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Course Reflection

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.

Course Reflective Essay Prompt

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.


The NFL football training day officially started yesterday, July 26th, signifying the first beginnings of the football season if finally hear. For many, this is exciting news as it has been a long couple months without being able to sit comfortably on our couches wasting the day away as Sunday Football games take place across the country. However, the controversial thing about football is why do Americas love to partake and support an event that is ruining players lives once they are retired and older.

The real question is how healthy IS this? I know several people who push there own children to play football as kids, but others I hear wont let their kids even think about playing due to the consequence and effects long term.

I have been shooting football pictures for years now and have seen so many injuries that could have gone horribly wrong. I have seen students and heard stories of them be paralyzed and suffer concussions and many other long term effect that have changed their lives forever. I have photographed two plays that I look at thinking if a player had been hit just right, they could have had severe consequences.

One of the games I photographed actually had a student taken off the field and ambulanced to a nearby hospital due to being severely concussed and unable to move off the field. Here are the two photos:


In this one, it is a clean catch, however the player #1 has his arm in between player #92’s arms in which could easily have pulled them both back landing on their spines as well as colliding heads. It just amazes me how this photo is a clean and clear catch but could have been completely different. I never really realized this till after I took the photo, because at the time I was just excited my team made the catch.


This photo was the same game that resulted in a student of the opposite team to be taken to the hospital. He was out of school for a solid year. This photo is another great shot, however, as he was going into the unzone, his body was twisted due to the opposing player trying to knock him out of bounds. However, the player was able to get the ball over the pylon resulting in a touchdown. However, the scoring player could have easily been tangled up and twisted worse than he had been.

But what was I thinking about? We got another touchdown and whether or not I was able to capture the moment perfectly.

Thank goodness, football players have the protection they need and has been improving ever since. However, it has always been this way and the consequences of these players lives, especially the professionals, are not worth it in the end. Football is life for a lot of people. Yet, the main company of the NFL sees the damages that come from the sport and the long-term effects on these player and their families.

The movie concussion came out for a reason and for me, the movie was very eye opening. Ricardo Lockette who played for the Seattle Seahawks two seasons ago, will never play football again in his life. He had only been with the Hawks for about 2 seasons. The moment he was hit on national television, in which many Seattle residence watched, you knew he was out like a light bulb. My thoughts changed right then and there. It was not about the game, it was about, “Did I just watched someone become paralyzed or maybe even die, to entertain me?” This begs me to ask the question of what is being sold to me here?

I am a huge football fan, don’t get me wrong. But after that moment and other stories and watching injury after injury occur in the NFL franchise, it would seem as if there is nothing that can be done. In the end, it is a business, but is the business selling me entertainment or the idea of letting this brutality go on and be okay with it? We put football on such pedal stool in America is what I am saying, and we are okay with supporting people to hurt themselves and get beat up, or in some cases watch peoples hopes and dreams fall when they can no longer walk again. It is a very interesting things to think about and it has stuck with me every season I watch and support my team.

It is a very controversial public health discussion, but I think it is one that all of America needs to think about a little more, without the NFL clouding our judgement and how we look at football.


Helmets can prevent a lot of things, but there is never a 100% guarantee you will walk off the field. It is a risk I have seen every year whether professional or not.

Glossary Post 3

Going off of this weeks post of sanitation and health concerns about dogs doing their thing in parks with children presented or close to areas they play in, here is some vocab words that should be considered:

Public health – synonyms for public health would include hygiene and sanitation which is interesting to me especially now that it should be a ligament concern that dogs are doing their things and leaving behind toxins where people play and eat for picnics in parks.

Healthful living – which also goes with public health when it comes to living a health lifestyle or maintain safe and healthy. The word also work for cleanliness. How can we still have the best of both worlds for dogs and us to enjoy the park while still maintain healthful living habits?

Preventative – something that helps keep something else from happening, to take precaution. When it comes to public health we have to be pretty preventative and watch what we consume and what we do. What is health and safe and what isn’t. If there is a situation, what can we do to prevent that from happening again.

Weekly Post 5

I was unable to find any prompts for week 5 posts, so I was not sure what to write about so I will write up a random public health post if that is allowed.

This may side track from what we have been talking and the idea I have when it comes to public health concerns might be to risky of a topic but I think it something to be considered.

Many people love going to parks or open areas, especially in the summer. In fact, a lot of these people often take their dogs for walks with them or to go play at the park. Here’s the thing though, when you take a dog to the park or on a walk, it is going it its business eventually. I mean it is inevitable. Now if you don’t clean up after your dog, it is illegal and you can be fined if caught.

However,  I feel people are rarely getting caught, which is why people don’t clean up after their pets. This is a huge concern because first of all it is a public health concern. Many people say it is fertilizer, which I agree with, yes it is good for the soil. However, when dogs do their thing, it often leaves behind toxins, whether or not it is cleaned up or not.

If kids are playing around where a dog just went to do its duties, how safe and sanitary is that really then? Especially if people are not actually cleaning up after their dogs and if there is no one around to keep them accountable.

As consumer of parks and outdoor areas, this idea troubles me. Is there even a right answer of whether or not it is publicly safe for people to play and have picnics around areas where dogs do their business when it leaves toxins behind?

I would love for someone’s approach or take on this idea, or even someone else who is just as much as a park consumer as me.




