Category Archives: Post prompts

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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Pharmaceutical Industry – Prompt 1

DTC ads are used in New Zealand and the United States. Direct-to-consumer advertising is used to inform patients who are already suffering from disease and raises awareness of treatment options. While DTC ads intend to serve a great purpose, the reliability and credibility of these ads is questionable. These ads are driven to influence choice rather than inform patients. Therefore, these ads relay information that pushes patients to favor the use of these drugs. For example, patients see advertisements on television regarding psoriasis and a treatable medicine for it. A suffering patient may then go to their doctor and deliberately ask for that medicine by name. When this happens these patients aren’t considering the risk factors that may come with the drug because of the claims suggested by the DTC ad. All of which is something I think needs to change. When I sometimes hear these ads I do engage, as I am a patient suffering from psoriasis. However, I am not influenced by my decision to medicate in order to “cure” it. DTC ads target the vulnerable and ill informed. I feel that this practice should be modified because it is false advertising. As for coming up with an acceptable public health solution I think we all play a part. Doctors should further inform these suffering patients, patients should acquire information about the drug before jumping the gun, drug or pharmaceutical companies should be focused on helping suffering individuals not profiting on them and society as a whole needs to be better about producing advertisements that don’t speak to its individuals as vulnerable consumers.

Illness & Mortality – Prompt 1

After visiting the Washington state’s agency website I was a bit overwhelmed with how much information and resources are available. As an uninformed consumer I found that the Latest News regarding Aging and Long-Term Support Administration helpful because it is important to know current news in order to make the best and informed decisions for their loved ones. The navigation through the website is also very helpful because if you have particular questions regarding something in specific you can find a direct link to it. After the Latest News it jumps right into What We Do, which I think is a great way to elude into the next information most important to consumers to make informed decisions. Though I think the Latest News section is helpful, it could very well be less helpful and lead to more questions. However, there are hyperlinks attached to everything that one may wonder. I would suggest people to look further at these links.11

Food – Prompt 1

 

After reading Americans’ love of snacks has spread far beyond that bag of chips the definition of snacking is more than just a term used for food. According to this article the term snacking refers to not only our consumption of light eating, but also our consumption of light breaking of social media, reading, or distracting us from necessary things to be done. The information is not so much concerning, but it is definitely an eye-opening concept that expands our understanding of snacking. If people were less well informed than me they would probably argue that snacking is better than eating large meals, which happens to be a misconception of snacking. Though this argument is obviously not valid as snacking leads us to intake less calories in small intervals and metabolize it quickly.

After reading Obesity and Other Health Concerns Lead Food Companies to Step Up Health and Nutrient Claims it is shocking to only now know how and why a “healthy lifestyle” is marketed. As a consumer this information is important to know and consider because we make choices every day that are influenced by labels and marketing. As the article explains there are numerous regulations to food labeling and what comes with those regulations. Since these regulations are implemented more and more companies are capitalizing on the regulations by mentioning things like organic, vegan, etc. regardless of the amount that product truly contains. We live in a health craze society and things like this make it easy for us to simply select certain foods by just labels. For the less well informed they may argue that companies have to include everything on labels, which is absolutely true. Though the danger in this argument is that companies are required to include all a products contents even the slightest amount. So when you see “organic” or “less calories” or any other labels plastered on the front of a product, how much that product adheres to this label could be a tiniest amount.

After reading Poll says majority of Americans support menu labeling it is quite surprising that more than 50% of people want to have their meals or food labeled in restaurants. I find this more surprising for fast food restaurants than other types of restaurants because fast food is just that, FAST FOOD. The expectation of their food is obviously greater in calories than others. However, it is good to allow consumers to make informed choices of which meal is better off for them than others by disclosing all information. For the less informed I would expect the argument that we are better off having menu labels than not having them. I would expect that some consumers would be surprised with the amount of people who prefer labels to not.

Peer-Review

For this peer-review, I read a post about Direct to Consumer ads by @thejenetic that was published on November 28. From reading this contribution, I learned how this person feels about DTC ads. This person is against DTC ads. Also, I learned how the pharmaceutical industry is increasing its advertisement over the past 4 years; they’re spending millions, billions of dollars for this DTC ads. From what I understand, DTC ads affect consumers because they buy drugs that probably aren’t effective not to mention with a lot of bad side effects. It would be good for an older adult or a teenager to read this contribution because it will help these people understand and learn about the Direct to Consumer ads; it is important for people to know the truth. An older adult would benefit from reading this because I’ve noticed that there are a lot of DTC advertisement directed toward older adults. For example, some ads would say something like “Are you having back problems?, are you having a hard time walking?, etc.” For teenagers, they may benefit from reading this because most of them aren’t aware of the issues related with DTC ads. DTC ads target everybody but especially people who aren’t aware, I think. Direct to Consumer ads may say something “Are you having trouble sleeping?” I mean who isn’t having trouble sleeping sometimes?

