Tag Archives: photovoice

Photovoice- Birth Control

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For this photo series I decided to discuss something that is very important to me both as a female and as a young adult in college. Sexual health is not only something very important to be educated on, but also to keep up with on a personal level. While sexual health is a natural part of our lives, it is also a large consumer market. Birth control methods are great money-makers in the modern world, but for most people, these methods are also a necessity. I took the time to do some research about what information this “market” is giving us, as well as whether the information is helpful to the consumer or not.

Choosing a birth control method can be very overwhelming today, with its myriad of options, but there is actually a ton of very simple and helpful resources that make the decision much easier. For my first photo I chose to insert a chart from Bedsider which lays out all of one’s birth control options, as well as their ranked effectiveness and how likely pregnancy is to occur. Though extremely simple, as a consumer I really appreciated how they chose to lay out the information. Although it is not a complete picture of each method, a chart like this is a great first step in showing consumers their options. I also loved their emphasis on condom use along with all forms of birth control for STI prevention. Upon using the chart, it became clear that intra-uterine devices were the most effective form of birth control on the market and decided to further research the options within this category. The second chart listed all available IUDs on the market along with the hormones they use and how much, as well as the length of time each brand is effective for. The asterisks (*) provided the information that further studies have found that some of these devices last longer than originally marketed for. I felt this chart was a great resource for consumers to decide what brand they could further research to best suite their needs, as well as a provided a platform to research levonorgestrel and its affects. I decided to look into the two most common brands, Mirena and Paraguard.

Each brand had its own website with features such as cost, who it works best for, frequently asked questions, side effects, etc. I decided to screen grab the side effects page from each brand because I felt as a consumer I would want to compare and contrast these important issues. Overall, I had a great experience in the so-called birth control market. It is rare, as a consumer, to feel that the products and the information they provide are truly after your best interest; however, it truly seemed to me that these brands wanted to provide all possible information for their consumers to make an informed decision for their sexual health. This market lays out all the choices for the consumer and provides substantial information for each one. Though it did seem that specific brands within one category may have tried to compete in price, all brands provided necessary information and made it clear that their brand may not be the best option for some people. All areas that I researched within this market also emphasized the importance of speaking to one’s healthcare provider to discuss your best options.

I thoroughly enjoyed using photos to discuss a consumer market in the world of health, or sexual health more specifically. As someone who is an active consumer in this particular marketplace, I had never actually done this much research. Sexual health is something that I believe to be extremely important and I was surprised at how much I had learned after doing research and finding these photos. Reading about all the different methods on the market and seeing birth control from a consumer’s perspective really broadened my knowledge of the options I have as well as the importance of being educated. I had never before thought to read about a hormone and the effects of each dosage of it, nor had I considered the effectiveness of different forms of prevention. In every day life, I often get frustrated by all of the different brands and options that we are given every day. Is Mr. Clean better than Scrubbing Bubbles? Is Ben and Jerry’s cheaper than Tillamook? Why can’t their just be one great brand for everything that we need? But thoroughly reviewing each IUD brand, I realized the importance of options. No two people are the same and what works for some may not work for others. I became more appreciative of the options we have today, and my faith in humanity was slightly restored as I read about brands that truly want the best for their consumers. Using these photos provided a glimpse into the great experience I had with researching this market, and I think visual displays are a great learning tool. A picture is worth a thousand words, right?

Photovoice Project

I wanted to reflect on some of my dietary/health choices and how some of the choices effect my Crohn’s Disease. The things I chose to focus on were: Dairy products like ice cream sandwiches or milk, alcohol, Coca-Cola, and use of tobacco products. The questions I chose to focus on were “How healthy is it” and “Do I really know what I need to to make a healthy choice?” In most of the pictures, I focused on the nutritional information because this is the most important part of the decision making. Personally, I tend to ignore the nutrition facts because my metabolism hasn’t caught up to me yet. But I’m aware of the dietary changes that my mom has made, and how well they worked, so that isn’t the best excuse either. I have the ability to know whatever I need to know, I just don’t take advantage of that ability. I think this indifference is the cause of many consumer problems we see today, either because we aren’t motivated to learn the information, or because we don’t care about the consequences. Subjects like obesity and hard drug use come to mind.

Most of these choices I focused on are unhealthy in a general sense, or unhealthy specifically for me. Dairy is the only food product in my project that most people can consume without negative consequences in my list, but Crohn’s ruins that for me. Not only does dairy cause acne, but it messes with my stomach quite a bit. Alcohol, soda, and tobacco products are bad choices for my health with or without Crohn’s.

Alcohol has negatively effected my family in the past on multiple occasions, so I try to be careful with the prevalence of my consumption. Not only do I have a high risk of addiction, but my liver isn’t a fan of my choices either.

Soda (or my preference, Coca-Cola) has plenty of acidity and 39 grams of sugar. I know that it will bother my stomach and erode the enamel on my teeth over time. I quit a few years ago, but I always get it while out for food.

Tobacco products aren’t even a health question. Even though I’m only a social smoker, the negative effects are not going to disappear. You don’t need to smoke on a daily basis to experience the problems associated with nicotine and other chemicals.