PhotoVoice: Direction

For the Photovoice project, I plan on taking an approach on public health on the topic of football. With practices beginning for the upcoming season and how much Americans consume football it is important to discuss the two questions I am going to answer for the project:

  1. How healthy IS this?
  2. Whose selling me what?

I dont want to be getting into to much detail, but I think these two questions fit perfectly when it comes to the pressure we put on players as we consume the sport as well as what pressure is place on players and consumers by the seller.

I plan to use photos for this demonstration.

Glossary Post 2

I am trying to keep my glossary posts connected to my main post for the week, so this week it is death. There are a lot of definitions and important things to know about how to go about death and talk about it. When we know someone or someone who has lost a loved one, our hearts take a hit.

Here are some important words I think are important in the consumer health world to use when it comes to death or injury.

Recall – this is to bring back from something due to a negative effect. In this case that I am using, many companies including car dealerships or grocery stores often will have to recall things. This is to protect the costumer from a feature or product that hurt another consumer/ or could have been a reason for their death. I just recently saw an article about an herbal tea had to be recalled because it led to a consumers death.

Donors – something someone gives for free though it could be something that could be negotiated for a price. It is a positive helpful thing. In these terms, I am thinking of donors for the body. Most of us have the donor heart on our license so that when we die, our organs can be given to someone in need of them. Once someone is given our donations, they become a consumer of what we had to offer for them.

Consumer Reports – Check out the consumer reports online, where there are a list of products and everything that keep people informed on how they are improving or declining our health and find ways to consume smarter, and not harder on our bodies


An Avoidable Topic: Death

As we finish week four, I am sorry to hear that our professor had to attend a memorial recently. See, I work at a restaurant, so I am always asking how people are doing. The responses are generally the generic, “I am good, how are you?” But this one Friday, I was caught off guard.

I do my usual host/bussing duties of greeting a couple and bring water to their table. As I poor the water into clear,clean glasses, I ask “How are we doing today?” And to my surprise, the lady responds “Well we just got back from a memorial, so not sure how to answer.” I was taken a back, which led to an awkward moment. I say, I am so sorry for asking and apologizing. The mood of that conversation changed and I left with an unsatisfactory feeling.

There was nothing I could do to change that moment, because eventually like all things, nothing lasts forever. There was nothing I could say or do to help that couple out. I myself, have experienced death when my grandpa died 4 years ago. Nothing anyone said mattered. I finally understood why death is hard, because nothing anyone says, you take in.

Yea he is in a better place. Yes, he was a good man. Yes, he will be missed. But nothing changes the fact that they are gone. Period.

So how to you bring up the topic? You don’t in my opinion. Be there for that person and feel their presence. Let them know you are there, because often speak louder with our actions than words. If they bring it up to you, elaborate, but if they appear distant, then just be there for support.

We are all consumers of death, whether it be our favorite pet or a loved one. It is an inevitable consumption. That doesn’t mean we cant help others by being there for them. There are different ways we all consume death, by what we do and use our bodies. How we take care of them and eventually how we take care of the world as well. It will come eventually, but we can take steps to prevent a sudden shock of a loved one passing.

Glossary Building Post 1

After reading the Social and Market justice article, I learned exactly what they were and how it applies to consumer health spending. So this post connects with the last blog I posted about the topic.

I learned so much from the article and how eye opening it was for me, so I would like to include the two words in this glossary posts. I think more people need to understand the two as well as the motives of each one to make smarter consumer health choices.

Both are a value system in consumer health choices.

Market Justice = this is basically the typical get rich quick / step your way on others to reach the top idea when it comes to money and businesses. Businesses will do a lot of dirty things to rise to the top. As learned from the article, market justice is more of a self-serving and less regulated which means they can get away with a lot more.

Social Justice = this is the other definition or idea that looks out for the younger brother basically. Social justice is there to provide help to others and build the economy and the communities around it. It often thinks of others before its own well-being which helps it grow. It appears to be more ethically correct.

Ethics = when it comes to basically anything, ethics are essential in making decisions as well. When it comes to social and market justice, ethics lay a huge role. Ethic is the definitions of morals and values, whether having a negative or positive impact on things. It is very important to understand ethics in consumer health and the results/consequences of our consumer choices.

I really feel like these words are essential to understanding businesses and making smarter consumer health choices when a person feels torn on what to do and what to consume.


*The vocab I chose is from the piece the professor wrote  called Market Justice and Social Justice.


Market Justice and Social Justice

Sorry to post a little late. It has been a crazy week especially with the 4th of July being on Tuesday. I hoper everyone enjoyed the holiday and was safe.

As for the article, I found it very interesting how the use of language and ideas changes words because the example of a market has changed over the past couple years. Now, I dont use the stock market quite yet, because I am still in college. However, more and more people often think of the stock market instead of a grocery store or a farmers market.

Just in a couple years, our perception of a market has changed from a physical form of the store market to something that is used on the computer as well as gaining money, whereas the store market we don’t usually gain money.

Knowing the difference between market justice and social justice can be very essential in making consumer health decisions. Knowing the vocabulary and ideas centered around them can help make good choices. From the article, social justice if helping others, the community around them and building together, whereas, market justice is all about the business basically. Just like most businesses, it is all about the money.

If we can be more knowledgeable about businesses and franchises based on these two ideas, then we could make many smart choices when it comes to consumer health. Knowing market justice has more of a self-interest goal while social justice seeks to help everyone, can help better the economy and grow when it comes to consumer health.