I feel very fortunate to have taken this class both as a public health major and as someone living in a western society actively participating as a consumer. Before taking this course I took things at face value and never really did the research necessary to understand what I was really buying, nor did I stop to consider why I was buying (into) it. Through the required readings, the prompts we wrote, and reading my classmates work I was able to really practice these course objectives and gain a new perspective on consumer health. Health care legislation, consumer protection laws and agencies, some historical events, health policy, and finding consumer-relevant information were all things I felt I achieved very well during the duration of this course. Industry influence and unscientific claims are something I felt I was fairly well at dealing with beforehand, but this course helped teach me the importance of being thorough when it comes to what we are consuming, and I will therefore continue to practice this as I continue beyond this course. As far as collecting and sharing qualitative data, I am adequate. This course has certainly helped me, but it is definitely something I will continue to master through my other public health courses and in my future career. There is still so much to learn, health is constantly changing and progressing, and keeping up with it is something I love to do. Being a public health major, I have learned the importance of mental, physical, social, sexual health etc. but I never considered the importance of consumer health. This course was a great introduction into an aspect of public health that I really didn’t know or think much about, and I feel very grateful to have been able to expand my learning here on this blog.
This Public Health class offered me a lot since I had never taken an actual public health class. I would say I learned a lot especially from my Photovoice Project.
Through this class, I was able to understand the objectives that I have gained over the course of the class. Since I am a writer I found it very effective by blogging and writing about it as well to retain information well.
When it comes to consumer health laws and regulations, I am fairly well with confidentially being able to talk about it and discuss what is do be done in certain situations. I isn’t my strongest suit but I feel more confident in the concept.
Since health care legislation and laws for that are a bit iffy and it is a bit of a confusing topic, I struggle with that concept mostly compared to the rest because I was not super familiar with I then. After this class, I would say I am adequately familiar with it but only because I learned more through this class.
I already knew how to look at products and services for reliable and credible information, because my major is so big on being credible and finding sources that are reliable and getting the facts straight so I have a really good grasp on researching that.
I also have to analyze information for credibility in order to help others makes good decisions when it comes to consumer health choices and options. This is the reason journalists exists which is to benefit our communities and communicate, so my grasp on that is really well done to.
It is very interesting to learn in class how to make societal decisions in the U.S. and compare them to other countries and what there policies are on certain things as well. I learned this about my Photovioce as well when it comes to the pressure on having Football whereas some other countries don’t allow it. I think I grasped this concept well as well.
When it comes to looking at history and seeing elements that effect our consumer health choices today and the impacts, I think that goes along with the analyzing information as well since in order to analyze things we sometimes have to look at history. I feel pretty comfortable about collecting data as well since my major also requires me how to look at data and analyze it and then write about it to amp things up.
Overall, I feel like I took a lot out of this class especially with my writing skills. It helped me in both ends of the spectrum and I am very proud of my Photovoice work. I think the topic and the situation goes great with the class and the idea of consumer health and what is healthy.
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!
Direct to consumer adds are particularly troubling when they are for products that require expert knowledge—like pharmaceutical drugs. When DTC ads are reinforced with pharmaceutical payments to doctors who are pushing them, I believe this is a question of ethics. Unapproved drugs continue to be marketed to consumers, including OTC, and even H1N1 products that have no efficacy whatsoever. These three talking points do demonstrate why we should think about changing DTC ads, or any type of aggressive marketing of pharmaceuticals. All drugs should be approved prior to marketing, and full-disclosure should be made to physician, and consumer alike. I do disagree with ‘off label’ uses, as I think this is a source of ethical compromise. Instead, if there is a legitimate ‘off label’ use, then the drug should be put through the same testing as it was for the primary use of the drug. I was able to visit https://openpaymentsdata.cms.gov and I found out that one of my Grandmother’s doctors has been receiving over 10k every year, except last year, when he received over 17k. This is contrasted to one of my doctors, who received $24.01 for the year of 2016. I would highly recommend everyone use this website to search for their doctor. Getting rid of the ACA would also remove this resource in addition to many others, and this website provides accountability for our doctors. Accountability and information are the first steps we can take as a public health solution. Perhaps in addition to this website, doctors must post how much they have received from pharmaceutical companies right next to their diploma. Finally, I don’t think DTC pharmaceutical ads should be legal, especially when many aren’t approved.
Taking a class on Consumer Health has expanded my abilities to evaluate different services and products. As you pointed out in my snagit grading, I tend to put a lot of thought into things that interest me and little into things that do not. This is not only something that has effected my school work negatively, but my life as well in some cases. I put plenty of time into researching things I plan on purchasing for fun, but completely skip over researching many of the things that effect my health directly. I have also learned that I need to focus more on doing things in a timely manner, I let summer get the best of me and didn’t realize how close we were to the end of the quarter. Due to these realizations, I purchased a planner to keep track of deadlines, and I’ve started researching better dietary habits.