Taking the pictures helped me to reflect upon the bad choices I’m making as a consumer. Not only is the information widely available on the internet, but there are clear labels in front of my face as I consume the products I’m speaking of. The prevalence of information does not correlate with the consumer actually having knowledge of the information. Although economists operate under the assumption that consumers have full market knowledge, we acknowledge this is not true. My generation and the generations after us will be blessed with the ability to learn about anything we please. As different services become more technologically advanced and complicated, it will be our responsibility to improve upon our understanding and help others do the same. Although we will continue to use the internet primarily for social interaction, I hope that more of the population can learn to evaluate the things they consume like we have in this class. Add this to the list of classes that high-schoolers should take before going out into the real world, because consumer health… matters.

*unable to upload pictures or powerpoint, emailed instead.

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

Photovoice: Water Pollution

The issue that I will be focusing on is how it is impacting us as the consumer and how important it is to keep our water clean. Research shows that over half the global population faces a shortage of clean water. What does this mean to the consumer? Well, as consumers we must be willing to take action in not wasting water when it’s not necessary.

Pollution in the water is a major problem in the world considering the fact that there is only a limited amount of water that is drinkable. According to Society (1996) “Freshwater makes up a very small fraction of all water on the planet. While nearly 70 percent of the world is covered by water, only 2.5 percent of it is fresh. The rest is saline and ocean-based. Even then, just 1 percent of our freshwater is easily accessible, with much of it trapped in glaciers and snowfields” (Society, 1996, para. 4). In many cases people as well as our environment need water in order to survive. It is important to keep our water clean and not continue to pollute it. People have to challenge themselves in keeping and conserving what little water we have and in order to do that we must help by not polluting it with garbage and poisons such as lead. According to the World Wide Fund for Nature (2017) “Pollutants like oil, detergents, nitrogen and phosphate from fertilizers and lead can have a tremendous impact on the ecosystem, especially if the water gets polluted. In a lake, for example, it can wreak havoc on the ecological balance by stimulating plant growth and causing the death of fish due to suffocation resulting from lack of oxygen. The oxygen cycle will stop, and the polluted water will also affect the animal’s dependent on the lake water” (World Wide Fund for Nature, 2017, para. 3). There are many choices available to reduce the amount pollution in the world. People must be aware of the different methods to properly dispose of unwanted oils, plastic waste, and lead from ammunition or other sources.

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The photos that I took show the amount of toxic pollution and waste that is left behind near or at our lakes and rivers. I decided to photograph a nearby firing range that has a direct water flow into a major lake and a major river that flows straight into the Pacific Ocean. These rivers and lakes are directly being exposed to toxins. Examples include brass that leaves lead which in turn ends up in our lakes and rivers and toxic garbage as shown above. The oil container appears to have been sitting near the river and it was leaking oils into the water (it was disposed of properly when found). The photos presented helped me think about why it is so important to keep our water clean from toxins. I have found that there are many instances in which people leave garbage and toxic waste sitting around which in turn affects our lakes and rivers. Due to these pollutions it affects the ecosystem and in turn affects us.

My experiences of finding and taking photos of pollution within our waters was fairly an easy task. I found that many people do not respect our environment. It may be that they are unware that there is not an unlimited amount of water in the world. I found that the world is covered by about 70 percent of water but only about 3 percent is drinkable. A person must also take into account the ecosystem and how it as well needs water to flourish. It is important that people learn to effectively preserve and take care of our waters and understand what resources are available. According to World Wide Fund for Nature (2017) “Learn where freshwater resources exist; how they are used; and how climate, technology, policy, and people play a role in both creating obstacles and finding solutions” (World Wide Fund for Nature, para. 8).

References

Apec Water. (n.d.). The Importance of water and Your health. Retrieved July 27, 2017, from http://www.freedrinkingwater.com/water-education/water-health.htm

 Society, N. G. (1996). Freshwater Crisis. Retrieved July 27, 2017, from http://www.nationalgeographic.com/freshwater/freshwater-crisis.html

World Wide Fund for Nature. (2017). Study the effect of pollution on an ecosystem. Retrieved July 27, 2017, from http://wwf.panda.org/about_our_earth/teacher_resources/project_ideas/pollution/

PhotoVoice: Plastic Bags

Bags have been around the United States since 1979, the United States alone uses 30 billion bags annually. To hit a little close to home Washingtonians, use more than 2 billion single use plastic bags each year. Seattle alone uses 292 million annually and only 13% are recycled (O’Brian, 2017).

Each individual averages about 350 to 500 plastic bags annually (Malissa).

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This individual is wearing 500 bags; this gives you an idea on how much each individual in the United States uses plastic bags annually. At first, hearing that an individual uses 350 to 500 bags, you don’t really think much but when you actually see it it’s shocking. You start to imagine all the times you have gone to the grocery stores and start to think about the amount of bags you leave with afterward. All those bags are roaming around our environment affects our health and ecosystem. We might go to the store and say “it’s only one bag it won’t do much” but all those “one bag” adds up. Since the day I took that photo I think of all the plastic bags that I have used and that I need to reduce the amount of bags that I use.

