices are.

What are my choices and who’s selling me what?
I took a trip down to Ellensburg’s very own Cannabis Central where I took pictures of a few of the products they had for sale. I asked for a sample of marijuana flower, oil,  edibles, and body balm to take pictures of.

They provided me with a 2 gram package of “DDAWG QUIN-N-TONIC”. This is an indica dominant hybrid strain with a total THC percentage of 21.26% that costs $20. When it comes to marijuana there are 3 types you can get. Indicas, sativas, and hybrids indicas tend to have a sedating, full-body effect on people. The physical leaves are short and bushy and when consumed it is said to help with anxiety, insomnia, pain, and muscle spasms (Leafly, 2017). Sativas, on the other hand, are said to give you a “head high”, as well as make you more focused, uplifting and spark your creativity. It is said to relieve symptoms of depression, ADD, fatigue, and mood disorders (Leafly, 2017). Hybrids are a mix of indicas and sativas. They can be a 50/50 mix of the two, or they can be dominant towards one or the other. This appeals to people who do not want the full effects of either strain.

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Next, they provided me with 1 gram of oil, with a total THC percentage of 75%. Oil is a more concentrated form of marijuana. It is much higher in percentage compared to other forms therefore the effects are felt much stronger. Depending on the strain and THC percentage, the price usually ranges from $20-$40. CBC is a component that is THC free and is very helpful with pain. With this, you do not feel like you are “high” and do not feel the effects that you would with indicas and sativas. Instead, the CBC affects only the sight of pain. CBC oil is said to be very helpful with individuals who suffer from frequent seizures. (Epilepsy, 2017).

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Edibles can come in tons of different forms. Cookies, brownies, candies, tablets, just to name a few. They gave me a package of blue raspberry candy pebbles that contained 10 candies, each with 10 mg of THC in them, totaling 100 mg THC per package. Edibles appeal to the crowd who are intending to feel the effects of marijuana but do not want to smoke it either due to health or personal reasons.

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Lastly, the body balm they provided me with 350 total mg of THC in it. Interestingly, it also contained Kava kava, which is notorious for its sedating and pain relieving effects on the body (WEBMD, 2017). Body balms, as well as lip balms, and moisturizers, are used on people who have muscle, skin, and joint pains in certain areas. After direct contact with the balm, the effects are supposed to relieve the pain temporarily.

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Experience taking the photos
At first, I thought it might be awkward to go into a store that sells drugs and ask to take pictures. After I got over the idea, I went in at a decently slow time of the day so I wouldn’t be disrupting their flow of business. Fortunately, there was a friendly girl working there who helped me out without hesitation. I informed her I was doing a school project and needed to photograph a few items and she recommended a few to her liking that I should photograph. This project helped my thinking in consumer health because it made me realize that especially when it comes to drugs, we should know what we are consuming and who is selling it to us. The great thing about marijuana being legalized now is that when you buy it, it tells you who it is from, when it was harvested, what is in it, and what kind it is. As opposed to buying it off the streets and not knowing anything about what kind it is and what is in it. I think as college students we tend to trust our friends a lot when it comes to drugs and alcohol and if I hadn’t completed this course or project I may not have realized the impact that we as consumers have on our own health.

If someone had never been exposed to discussions of consumer health issues and approaches, completing a project like this may be beneficial because it could inspire somebody to educate themselves not only about this topic but every topic. When people are more aware and educated there is more chance for change to happen and progress to be made. My project provides the general public with a basic standard of what you should expect to see when you walk into a recreational marijuana store.

References

Epilepsy. 2017. CBC Oil for Seizures. Retrieved from https://www.epilepsy.com/connect/forums/living-epilepsy-adults/cbd-oil-seizures

Leafly. 2017. Sativa vs. Indica vs. Hybrid: What’s the Difference Between Cannabis Types? Retrieved from https://www.leafly.com/news/cannabis-101/sativa-indica-and-hybrid-whats-the-difference-between-cannabis-ty

Web MD. 2017. Kava Kava-Topic Overview. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/balance/stress-management/tc/kava-topic-overview#1

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.

 

Dairy PhotoVoice

During my time in this class, working on this blog, there have been two industries I’ve hit particularly hard: the pharmaceutical industry and the dairy industry: both of which may come off as hypocritical, as I do consume things from both these industries. I take a hormonal contraceptive to combat a scourge of hormonal acne that has struck me in my early 20’s, and when I make a sandwich, a slice of swiss really does make it great. However, the beef I have with these is misleading marketing about healthful effects of their products.

