Why Give a Damn:

Everything needs to be put into context. When you are wondering what should be prioritized, related to your business or your health, you need to ask the last question in my 3 part series.


The author of this post, Ann Garvin is an author, speaker and professor of health, stress management, research methods and media literacy.

Which is more deadly? Zombies or Vampires  Tweet This Quote

Let’s review. The first question you should always ask when making a determination for the well-being of your business or your life is: Who? (as in, who is providing this expert opinion and do they have a hidden agenda). The second question is: Does this make sense? (does it make sense for you in your business, in your world, in your life). And finally we come to the third question you should always ask yourself when making decisions regarding the health and wellbeing of your business and your life.

When you are trying to build a healthy business filled with healthy people, you have to assess risk; investment risk, risk of failure and risk of loss. I spend most of my time as a health educator working in two areas, convincing people that they have to prioritize health and helping them figure out which healthy behavior is the most important. I am helping them figure out risk.

Let’s play a game. Which is more deadly?

  • Zombies or Vampires
  • Sharks or Dogs
  • Milk or Alcohol

Here are the answers:

  • Neither Zombies or Vampires are dangerous, they don’t exist.
  • In the past year 4.5 million people were bitten by dogs and only 28 people were bitten by sharks, so if we’re talking about actual risk, dogs are riskier. It’s also very possible that you will never be in the water with a shark therefore their deadly risk to you is zero.
  • Alcohol is more deadly than milk, by far, obviously.

But let’s talk about milk. Here’s how the typical milk conversation goes in the college nutrition class I teach: 

    Student: I heard humans are not meant to drink milk. We don’t digest it and there are too many antibiotics and hormones in it. Should I stop drinking milk?

    Me: How much alcohol did you drink last night? You smell like cigarettes. Do you text and drive? 

With all due respect to milk worries, there are so many other behaviors that should be considered first. Do you use your smart phone when you drive? Do you drink more than five alcoholic beverages at a football game? Are you careful about saturated fat?

Everything needs to be put into context.

The fact is this; if you fear milk, don’t drink it, but car accidents, drug & alcohol abuse and heart disease are our nation’s greatest dangers.
 
Everything needs to be put into context. When you are wondering what should be prioritized, related to health, you need to ask the last question in this 3 part series:

Compared to what?

Should you eat more protein? Compared to what, complex carbohydrates? No! Alcohol, yes absolutely.

Figure out where your real risks are and try not to get distracted by less important facts. Your chances of injury or death in a car accident are high if you’re texting. Focus your behavior change energy on stopping this dangerous habit before worrying about the lesser risks in your life, such as lactose intolerance. If you hone in on the probabilities, not the possibilities, you can stay focused on the important things and leave the time wasters behind.

Focus your behavior change on stopping dangerous habits before worrying about the lesser risks in your life.  Tweet This Quote

Unreasonable Challenge:

When faced with your next decision, try asking my 3 simple questions: Who? Does this make sense? Compared to what? I bet the answers will become crystal clear for you.

About the author

Ann Garvin

Ann Garvin

Ann is an author, speaker and educator. As professor of health, stress management, research methods and media literacy at University of Wisconsin Whitewater, she has worked extensively in psychometrics, statistics and psychology. Ann is the author of On Maggie’s Watch & The Dog Year (Berkley Penguin, 2014).

  • Ann Wertz Garvin

    How do you decide risk?

  • Leija2014

    Thank you for sharing this article! I really enjoyed this one because I know a lot of people, including myself, that “don’t drink milk and replace it with almond milk,” because we feel that it’s detrimental to our health. I liked the quote about focusing on changing dangerous habits before worrying about lesser risks in your life. I think this is something everyone should do and think about because we are all too focused on the little things when we all should worry about the bigger picture.

  • laurenkraft

    Thank you for sharing this article. I really love that you emphasize “compared to what”. You want us to critically think before just agreeing with some “fact”, like your example milk is bad for you…. Compared to what. If you have that question down, you will be one awesome critical thinker!

  • Cory Zaeske

    Thank you for sharing this series. These three questions can make the very foggy world we live in a lot clearer. I personally think this final question is the most important. You can ask yourself if it makes sense or not but what is really going to help you understand is asking yourself compared to what? This simple question can take you a long way. I love your protein example because it is something we are hearing more and more today. I was in the locker room the other day and heard two guys talking about protein. One was saying that if you space it out you can consume as much as you want. I think the other guy wanted to disagree but didn’t want to correct him because he wasn’t saying much. All I could do was shake my head listening to them.

  • Jcoppa

    Just last night I filled my bath with ground ginger and baking soda to “detoxify” my body. My older brother, who is a health professional as well, practically laughed in my face as I’m beginning to feel light-headed from this sauna bath. Then this morning I do find myself searching for music while driving to school. After reading the article on perspective I have learned that yes, my body will take care of itself, but my car will not steer me in the right direction when I veer off the road.

    This series is great because it’s giving me a new way of looking at what I’m believing and doing without a second thought. How can I come up with a way to prioritize my health better?

