Tag Archives: Nutrition

Photovoice Project: Healthy Eating Information and Affordability

For my project, I decided to compare the price tags of two foods and two beverages that I considered to be healthy and unhealthy. For my healthy food/ beverage I chose spinach/green mix and Blueberry Monster Odwalla juice. For my unhealthy food/beverage I chose Animal Crackers and Mtn Dew Black Label. I chose foods and beverages that were not on sale and were sold at my town’s most attended grocery store. I set out to answer these questions: “Do I really know what I need to make a healthy choice?” and “Why is it so difficult to be healthy/ easy to be unhealthy?” Here’s how I used my project to answer each question:

Do I really know what I need to be healthy? 

To answer this question, I wrote down my preconceived notions about each item and nutrient on the chosen nutrition labels (Calorie Count, %DV, nutrients). Then I researched the FDA’s recommendations on how to use nutrition labels in order to make healthy eating choices, and what each listed nutrient did for my body. I compared my preconceived notions to my post research in order to educate myself and figure out if I know what I needed to know in order to be healthy.  I found that I did have some of the knowledge that I needed, as I was right about the purpose and function of many items on the nutrition labels. However, I didn’t have much knowledge about the functions of different types of vitamins, the difference between saturated and trans fat, sodium, and carbohydrates. Thanks to my research I am now better informed I now know more of what I need to know in order to be healthy.

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

To answer this question, I compared the price tags of each of the chosen food and beverages. I did this in order to determine whether the unhealthy or healthy item would be the better deal. After converting both food prices to the price per ounce (and using the price-per-unit information places in the bottom left square on each price tag), I found that the animal crackers were 37.4 cents per oz and the spinach and green mix was about 59 cents per oz; therefore the animal crackers were the best deal by weight. Using the same method, I found that the Odwalla juice was about 19 cents per fl oz and the Mtn Dew was about 11.8 cents per fl oz; making Mtn Dew the best deal. In both categories, the unhealthier choice was the least expensive. This is why it’s harder to be healthy, because it’s less expensive to be unhealthy.

It took some of these photo’s while I was at the grocery store, and others while I was at home. I bought nearly all of the items that I used, in order to avoid having to take too many pictures in the store. It was slightly nerve-wracking taking pictures in the store, I felt like I looked suspicious. Which is funny because I don’t think I was doing anything wrong. I suppose I felt like I stood out in my environment, because I was doing something out of the ordinary. I think that approaching the Photovoice project in this can be valuable for someone that wants to know more about the daily choices consumers in this area of public health. It helped me learn more about how to read a nutrition label, what types of nutrients I should try to get a lot of and a little of, and figure out how to get the best deal when two products have different units of measurements. Not only have I learned skills that will help my be a healthier consumer when buying food in the future, I am also more informed of the choices that other consumers must face on a regular basis.

Odwalla

Animal CrackersSpinachMTN Dew

Glossary Post 2

Here are some terms that I find to be important in terms of consumer health and food. The terms listed here were found in Johnathon Ross’s article on moderation, which I discussed in my food post.

Nutrition:  “The act or process of nourishing or being nourished; specifically :  the sum of the processes by which an animal or plant takes in and utilizes food substances / foods that are necessary for human nutrition” (Merriam-Webster, n.d.)

Nutrition is a word that is thrown around a lot in many different settings. Because of this, it is important to be informed of the true definition. My misconception of this word is that it somehow referred to the number of nutrients in any given food. Really, it is sum of the things that allow any given food to provide nourishment.

Superfood:  “A food (such as salmon, broccoli, or blueberries) that is rich in compounds (such as antioxidants, fiber, or fatty acids) considered beneficial to a person’s health” (Merriam-Webster, n.d.)

Superfood, like nutrition, is also a word that is thrown around quite a bit. It also seems that definitions seem to be different depending on where you look. For example, Jonathon Ross thinks that the definition of superfoods is “foods that act like nutritional superheroes in our bodies” (2015). He argues that superfoods should be our “normal foods”, and superfoods are really just the standard for what we should be eating. Superfoods are basically foods that are considered beneficial to a person’s health. Of course, superfoods are not foods with superpowers. I think that the concept of superfoods has stemmed from our culture’s tendency to eat so much junk food. When one’s body is bogged down by processed foods, eating foods that are good for them will often give them a noticeable increase in energy.  This is why I personally use the term to describe healthy foods that give me a noticeable increase in energy.

Physiology“A branch of biology that deals with the functions and activities of life or of living matter (such as organs, tissues, or cells) and of the physical and chemical phenomena involved” (Merriam-Webster, n.d.)

This is a term that I have actually been familiar with since I took Anatomy & Physiology in high school. I think that this term is important, because it is one of many similar sounding words used to refer to different parts of science (biology, psychology, psychiatry, etc.). Being aware of the specific definitions of these and similar words will make research on consumer issues more understandable.

Sources

Nutrition. (n.d.). In Merriam-Webster. Retrieved from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nutrition

Physiology. (n.d.). In Merriam-Webster. Retrieved from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/physiology

Ross, J. (2015, September 23). Why “Everything in Moderation” Doesn’t Work. Retrieved July 21, 2017, from http://greatist.com/eat/everything-in-moderation-doesnt-work

Superfood. (n.d.). In Merriam-Webster. Retrieved from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/superfood