Who’s selling me what?

Here’s the really interesting thing about the dairy industry in the United States – it is one of the main receivers of farm subsidies in the country. Starting in the great depression and continuing into World War II, the industry was subsidized for economic reasons – the depression because dust bowl areas were suffering, and just a general decline in consumption – these subsidies were to keep these small family farms afloat. During World War II, it was to keep these farms producing while people were away at war and the United States was such a powerhouse. Production and subsidies continued – with the government having an investment in whether or not that milk got sold – the farm lobby has a good stake in many policymakers. So the federal government, on top of these subsidies, bought milk and stored it in Missouri as reserves for cheese and butter. But here’s the kicker: these reserves, in 1983, were valued at over 4 billion dollars. So the government switched gears and began to take a pro-dairy approach to policy making – it implementing an advertising board and commission that made a choice to heavily market dairy products such as cheese. Got Milk, if you’re familiar, is a product of this commission, known as ‘Dairy Management Inc.”

That’s the who, here’s the what:

The dairy industry most definitely wants you to look at their product as wholesome, and healthy. A glass of milk on the side of your meal is their recommended consumption: so much so that school lunch programs are not allowed to call it a meal unless milk is served with it. Again, I don’t think milk is per-say bad for you – you’d be better off consuming a glass of milk than an equally sized glass of vodka, or even soda; but rather, the products that milk can end up in in the normal American diet (the ones that Dairy Management Inc. is promoting especially heavily – they’ve worked with pizza chains to make sure there’s MORE cheese in certain products) are at odds with what many dieticians and, even other government agencies, say is healthful to eat.

How Healthy is it?

Again, I’m not doubting the benefits that milk can have on your calcium intake – it’s, weight-wise, the best thing you can consume if you’re looking solely at calcium levels. A glass of whole milk is a 103 calories, so it’s not especially bad calorically either. However, don’t let the milk lobby talk you into thinking it’s the only source of calcium: dark, leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach or okra; white beans and soybeans; and some types of fish such as salmon, perch or rainbow trout are also good forms of calcium.

Milk, however, is something people can be sensitive to: lactose intolerance is relatively common among humans. It also can aggravate acne in those who are prone to breakouts; and those who consume skim or nonfat are more likely than those who consume whole to be overweight.

But milk itself is not the problem – rather, the problem is the things that milk pops into as an ingredient.

Dips and Syrups

These products are some dairy products that I found in my family’s fridge – all of these are not especially healthy uses for dairy. These items include sundae syrup; various dips and coffee creamer.

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Other dairy in our fridge also included cheeses – while the Brie and Provolone were slightly healthier, and more high quality in production, the shredded mexican cheese was not incredibly healthful.

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This is the creamer – while the calorie count doesn’t seem to be high, it’s also an artificially low amount for coffee creamer. Just a tablespoon?

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100 Calories for a topping? Wow.

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2 tablespoons as a topping is 18% of your daily saturated fat.

Why is it difficult to be healthy/unhealthy?

It’s difficult to know what’s healthy because people like to make clear-cut choices – “I won’t eat X because it’s not healthy” is a really good rule until you get into a complex process, such as the dairy industry. While it’s not bad for you on it’s own, and can have nutritional benefits, it’s difficult to make these close calls because they are able to add things to it and make it not-healthy-at-all.

 

Reflection:

Overall, I thought taking these pictures and putting together this post was fun – I really love doing research, so learning so much about the dairy industry and its subsidies was something that I really took in stride. As a history buff, I also LOVED being able to dive into some Great Depression and WWII history. (I most definitely had the Molly American Girl doll!) Plus, learning about billions of dollar in what is basically cheese reserves parallel something I learned about Canadians – that they have a syrup reserve. We’re not the only crazy ones, apparently.

I thought it was interesting seeing what my parents had in their fridge – I got home for the holiday last night, and this morning, rustling through the fridge, I noticed their eating patterns while we were gone. My parents are fairly health-conscious people, but the holiday season (and I’m thinking, having their two daughters home from college) may have spurred them to spring on some items they may not usually dive into. I’ve realized I’m not an incredibly artistic person, through my PR degree, but at this point I’m comfortable enough behind a camera to construct something that doesn’t look like it came out of Blair Witch Project.