So if only a few plastic bags are being recycled, where are the rest of the plastic bags going?

They tend to end up in landfills, trees, ocean, in the forest and in your home.

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I set up the bags this way because it reminds me of my mother’s Heartleaf Philodendron. It is extremely easy to grow just like the pile of bags my parents consume on a weekly basis. They seem to look very harmless like the plant but don’t let that fool you.

All these plastic bags roaming around are not healthy for us and for the environment. Depending on where the plastic bags are they can break down into smaller pieces. When they do break down they are not gone. The smaller pieces that remain are hazardous, they are then consumed by shellfish, fish, turtles, marine mammals, and birds, dogs, and so on. In 2010 a beached gray whale was found to have 20 plastic bags in its stomach (O’Brian, 2017).

From what you read you see that bags are appearing randomly in different areas and millions being used daily. Numbers will continue to increase if something is not being done. Fortunately, we have alternatives.

To reduce the usage of plastic bags, reusable bags are now being produced to replace plastic bags. They are strong, cheap, and last longer. You will reduce the amount of bags and have a cleaner environment. Some stores will reward you for bringing in reusable bags (KCL, 2014). Recycling plastic bags is another choice that you have.

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For those who want to start using reusable bags but don’t know what to do with the plastic bags that they have, a good way to get rid of them is by returning them to these locations. If it wasn’t for me taking this photo I would have not been aware that these stores participate in recycling plastic bags. For someone to complete a project like this, it will allow them to see how beneficial it is for them to reduce the amount of plastic bags and they will see that any little change they do, they will help the environment and improve their health.

KCL. (2014, July 20). 8 Retailers That Reward You for Bringing Your Own Bags! Retrieved July 20, 2017, from http://thekrazycouponlady.com/tips/finance/earn-shop-8-retailers-reward-bringing-bags

Malissa L. (n.d.). Retrieved July 25, 2017, from https://www.reusethisbag.com/25-reasons-to-go-reusable.php

O’Brian, M. (2017). Plastic Bag Ban. Retrieved July 24, 2017, from https://www.seattle.gov/council/meet-the-council/mike-obrien/plastic-bag-ban

PhotoVoice Plan

For my Photovoice Project I’d like to tackle the issue of Crohns Disease. I’ve essentially ignored the fact that I have it, making very few dietary changes over the last few years. In order to make myself address this problem directly, I’ll research some of the problem areas in my diet and how others handle it. My mother has made multiple serious diet changes herself over the years, and I’d like to learn about those more as well.

My Photovoice Proposal

For my photovoice project, I will be examining the nutrition labels and price tags of two sets of “healthy” and “unhealthy” foods. I will be attempting to answer the following 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?”

To answer the first question, I will compare the photographs of the nutrition labels of the four items that I pick. I will research the information on each nutrition label. In order to compare my current knowledge on the subject to my knowledge after my research, I will write down which foods I consider to be the most healthy/unhealthy.

In order to answer the questions, I will compare the prices of the “healthy” and “unhealthy” foods, in order to determine how easy/hard it might be to be healthy when it comes to cost.

Photovoice: Pollution in the Water

The topic I chose for my photovoice is that of pollution in the water. The issue that I will be focusing on is how it is impacting us as the consumer and how important it is to keep our water clean. Research shows that over half the global population faces a shortage of clean water. What does this mean to the consumer? Well, as consumers we must be willing to take action in not wasting water when it’s not necessary. The following questions will be answered:

How healthy is it?

What choice/s do I have?

Photovoice Guidelines – pls review ASAP!

Hi all – I was just alerted by one of you that it may not have been obvious when the Photovoice guidelines were posted.

If you have NOT yet seen those, please DO review them here right away. The general gist:

  • Photovoice/digital storytelling helps people use images to discuss societal problems.
  • You decide on an consumer health issue area of interest to you, and take 3 to 5 photos (OR shoot a short video) that help you answer two questions from the following list:
    • How healthy IS it?”
    • “What choice/s do I have?”
    • “Do I really know what I need to to make a healthy choice?”
    • “Why is it so difficult to be healthy/easy to be unhealthy?”
    • “What’s depletion got to do with it?”
    • “TMI but not the right kind or layout to help me make a good decision?”
    • “Who has the upper hand and how?”
    • “Who’s selling me what?”
    • “What’s the typical discourse (what “most people” say?) about this & similar products/services?”
  • By Wednesday (July 19) I would like a brief post (with appropriate tags and category) telling me what direction you’re going in (topic/issue area and your chosen questions)
  • By Friday July 28*, please post a post with
    • 1) your photos or video (either by ppt file or simply as photos inserted in your post) and
    • 2) two brief narratives, each 250 to 500 words, the first
      • discussing how your photos or video help you think about and answer the questions you chose, and the second
      • discussing the experience of taking the photos or video.
  • For more details, again, visit the guidelines, bottom of Guidelines and Deadlines page, here