I believe the list to be filled with highly important topics, but I think that my politically focused mind is part of that opinion. I’m not too familiar with the public health major, but this list of topics seems like the type one in the field should focus on. For those outside of the field, I think it would be best to get them focused on things which more directly effect them (although all of the topics do). This concern will help people learn more on research and evaluation abilities, so they can continue to apply those skills when needed. I say this because that is exactly what the class has done for me, someone who is not a public health major.
This class has been interesting and fun. I like the use of WordPress as our class medium. I feel like I could effectively do all those things on the list prior to the class. However, I found it useful to revisit those subjects and improve upon them. As an econ and public policy major, all of the listed course objectives have at one time been part part of those studies. But it was refreshing to exercise all of them at once in a single class. For the most part, all of the course material was current and relevant, which was a nice change from the normal provided materials. Overall, it is important for all consumers to understand everything they can about the markets that they participate in. If more people had good understandings of this courses subjects we would live in a very different world.
As a consumer, I do not feel as protected as I could be. According to Koch, The Toxic Substances Control Act (1976) which was passed by congress to regulate to use of new and existing chemicals, has not been given any additional major changes since it was passed and enacted (2013). A group of health and environmental activism groups asked America’s top ten retailers to get rid of more than 100 hazardous chemicals in their products. Before then, there were efforts brought forth by different retailers, but Wal-mart taking announcing plans to eliminate and eventually phase out the use of ten hazardous chemicals in their products has been one of the most major efforts since the passing of that original bill.
Now that I have read this article, I am much more informed about consumer protection when in comes to chemicals in retail products. Wal-mart’s announcement means that practices are beginning to shift, Koch refers to it as an “industry shift” in the right direction (2013). Now, I understand that a big part of regulating chemicals is communication between retailers, product vendors, and environmental agencies. When retailers are reporting to environmental agencies about their practices, they are more likely to request information from their vendors.
Now I would like to know if other chemicals are federally banned, besides BPA in 2012. What are the 100 most harmful chemicals that environmental agencies asked retailers to phase out? How harmful are these chemicals? From this point forward, the most relevant law to learn something about would be the aforementioned Toxic Substances Control Act (1976). It would be a good starting point for learning more about legislation related to retail and consumer protection, from there I can start looking at the minor and attempted updates to the legislation.
I think that it’s important for consumers to be aware of the minimal chemical control regulations in bringing their cleaning products, cosmetics, and other products to the market. Consumers (myself included) need to be informed of the regulation practices, and encouraged to do their own research on the retailers that they use. As well as the efforts that retailers and companies that are making an effort to take products with toxic chemicals off their shelves.
Koch, W. (2013, September 12). Wal-Mart announces phase-out of hazardous chemicals. USA Today. Retrieved from https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/09/12/walmart-disclose-phase-out-toxic-chemicals-products-cosmetics/2805567/
My reaction to the article was actually shocking, it first started by talking about an individual’s 7-day plan of eating junk food in moderation and I thought it was good. But then I continued reading and saw that the individual wasn’t eating in moderation, it’s was a life style. I was very wrong about that. I really liked the part about how there aren’t superfoods but there is supervillain food. That is something that consumers should know because many think that healthy food would beat junk food when in reality it won’t because some are made with harsh chemicals that healthy food won’t be able to beat. I don’t see my self in it, I grew up eating healthy food on a daily basis and no junk food at home (not even a piece of candy). That lifestyle has stayed that way since I left to college. Even now I only eat one piece of junk food every 2 weeks or so. I don’t plan it, it just happens. The next step for me would be to just keep the same diet that I have. I was fortunate to grow up with this healthy lifestyle that changing it could potentially make things worse.
Before this class I had not taken a consumer health class and in taking this class I learned about many key political points in which it has directly affected our daily lives. Among the many articles that I enjoyed reading about how recent health care legislation has changed the way we see healthcare. I learned that health care is particularily a very important issue that needs to be resolved. There are many people that believe the Obamacare is no good and others are trying to find better health care resources. Another important issue that interested me was that of U.S. consumer protection laws and how many corporations have still been able to manipulate the system and the people. I read an article in which corporations state that they add no sugar to items but in reality they use many names that end up containing sugar products. I really enjoyed this class and found many useful articles in which to learn from.
This is the first public health class that I have taken, from every post I made my knowledge as a consumer has increased. I’m aware of things that I wasn’t aware of before. The weekly post helped me think about the idea of plastic bags for my photovoice project. I think it is very meaningful for most public health students to be able to do the things on the list. It allowed us to learn new things from each thing on the list. It also let us think outside the box when answering the weakly post. I never had a class like this and I really enjoyed it. I’m glad I took part of this class!