Being not versed in iMovie (I’ve tried!), putting together a long-form blog post was a little more my speed. I thought it was an intuitive project for me – even though I wish I was a little more humorous with my captions. I try incredibly hard to be funny and witty, but not quite sure that this topic could support something like that.

I’m also shocked about how calorically dense caramel syrup is – I’d make a joke and say I should “Switch to magic shell”, but I’m convinced that’d be even worse… somehow.

Photovoice

The first image below is of a can of soup, 8 ounces of soup cost $3.29.

The second image below is of a box of granola bars, the box cost $5.09.

The third image below is of a box of single serving instant macaroni and cheese, this cost $3.59.

These images represent the high prices of gluten free options on campus. The images were taken at the C-Store in the SURC. Not only were the foods priced highly but there were so few options that I could only take a few pictures. The questions I chose to address with these photos were “what options do I have?” and “who has the upper hand and how?”. To answer the first one, I went to the C-Store to see what options students on a meal plan had, which were very few and far between. Only one individual shelf had gluten free options that were labeled and certified gluten free. It is obvious to see who has the upper hand in this situation – the producers and the sellers. Most individuals that eat gluten free do not do so by choice and must buy the overpriced items in order to eat. I have experienced this myself as well as my mom and some of my coworkers.

Taking these pictures did not really open my eyes to anything I didn’t know before because I have lived gluten free for years and I understand how we are a trapped market. I believe any individual that has never thought about consumer health or had to think about being gluten free would benefit from this project because it would make them pay attention to what other consumers have to deal with every time they go to the store. I believe that these images will give other readers the opportunity to understand and see what individuals that live gluten free experience when they go shopping – including the high prices for smaller amounts of food.

Photovoice Part 2

Photovoice project

For my Photovoice project, I decided to go to a couple popular restaurant chains that advertise to be “healthy.” The restaurants I went to were Subway, Chipotle, and Panera Bread. These are places I go to eat pretty often because it’s affordable, good food, and they claim to be healthy. I have always been curious about whether or not these restaurants are actually healthier than most places, so I am glad that this class has me more aware and cautious about product claims and advertising and seeing if they are true. For my project, I looked at the calories, sodium, and sugar of the meals I ordered from these restaurants.

My recommended caloric intake from a calculator based from my age, weight, height, and activity level – 1786/day. It is also recommended that people consume no more than 2300 mg of sodium a day, and sugar 6 g a day.

How healthy is it?

Prior into starting this project, I was expecting Chipotle to be the “healthiest” for me. This is because they claim to use ingredients without any added flavors or preservatives, make their food in the kitchen. They also claim that their products come from small farms that don’t add any hormones, antibiotics, or pesticides to their plants and animals. However, Chipotle had the highest amount of calories at 615, and highest amount of sodium at 1645 mg. Panera Bread and Subway had close calories at 570-590, but Subway had more sodium at 1580 mg. As for Sugar, Panera Bread had the highest at 17 grams, Chipotle at 10 grams, and Subway at 6 grams. All 3 restaurants are a little “all over the place” on how healthy it is, but I would claim Chipotle to be the least healthiest out of all 3 because of its high sodium content. I was surprised at the amount of calories for Panera Bread because it was a salad and a sandwich, I was expecting the calorie amount to be high. Overall, I’d consider Panera Bread to be the “healthiest” out of these restaurants because it had less sodium and calories.

What choices do I have?

Eating at any restaurant, you have a huge selection to choose from. On most menus now, they show the amount of calories there are in each item. So using, “I had no other choice,” really isn’t an excuse now after deciding to eat something that wasn’t nutritious. There is also always the choice of cooking your own food at home, that way you choose where you buy ingredients from (organic, local) how you cook them, and what you add (seasonings, side dishes). Also when you cook your own food, you aren’t adding all the extra seasonings that most restaurants do.

Why is it so difficult to be healthy/easy to be unhealthy?

As a college student on a very tight budget, I think one of the main reasons it’s difficult to be healthy and easy to be unhealthy is because most unhealthy foods are very inexpensive. While grocery shopping, it’s easy to notice that the unhealthy, processed foods are cheaper than organic, locally owned foods.

