Category Archives: Reflection

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.

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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.

Final Project Review

I will be leaving a review for asinnersthoughts final project.

I believe that the main point of this contribution is found in this sentence, “Trying to be healthy should not mean that it has to be expensive either.” From reading this contribution I learned that being healthy doesn’t mean you must spend a lot of money on groceries. I can still have a budget-friendly list of healthy items. It would be good for families, people trying to go on a diet, and even college students to read this contribution because it can bring an idea for those who want to make the first step into being healthy. The strongest part of this contribution is consumers should think about their health and be cautious how they spend their money. It is the strongest contribution because it brings up a good point that consumers should be aware of prices of healthy meals and possibly get a better deal somewhere else. The weakest part of this contribution is when she states that you get hungry after shopping for an hour at the grocery store. It seems like this is irrelevant information. One part I had to read more than once to understand it is the final picture because it is very blurred out and hard to read. I found one typo in the 11th sentence, second paragraph, where she said ‘what’ instead of ‘want.’ One part that made me want to read more on this topic is how budget friendly can I get when it comes to eating healthy. On a 1 to 4 scale where 1 is the lowest possible and a 4 is the highest possible, I rate this contribution a 3 overall because the topic was very good but because of the last picture is quite blurry to read made it drop 1 point.

Peer Review Comment

For my Peer Review Comment, I reviewed asinnersthoughts on food! I have left a comment on the original post and below is a copy.

“The main point of this contribution is found in this sentence “…it can cause a lot of shock onto your body because it is not the same nutrients”.

From reading this contribution I learned a lot about you. I personally think it takes a lot of strength and discipline to carry out this lifestyle and it would be very tough for me to change my entire eating habits to become a vegetarian. I am also relieved to know that I am not the only one with the common misconception of justifying all carb loaded foods because “I’m not eating any meat products”.

It would be good for a college student to read this contribution because some of us, including myself, think that being a vegetarian is only eating vegetables, however, you mentioned that you also eat pastas and bread which honestly never crossed my mind. I am also glad that you touched on the moderation subject because usually, most people think you’re really healthy because you are a vegetarian but like you said “I justified eating all of these” … (unhealthy foods) … “under the idea that it was in moderation and that there was no meat in the meal.”

The strongest part of this contribution, to me, was the part where you said, “I feel like this is a concept that we as consumers are not super familiar with and that’s why moderation becomes a back-burner concept to a lot of us.” It’s true, I think that everyone falls guilty of practicing moderation and most of us don’t even entirely know the proper way of it.

Something that someone my question about this contribution is when you said “I am a vegetarian and that can go wrong very quickly.” A few questions that could arise are:

How could being a vegetarian go wrong very quickly? Does this have to do with health? Money? Habits?

Aside from this, this post was generally good and easy to read and understand.

I did find a couple grammar errors which I’m sure were just you trying to type as fast as you could so you wouldn’t forget your thoughts (me all the time). They were both in the first paragraph, the first one came from this sentence “I did wanted to exceed those limits.” (want rather than wanted), and the second came from the following sentence: “Now that I am adult…” (Now that I am an adult…).

Your section on being a vegetarian made me want to read more on this topic. Maybe for the new year I could try it out (not sure how long it would last) but I am sure that there are healthier alternatives to eating meat (I mostly just eat chicken or seafood… so maybe I’m kind of almost there? Probably… not really…)

On a 1 to 4 scale where 1 is the lowest possible and 4 is the highest possible, I rate this contribution a 4 overall, because you answered the prompt in a clear and concise way, and made it personal. I hope that you have been able to practice moderation cautiously like you wanted to!”

 

Pharmaceutical Industry

Direct-To-Consumer ads. Have you ever seen those ads on TV all about the great medications available to help alleviate and protect against illnesses? Those ads that show people in pain and distress, until they meet with their Dr. who prescribes a magical medication that miraculously fixes all their problems? These commercials give the consumer the idea that their problems could be solved by checking out this new drug. This is what pulls people in. Who doesn’t want to be as happy as those people at the end of those commercials, right? So what is the problem with DTC ads?

After speaking to a close friend and roommate about DTC ads, we came to a few specific thought points. One point brought up in our conversation was the impact it has on consumers. These commercials may be guilty of pushing consumers to buy these drug products. Although these drugs be helpful to certain medical conditions, not all of them are necessary and not all are right for everyone. Like all other product commercials, the goal is to urge people to want to buy it. The question is whether this is right for drug companies to take part in.