The strongest (or most credible) part of this contribution is when this person actually read a lot of articles to back up what they said in this prompt. There are links to click on to take you to those articles just in case you want to know where they got the information. The weakest part (or something that someone might question) about this contribution is probably not citing all the information at the end. One part that I had to read more than once in order to understand it is ” The AMA also listed a study found that when medications were marketed directly to the consumer they saw an increase in the price of 34.2%.” The sentence structure got me confused. I found one error where this person said “To make things worse the pharmaceutical industry is pushing for more freedom in their advertisement practices so they can market drugs for off-label uses.” I believe this person may be missing a comma at the start of this sentence after the word “worse”. One part that made me want to read more on this topic is in general all the issues about direct to consumers ads. I am a curious person so it made me want to read more even though I also did read and watched videos about this DTC ads practice. On a 1 to 4 scale where 1 is the lowest possible and 4 is the highest possible, I rate this contribution a 3.5 overall because it contained informative information. But because, in addition, it had two sentences that were confusing and didn’t provide a citation at the end of the work.

Peer Review

I am reviewing cnevans1 post “Early Life and Childhood Prompt 1”. Their discussion of parents and future parents being incredibly vulnerable consumers is spot on. I have seen this first hand when my cousins and other family members have babies on the way. I believe that it would be very beneficial for a new parent or parent to be to read this post because it discusses the differences between a child’s wants, a child’s needs, and what a parent thinks the child needs. This comparison is the strongest part of cnevans1’s discussion because so often these three subjects become cloudy and it can be difficult to differentiate between wants, needs, and expectations. I wanted to read more about this topic when they discussed C-sections and natural birth. My mother had a C-section that saved our lives, my half sister had two emergency C-sections, and so many other women have C-sections for a variety of reasons. Recently, it has become normal to shame women for having C-sections. I have seen women tell other women that they are not real mothers and should be ashamed of themselves for not having a natural birth. And this breaks my heart because if anyone said anything like that to my mom, I would want to break them. I would love to do more research into the stigma behind C-sections and how to break that stigma. I would give cnevans1 a 3.5 out of 4 for this post. It was in depth and discussed multiple aspects of new parenthood and what it is like to be expecting a child.

Peer Review

I chose to do my peer review on jdie4’s Food Prompt 1 post. From reading this contribution, I learned that there are almost 100 different added sugars that are put onto food labels. So we as consumers barely know what we are eating nowadays. It would be good for a college student or parent to read this contribution because from this we can understand that buying products that have nearly no sugar in them, still have hidden sugars in them because the manufacturers hide the sugars on the labels. Or do not put them on the labels at all. The strongest (or most credible) part of this contribution is when the author talks about how to fix this situation, which is buying solely raw ingredients and avoiding things that come in a package. The weakest part (or something that someone might question) about this contribution is when the author talks about how the FDA may begin requiring all the food labels to say all the added sugar. But the manufacturers might fight this and not want to do it. (If any) One part that I had to read more than once in order to understand it is was no parts. The author made a great case when it came to defending his points on the added sugars with food labels. (If any) I did not find any typos, although just a few minor grammatical errors throughout. (Such as commas and semicolons).One part that made me want to read more on this topic is when the author brings up how this might be affecting Type 2 Diabetes. This hits close to home for me because a lot of my family members have Type 2 DIabetes, so we are very cautious when it comes to our sugar levels and what we eat. On a 1 to 4 scale where 1 is the lowest possible and 4 is the highest possible, I rate this contribution a 3.5 overall, because the whole article was great and I really enjoyed reading it. The one thing I would change would just to add paragraphs instead of one whole paragraph. Sometimes when people read a huge article and there are no paragraphs it can be overwhelming.

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.

Glossary Post 2

For my second glossary post I’ve decided to define and discuss

  1. Epidural
  2. Pre-conception life stages
  3. Healthy People 2020

An epidural is an injection of medication that blocks the transmission of pain impulses, which can assist in making labor more comfortable and bearable for women. An epidural is injected into the lower back during labor.

Pre-conception life stages are the stages of life when individuals think about having a child for the first time or having a child again. During the pre-conception stages, individuals may have genetic histories investigated, they may stop high risk behaviors including smoking an drinking, and they may be tested for any STIs.

Healthy People 2020 is the department of health’s plan to improve health outcomes across different populations throughout the United States. Healthy People 2020 goals include improving vaccination rates and lowering the incidence rate of HIV.

Glossary Post 1

The first three terms I decided to define and discuss are

  1. The Affordable Care Act
  2. Social Ecology
  3. Evidence-Based

The Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010 under President Barack Obama. The ACA is often called Obamacare but this is a misnomer and makes the bill more partisan than it should be. The ACA ended insurance rejection due to pre-existing conditions as well as made insurance cover all forms of birth control.

Social Ecology is a social theory that accounts for social, environmental, and economic factors. The theory is often depicted as a venn diagram with each cross-over section representing different ways society can be seen- Bearable, Viable, and Equitable.

Evidence Based medicine is an approach to medical practice that emphasizes the importance of evidence and research in treatment. Evidence based medicine promotes decisions made based on evidence and research rather than beliefs of practitioners.