I really enjoyed doing this project! It has made me more aware of what I’m eating and putting into my body. The reason I go out to eat most of the time is because I get pretty busy to the point that I don’t have a lot of patience or time to make myself something to eat. One of my hobbies is going out and trying new different foods, but after this project I now want to stick to trying healthier, organic foods that don’t have so much sodium in them. After taking a picture of the foods I ordered from restaurants I enjoyed going to, I even realized that they aren’t that appealing or look good at all.  Although it is difficult to be healthy/easy to be unhealthy, buying healthier foods is like an investment and beneficial because then you wouldn’t be consuming so much unhealthy food that could affect your body a lot.

Taking this class also made me aware of so many issues I never thought much about such as the pharmaceutical industry, healthcare, and the importance of sustainability. The readings I’ve done for this class made me see a whole different side of public health. If someone were to complete a project like this, I think it would benefit them by making them realize that what you see really isn’t what you get. Restaurants like these have advertisements everywhere claiming to be fresh, healthy, and delicious, so of course we believe them. Someone might start reading more into nutritional facts and seeing the amount of fat, calories, sodium, or cholesterol their food has. My project provides information and proof that restaurant chains who claim to be healthy are not. It also shows that it truly is easy to be unhealthy because unhealthy food is affordable and easy to get because it’s cooked for you.

 

Photovoice Project Part 2-Final

For my PhotoVoice Project, I researched makeup and the benefits of buying cheap vs. expensive makeup. First, I went to Fred Meyer and found the cheapest makeup in the store. I was looking for the brand ELF, but they did not have it at Fred Meyer so I found the brand Rimmel London actually being the cheapest.Rimmel London is actually the brand that I use for most of my makeup, like my foundation. The expensive makeup I chose to research was Neutrogena. So in my PhotoVoice Project, I will be comparing the cheap makeup to the expensive makeup.

What choices do I have? 

When anyone walks into the makeup aisle(s) at a supermarket you immediately start to think, what choices do I have? In other words, what makeup choices do I have? The makeup aisle basically throws on you SOOO many different brands of makeup that you really just end up getting stressed out and buying whatever catches your eye. Some people won’t even look past two different brands before they are done and ready to leave. But what happens if you really take your time and look at all the different brands, prices, products? You may just find a foundation that is the BEST foundation in the world at totally works for you, or you will find one that does not work for you AT ALL. So when you walk into the makeup aisle look at all the different choices you have and what really works for you and your budget. For me, I am a sophomore in college and working my butt off every day to make money to buy my makeup. So you could say that I take time and find the cheapest one, which is Rimmel London. Now if I was back at home on the West Side I would just go to Target and buy the ELF brand since that is the cheapest. But since the Fred Meyer here in Ellensburg does not have the brand ELF, I buy Rimmel London.

Who’s selling me what?

I really feel as though Neutrogena is selling its consumers for than Rimmel London. Strictly due to the fact that Neutrogena has much more headlines saying that it is the #1 Dermatologist recommended skin care line. Which yeah I could see as too why it would be because they have healthy products. But that does not mean that you have to buy their products. I first took a bottle of foundation from Neutrogena and compared that to a tube of foundation from Rimmel London. The bottle from Neutrogena was $16.49, whereas the tube from Rimmel London was $5.49. I then compared the two brands with powder, concealer, and bronzer. All were very different prices, and the Neutrogena brand continued to be the more expensive one. When I read some reviews on Neutrogena many believed that one of their skin peels made their skin “dry and itchy”. Now I don’t know if this is just me but if I was too spend 20 plus dollars on a product that I hoped would make my skin feel better, I would be pretty mad if that happened to me. So although Neutrogena is selling their products better and branding more by using celebrities in their commercials, I still believe that there are better products out there for much cheaper.

Who has the upper hand and how? 

Neutrogena definitely has the upper hand in this type of situation. They have more commercials and advertisements than Rimmel London. Neutrogena also has a lot of celebrities in their commercials which helps with the sale of their products. If people see Jennifer Lopez wearing the Neutrogena foundation on commercials than people will want to be like Jennifer Lopez and wear the same foundation! That doesn’t work so much for Rimmel London because a lot of people do not hear about that brand because there are not as many commercials and advertising for that product.

What’s the typical discourse (what “most people” say?) about this & similar products/services? 