Another point brought up similar to the last was the pressure doctors might feel to prescribe medication.  In some DTC ads they will recommend that the patient ask their medical provider to prescribe them a specific medication. At times doctors are asked by drug companies to advertise and recommend new drugs on the market. This could cause doctors to worry more about selling these medication, instead of being concerned with what is necessary for their patients health. This raises the question of the motives behind DTC ads and drug companies. Is there concern improving illnesses and medical conditions or is it the price tag.

I feel that not all DTC ads are terrible. From a public health stand point it is important that people can advocate for their own health. Our goal is to raise health related self-efficacy in our communities and guide people to where they can seek quality and efficient care. An FDA policy requires DTC ads to state at the end of their ads the most important side effects.  They also state where they can find the medication and whether or not they should consult with their doctor before choosing it. Although these ads push further consumerism in the drug industry, they are making strides for precaution by warning people or potential risks and how to protect against possible harm. These policies are great, but i believe in order to create a better balanced system we must continue implementing polices that protect consumers.

Resources:

Slides: Pharmaceutical

http://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/87/8/09-040809/en/

 

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

 

 

Food Prompt One

Sugar is incredibly addictive, in fact, it has been found to be more addictive than cocaine. A study using 43 cocaine-addicted rats were given the choice of cocaine or sugar-laced water over a 15-day period, by the end 40 of the 43 rats chose the sugar water over the cocaine. Not only is sugar addictive, it is harmful to our health. Sugar is a leading cause of obesity and shown to contribute largely to chronic metabolic diseases such as diseases, cardiovascular disease, high triglycerides and hypertension (Goldman, Carlson, Bailin, Fong & Phartiyal, 2014). Yet somehow, added sugar is in 74% of packaged foods (University of California San Fransico [UCSF], n.d.) Not only is it hard to avoid, it is hard to tell what has added sugar in the first place, as there are 61 different names added sugars can be listed under (UCSF, n.d.)

Children are at particularly high risk of developing obesity. Since 1970 childhood obesity has increased from 7-18% in 6-11-year-olds and 5%-21% in ages 12-19 (Centers for Disease Control, 2015.) One long-term study looking at the soda consumption in 11-12-year-olds found that with each additional serving of soda there was a 60% increase in the odds of becoming overweight.

With childhood obesity on the rise, the Obama administration tried to improve the nutritional standards of school lunches. Due to large pushback from large food companies like Swan, Congress introduced a bill that let the tomato paste found on pizza to be counted as a vegetable. We saw from our reading that as a country, we tend to undermine vegetables by serving them with or in unhealthy foods. I don’t think that things like pizza toppings, tomato paste, fires or potato chips count as a vegetable serving. We need better guidelines and policies on what truly constitutes meeting the nutritional standards.

I think people would be surprised and disgusted by some of this information. It makes me angry how dishonest our food industry. We have so little regulation in place to protect consumers and there are many products sold in the US which are banned in other countries due to health concerns. The consumer needs to push for more better more guidelines, transparent labeling and harsher regulations on the food industry in order to protect our nation from health risks.

References

Centers for Disease Control. (2015). Childhood Obesity Facts. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/childhood.html

Goldman, G., Carlson, C., Bailin, D., Fong, L., Phartiyal, P. (2014). Added Sugar, Subtracted Science: How Industry Obscures Science and Undermines Public Health Policy on Sugar. Retrieved from https://consuminghealthmatters.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/added-sugar-subtracted-sciencecsducsreport.pdf

University of California San Fransico. (n.d.) Hidden in Plain Sight. Retrieved from http://sugarscience.ucsf.edu/hidden-in-plain-sight/#.WP_-HI5Jmjh

CP & R: Prompt 1

After reading and studying 3 resources that are either trying to help public health or help public safety, I decided to write about frozen foods and how they effect us as the consumers. As a college student on a budget I can’t always have the luxury of buy fresh produce like meat, poultry, fruits and vegetables. Obviously there is a lot more to fresh produce than what I have named but thats mainly what I would buy as fresh produce. If you’re like me, wanting to eat either on the go to class or quick meals because you have homework to do and practicals to study for, frozen foods are an easy option. But are they the right option? Let’s find out.

