After watching Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, a full stomach and a joyful meal with family and friends, what should you do now? Exercise! As Elle Woods says in Legally Blonde, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy.” Type 1 diabetes makes these holidays harder, because of all the high carb and sugary foods that are traditional to many holidays. Let’s face it, these foods are not good for any of us. There are additional benefits to exercise beyond a better mood, including weight loss and an increase in energy. What better day to take a walk with your family? If the weather is bad, go somewhere inside and walk around, like a mall. Most malls are now open later in the day on Thanksgiving. Are you inspired and ready yet? If not, check out this video from Huffington Post!
What is so great about fall? Pumpkin carving time, of course! It is a great activity for families or a group of friends to do together. It is great fun, even though it does require a lot of work, a dose of creativity and can be a little messy. Pumpkins designs can depict different facial expressions, school logos, or any other creative idea the carver can come up with.
Not only is carving the pumpkin fun, but the pumpkin seeds and pulp can be used to make delicious fall treats. Have you ever roasted your pumpkin seeds? They are easy to make and a nice healthy treat! Here is a super easy recipe! Additionally, who can forget the pumpkin pie (or pumpkin cheesecake) at your Thanksgiving meal!
Are you still on the fence about getting your pumpkin and carving a creative design? Here is one MORE reason to do so! There is a campaign starting on November 1st called Smash Diabetes. The Smash Diabetes website invites you to
Join us and awesome people all over the world in ridding the earth of rotting, foul smelling pumpkins and gourds while raising awareness about the frustration of living with diabetes.
Happy carving and don’t forget to smash your pumpkin along with diabetes on November 1st!
*Photo Credit: Amanda Mezer
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Type 1 diabetes is one of those diseases that is 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. It goes with you everywhere – there are no vacations. Due to constantly having to deal with the disease, burn out can be quite common. Humor can be an effective way to help cope by injecting laughter into the sometimes crazy things high and low blood sugars can make a person do. Sometimes the humor can be about the misperceptions surrounding Type 1 diabetes or about ways to make what people with Type 1 go through seem normal
The internet and social media have been a great means to distribute these types of humor through videos, memes and funny photos. Humor can sometimes be insulting to some, while, at the same time being funny to others. However, due to the vast amount of funny Type 1 diabetes videos, memes and photos, there should be something for everyone. Some examples are the memes that say things like
“Diabetics: the only people who shoot up to avoid getting high,”
“I’m so alpha my body killed my beta cells.”
Do you use humor to cope with Type 1 diabetes or another health issue? What are some of your favorite websites to find your humor of choice?
Some examples of Type 1 diabetes humor are:
“laughter can be the best medicine.”
**All photos are from PINTEREST and Type 1 Memes on www.facebook.com
They say sex sells, but maybe puppies do, too. It’s not the first time that Budweiser employed the use of the highly emotional use of Puppy Love to advertise their product, as the company did earlier this year during Super Bowl XLVIII, but the new “Friends Are Waiting” ad comes with a health message:
Released for Friday’s Global Be(er) Responsible Day, the ad tells a narrative of a puppy taken to his new home, growing up, and spending time with his beloved owner as subtly placed bottles appear in the background. The music then takes a turn and evokes a strong emotional appeal as the dog whimpers for the owner’s return, and we are hit with the sad message, “For some, the waiting never ended.”
The emotional roller coaster gives us another twist after the ad declares, “we can change that.” Upon the owner’s return, we get the relief of seeing the dog light up again before the health message arrives—don’t drink and drive. The owner apologizes to his loyal friend, saying that he decided not to drive and stayed over at Dave’s instead.
Emotional appeals for public service announcements on impaired driving have been used before, often in the form of fear appeals, but this ad manages to use sadness followed immediately by the relief of happiness through the adorable use of a four-legged companion to bring one message: Your #FriendsAreWaiting.
All characteristics and identities aside, every woman has one thing in common, periods. Whether it is short or long, lite or heavy, thousands of women experience the “pleasures” of womanhood every day. And as time moves on, more and more young girls join the ranks of womanhood as they face the day of their very first period.