Many individuals will talk a lot about the products that they use, especially if they do not work have they hoped. Neutrogena is a very familiar brand and a lot of people chose to wear it. While Rimmel London is sort of on the back burner. Even though Neutrogena has great reviews and rates. The prices, on the other hand, are not so great. I mean for one thing of powder it is $13.99, whereas Rimmel London is only selling their powder for $5.49. A very BIG price difference, which ultimately defeats the same purpose. I personally believe that buying cheaper makeup products are still going to be just as healthy for you, rather than buying the more expensive ones. If people take the time to wash their face, good and clean, at the end of each night than you will not have any problems with buying the cheaper makeup. For me, I use the cheapest makeup products out there, and I continue to make sure I clean my face very well each night. In result, I have clear skin. So if anything buy the cheaper products rather than the expensive ones, because you will benefit from it in the long run.

My experience doing this project was great. I really enjoyed being able to research and do a topic that is close to my heart. I love makeup, probably just like everyone else. and realizing that you do not need to buy expensive makeup makes me feel great! When I first began my project, I went to the store and searched for the most expensive makeup. This was actually a lot more difficult than I thought it would be just because a lot of makeup in Fred Meyer is around the same price, but Neutrogena definitely stood out amongst the rest. When I arrived at the store the first thing I noticed was how many advertisements there are which reminded me of what we learned at the beginning of class! The makeup aisle, I believe, is the most competitive aisle in the whole store. Different brands have their way of trademarking their products so that you, the consumer, will buy them. They will advertise their products to be “healthy for your skin”, or “clean and fresh for your skin”. But all of them say that so how do we really know what is going to work for us and what is not. That’s an answer that only we can answer, and it is by buying the product that we feel like will work us. And if it works, then great you found YOUR makeup. But if it does not, then you go back to the store and move onto the next section or aisle of makeup and try that brand. All in all, you will find the right makeup for you, even if it takes a little time and effort.

PhotoVoice Project Below:

 

Photovoice Project By Morgan7

 

 

 

 

 

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.

PHOTOVOICE FINAL PROJECT

PHOTOVOICE FINAL PROJECT

(Click on the link above for powerpoint)

The questions I chose to answer are how healthy is it? And why is it so difficult to be healthy/easy to be unhealthy? In my PowerPoint, I inserted a photograph of a healthy food option I made which was chipotle chicken and another photograph of a variety of not-so-healthy foods that I just happened to have scattered in my cabinet. From analyzing each photograph, I noticed a difference in quality and quantity. The first photograph of the healthy food option answers the question of how healthy is it because I am using a protein (the chicken), vegetables (onion and garlic), and fruit (tomato). I also made some white rice for the chicken, which would be carbs, however, in a moderate amount, the rice is still considered healthy. This meal is only really a two-person meal. So, this meal would only last a night-although you would have leftover frozen chicken in the bag, but you would need to purchase the veggies again for more.  This would make it difficult to be healthy because you would have to stock up on some items like the veggies and fruit, and even then, you’d have to use them soon because they can easily go bad unless preserved correctly.  This also answers the second question why is it so difficult to be healthy/easy to be unhealthy? I noticed that eating healthy can be on the expensive side. It’s easy to be unhealthy because I can get more unhealthy items for the same amount of cash that I used to purchase and make the healthy-food option.  The junk-food items that I photographed were not healthy at all. However, purchasing and consuming these unhealthy items makes it easy to be unhealthy because you can get more junk-food items for your buck.

For this project, I listed the items I used to make the healthy meal and the cost of each item. I then totaled the number of items used for this meal and the total cost for a two-person meal. With the junk-food option, I did the same process: I listed down items that I consider junk-food and totaled the number of items purchased and the cost of each item. I then compared the total costs of each food option and concluded that eating healthy is a little bit more expensive than eating junk-food—of course, this all depends on the type of healthy meal and unhealthy foods you want to purchase. This project has helped me learn in consumer health by seeing things differently. It has made me realize that I can get a lot of junk-food cheaper than I could get a healthy meal, but eating all these junk-foods would make you unhealthy. I would need to find a healthier and budget-friendly meal. I also learned that companies that sell junk-food items market their foods for slightly lower prices to lure customers in, and customers like me go for it because it’s cheaper but very unhealthy. Consumers might benefit from completing a project like this because they would be educated and made aware of the theme of quality and quantity of food items, which then could result in healthier food options being made in their futures. My project document provides a photograph of healthy and unhealthy foods along with their costs so that they can compare for themselves and pick which one is truly the better option for a healthy diet as well a budget-friendly cost.