According to a four minute read on curejoy.com, frozen fruits and vegetables are ok because they are picked and froze while they are still ripe and so all of the nutrients is still locked inside the fruit or vegetable. Since all the the nutrients is still able to be salvaged, frozen fruits and vegetables are a good alternative especially when your favorite fruit or vegetable is out of season. Frozen foods and meals (such as tv dinners and frozen meats) on the other hand are not a great substitute. Not only are they pack with sodium but they are also at higher risk for food pathogens that can be extremely deadly. Not all frozen foods are spoiled with pathogens but if they are and you do not take the time and care to reheat properly or even have the right watt microwave, you could be effected by the invisible pathogens with out even knowing it.

My advice to you, do your research. If you are like me and after reading the article (I have provided it for you at the bottom) you still are convinced that you don’t have the time to cook a homemade meal every night, read up on your favorite frozen foods and find out what you should and shouldn’t be consuming. While you are at it, you might find a few new ones you would like to try too.

https://www.curejoy.com/content/are-frozen-foods-bad-for-you/

 

CP & R Promt 1: What’s in the package?

Food labels are supposed to tell you what is in a product, but instead labels always seem to mention what it does not contain. This seems counterintuitive, as the main goal of a label is to tell you what is inside.

The FDA has a list of approved natural (things like wood chips count as a natural ingredient) and artificial chemicals. Frequently these are undertested, based on outdated research and/or have been exposed as harmful. For example:

Artificial Sweeteners: are tied to weight gain; the opposite of what they are marked for. Aspartame is particularly controversial. Though there are mixed opinions on its safety, some evidence suggests that aspartame is a neurotoxin and leads to negative neurobehavior effects (Lindseth, 2014). It is also the most common artificial sweetener.

Trans Fats: the evidence that trans-fat caused to increased low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels. Higher levels of these contribute to heart disease and increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. Also linked to cancer, diabetes, immune dysfunction and reproductive problems.

Those are approved substances by the FDA. The regulation is worse when looking at food additives, which do not even need to be labeled. GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) essentially lets food companies set their own standards for “safe” without outside regulation or influence. There has been a recent trend demanding for more transparency in the food industry. People have slowly started to pay more attention to certain ingredients (which is great!) This has caused the food industry to be more creative with “clean labeling” practices. This basically means removing known bad additives and replacing them with substitutes which sound better. For example, antioxidants (E300-21) such as butylhydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylhydroxytoluene (BHT) which are used to improve shelf life have been relabeled by some brands as “rosemary extract” (Blythman, 2015)

The FDA needs to conduct its own testing on these chemicals and additives; it should do this for everything it regulates. Consumer Reports National Research Center found that 77% of respondents believed that GRAS were evaluated by the FDA and thought to be safe. 66% believed that the FDA monitors GRAS safety and use (Butler & Kelber, 2016). Neither is the case. I can’t get past the fact that additives are not required to be labeled, let alone untested by the FDA.  I can’t believe ingredients which are known to cause disease are still allowed in our food. I believe everything added to a food item, should be required to be labeled. A consumer cannot make an informed choice with only part of the information available.

 

Works Cited

Blythman, J. (2015). Inside the food industry: the surprising truth about what you eat. Retrieved from m https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/feb/21/a-feast-of-engineering-whats-really-in-your-food

Lindseth, G., N. Coolahan, S., E. Petros, T., V. Lindseth, P., D. (2014). Neurobehavior effects of aspartame consumption. Research in Nursing & Health. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24700203

Butler, D., Kelber, K. (2016). Consumers Union: New FDA Rule on GRAS Unacceptable, Fails Consumers. Retrieved from http://consumersunion.org/news/consumers-union-new-fda-rule-on-gras-unacceptable-fails-consumers/

Health Care Prompt 2

To be completely honest, government is one of my worst subjects. Probably because I don’t fully understand it but I am willing to learn. I have never read a CBO report and with that being said, if anything I say sounds off or totally wrong please correct me because I would like to get it right. I read the article An Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute which talks about the “Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017”. When I read this article the first time I was very confused so I read it again, slowly. What I learned from this resource that other may not know is that in 2018 there will not be a penalty for not having insurance. But there will be way more people who will not have insurance.

What I would like to know more about in coordination with this report is what the government will do with all of the extra money that will be left over from cutting back on health insurance. I don’t think this is the type of information the government will release to the public until it actually happens, but if I had to name a place that I could find this information I would say it would be most likely to be heard over the news or www.usa.gov .