For many young girls, their first periods will arrive during a time of decreased stress and distraction, particularly during those joyous days of summer camp. This clip, “The Camp Gyno,” tells the scripted story of a young girl who is the first of her fellow campers to receive her period. Assuming the role of the camp’s gynecologist, the young girl becomes the camp’s go-to-gal for tampons and period advice, until one day when a new package comes to camp.
The female campers begin to receive small packages that contain their necessary feminine hygiene products as well as a few small gifts and candies to make the lack-luster experience of a period a little less miserable. The package is from HelloFlo.com – a spin-off of the related period name, Aunt Flo.
HelloFlo.com is a proactive delivery service that sends women their necessary products prior to their period’s start. Delivering the package just days before a cycle begins, HelloFlo.com uses a system that records a woman’s cycle time and length, as well as the heaviness of her menstrual flow, in order to send her a discreet package that will meet the needs of her individual period. This new online service works to elevate women’s troubles of having to run out and purchase their feminine hygiene products after their period has started, serve as a simple reminder tool of what is to come, and add a bit of pleasure to a not so pleasant annual visit from Aunt Flo.
Additional information, packages and “The Camp Gyno” can all be found at HelloFlo.com.
After spending seven minutes listing examples of how the food industry markets products to children, Dr. Yoni Freedhoff gets to his point: “What I think the food industry could do is stop lying.”
Freedhoff, a medical doctor and assistant professor at the University of Ottawa, states this in a YouTube video, though he initially intended his presentation for a room full of food industry reps. A few days before the event, however, the organizers inexplicably cancelled his invitation. His revenge: reach a larger audience by posting his speech online.
Today, over 228,000 people have viewed Freedhoff’s YouTube presentation. In it, he notes discrepancies between the statements and the actions of food and beverage companies like Coca-Cola. Coca-Cola, for example, claims it has a company policy that prevents it from advertising products to children. Freedhoff, however, points to a litany of Coca-Cola marketing ploys that do just that: a Coke print ad of cartoon kids in baseball caps and the tag line, “Always great for good sports;” a Christmas-themed Coca-Cola parade float; and even a Coca-Cola Barbie doll.
According to Freedhoff, food companies also try to make their products seem healthy for children when they aren’t. Take a print ad for Nestle Nesquik chocolate syrup, which can be added to milk. The ad promotes the “More Milk Movement” and asks, “Are your kids getting 2-4 recommended servings of milk every day?” In response, Freedhoff says, “Really is there such a calcium emergency that the food industry needs to suggest that if you don’t add sweetened syrup, containing three teaspoons of sugar per serving, that your kid is going to suffer health-wise? That’d be like suggesting if they’re not eating apples, you should give them apple pie.”
Freedhoff argues that such deceitful food advertising is ultimately a failure of American regulation, not the food industry; companies do whatever they must to sell their products. But even though Freedhoff doesn’t blame food companies, they clearly don’t want to hear what he has to say. I do. And I’m grateful I can.
I love this stuff–playing video games is good for you! Or good for your vision, anyway, if you have lazy eye. In the official journal of the American Academy of Optometry, a study’s been published showing that amblyopia can be treated in adults (which thinking is, in itself, somewhat new compared to the long-held idea that lazy eye could only be corrected if caught when a person is still a child), and that certain specific video games can help correct it.
There’s a YouTube video showing the games and explaining how they work.
The study claims to show that even after decades of seeing through one eye, essentially, adult patients with “lazy eye” have improved binocular vision after playing the games.
One of the study’s authors says it might be time to rethink the conventional wisdom about something many people have thought they would just have to live with. He calls the ability of the brain to rewire its vision circuits this late in life “neural plasticity,” and wants to see further study of his very cool idea.
“These findings, [including] the results of new clinical trials, suggest that it might be time to reconsider our notions about neural plasticity in amblyopia,” Dr. Levi concludes. He emphasizes that “careful controlled randomized clinical trials” will be needed to confirm the effectiveness of the new approaches.
Maybe you’ve seen “23 and 1/2 Hours.” It is a 9 minute video on the importance of exercising 30 minutes a day. If you haven’t, then just scroll down a bit. Currently, the video has over 2,600,000 views on YouTube. Quite impressive for any 9 minute video (even one with cats), much more so for one that falls under health communication. The video was created by Dr. Mike Evans, a family physician. He wrote about the video in the April Issue of the British Journal of Sports Medicine in an article titled “’23 and 1/2 Hours’ Goes Viral: Top 10 Learnings about Making a Health Message that People Give to One Another.” I advise seeking out the article. At 2 pages, it’s short and sweet, with insightful comments, and Dr. Evans’ writing is moist with humor and reflection instead of dry with clinical facts. And that’s probably at the heart of why “23 and 1/2 Hours” went viral – he’s a good communicator and can make the audience want to hear all of what he has to say. In a striking comment about the failure of medicine to embrace YouTube, Evans writes:
Considering this, I suppose we see a reflection of human nature on YouTube that includes our fascination with fame or the quick laugh or sex or the cringe worthy, but I also think we see the failure of medicine to go where the people are.
He illustrates this void by pointing out that the main competition for viral educational videos is UFO sightings and learning to pole dance, and the need for filling this void because the majority (75%) of care happens at home. So, health care practitioners should do what they can to educate patients outside of the doctor office, which comes in the form of engaging the patient online through various media.
So what are the 10 lessons learned? According to Evans:
1. Peer-to-peer health care is the new norm (as in, people share things online).
2. Collaborate with illustrators, audio and video editors, and other media production professionals.
3. Combine visuals with text and audio.
4. Tell a story, don’t just spew data.
5. Get a conversation going around your media – conversations make the media interactive and invite others to look at the media and participate in the conversation
6. Build your tribe. Evans guesses that part of the reason the video worked is because it praises the value of exercise, which has a lot of ardent followers who are quick to gather around anything pro-exercise. He suggests that a less sexy topic, like hypertension, wouldn’t have achieved virality.
7. Tell people why they should do something, not just what they should do.
8. Don’t use the old message, create a new one. Evans’ message wasn’t be healthy by losing weight, it was be healthy by being active.
9. Make the change doable.
10. Keep with attempts to create viral health communication, and inspire others to join in.
And without further adieu, here is the video that, hopefully, will start it all:
We’re all pretty familiar with viral online content – the latest video or picture that shows up 20 times in a row on your Facebook news feed. But what makes this content viral? In an article published in the Journal of Marketing Research, researchers analyzed articles published in the New York Times to answer this question. Taken from the abstract, they found that positive content is more viral than negative content. They also found that content that evokes high-arousal positive (awe) or negative (anger or anxiety) emotions is more viral. Likewise, content that is deactivating and low-arousal, such as evoking sadness, is less viral. Researchers controlled for how surprising, interesting and useful the content is, as well as how prominently it was featured. Only having read the abstract, I don’t know if the article covers anything health communication related, but the obvious question is how to implement these findings to increase the virality of a health communication campaign. Is health communication more difficult to make viral than other forms of communication? How essential is virality to an effective health communication campaign?
Dove is at it again–its “Real Beauty” Campaign launched in 2004 provided great images and tools to talk to young girls about body image, beauty, and self-esteem. Dove provided a voice of support and compassion in a noisy world full of “you’re fat” and “you’re not good enough.”
This time the company has launched “The Ad Makeover” in Australia – users can download an app and then send an ad to a friend with a positive message that replaces one of the ads that pops up in the sidebar of your Facebook page or Yahoo search. Dove essentially pays to replace ads filled with what it considers negative messaging about women’s health and beauty.
Dove uses creative communication techniques to improve the tone of the conversation, but it also presumably profits from the loyalty of thankful and supportive consumers. Is this corporate responsibility, or simply genius marketing? What do you think about this health and beauty communication strategy? What are the pros and cons, and which one wins out in your mind?