  • Logan Dohmeier

    I don’t think anyone could have hammered home these concepts like you have in these last 3 articles. Humans always fear the uncommon and simply act like the common is not a serious threat. Unfortunately, it will catch up to them. It all comes down to how interested you are in knowing the truth, and if you don’t care about knowing the truth, you by definition are ignorant. The fact of the matter is, people are gullible enough nowadays to believe anything they hear without putting in their own 2 cents to try and figure out if what they heard is truthful or a myth. This is causing a lot of people to waste their time, money, and energy, as well as professionals’ time answering questions that nobody has put a thought into. There is really some great advice in these last 3 articles that I think everybody should read and try to take to heart. I bet that even if someone walked away understanding one of the many concepts you have laid out, they will walk away a more educated and healthful person.

  • LaurenSE

    First, I have really enjoyed this 3 part series! Each question has seemed so simple, but there has been so much more to them. Sometimes these things need to be brought to peoples attention so they can stop wasting their time and become a healthier and smarter person. I especially love the very last sentence, “if you hone in on the probabilities, not the possibilities, you can stay focused on the important things and leave the time wasters behind.” That sums it up! Don’t waste your time thinking about the things that don’t matter, worry about what’s happening here and now.

  • justin bowers

    Thanks for this article! I love the message. Figure out where your real facts are and prioritize those first because there’s no sense worrying about milk, or sharks or vampires when there’s every reason to be worried about drinking too much alcohol, or texting or driving. People get so caught up in the little numbers and disregard the high numbers that are actually killing us. Why do you think it is that people aren’t really worried about heart disease or car accidents, when the numbers are right there in front of them?

  • Ann Wertz Garvin

    Because they feel fine and can’t imagine how bad they might feel if sick. Also we are all too optimistic. 🙂

  • Ann Wertz Garvin

    Hard to do though, I often get side tracked with things that seem important at the time. Like dog videos. 🙂

  • Ann Wertz Garvin

    Awww thanks Logan, I so appreciate you comments and I’m really glad to have hit home with you. I have a lot of empathy for people, life is hard and not everyone has education. The great thing here is that the education, the questions, are super easy and free!

  • Ann Wertz Garvin

    I think we need reminders. Reminders everywhere. I put dental floss (the kind with the handles) in my car. I have a reminder on my phone. I write exercise into my to do list every day. I have to remind myself and it’s my profession. I imagine those people that don’t think about it like I do really need reminders!!

  • Ann Wertz Garvin

    It’s hard not to butt-in isn’t it? I haven’t figured out how to do that either without coming off as a huge ass. But, the goal is to have the answer when someone asks or at least to know where to steer people. Thanks Cory

  • Ann Wertz Garvin

    Are you sick of hearing it yet?

  • Ann Wertz Garvin

    Thanks Leija. It’s hard because the lesser risks are easier aren’t they.
    We have to have a plan!

  • sarahbrooks

    Thank you for sharing! This is completely true regarding what is the greater risk. I know when it comes to me, and I happen to be in water such as a lake, or the ocean; I’m always freaking about what’s going to touch me, or drag me under! (bit of an exaggeration) Sometimes I won’t swim out so far when I’m in the ocean because I don’t want a shark to get me. Though, I walk outside all the time and never think about getting attack by a dog, I actually do the opposite and go towards it; because I mean, who doesn’t like dogs!?! Do you think that people fear sharks, or milk because it is something not common to happen? I don’t necessarily think that people think those things are a greater risk; but it’s just something not likely to happen, so when it does happen, it becomes the biggest thing to talk about, and the first thing that comes to mind when you’re in the environment.

  • Ann Wertz Garvin

    Hi Sarah,
    I know, I do the same thing with dogs. We do fear what we don’t know and that is part of it. We aren’t afraid of cars or hamburgers or cake but we could make the argument that they are more dangerous than skydiving. I don’t sky dive. Risk = 0

  • Tyler Steinmetz

    Thank you for this awesome article! Each question that you presented is extremely important to ask when making a difficult decision and everyone should know the importance of them. People are afraid of a lot of things that won’t effect them in any way and yet they do text and drive, or drink too much on a Friday night. Worrying about being abducted by space aliens, or being bitten by a shark is so far fetched and should not be taking our time. This goes right back to the second question that you asked us, “Does it make sense”. A shark attack doesn’t make sense, an alien invasion does not make sense! Yet, a lot of people still worry about it and don’t look at the real risks that cloud our every day life. How can we get people to see what a real risk is?

  • vitalecm03

    You always put things into perspective for me and I love it! There are so many things that we don’t think about and spend our time worrying about other things. I know so many of my college colleagues that complain about school and how much they hate it, but I bet they never think about the fact that they actually have the opportunity to go to school and get an education and do something with their life and how so many people in this world would kill to be able to have the opportunities we have! Thank you for this!

  • Collin Smith

    Thanks Ann for the article. I think it is interesting when asking the dog vs. shark question and which is deadlier. I think the numbers may be skewed, as you have more risk of being attacked by a dog than a shark, but if individuals were locked in a room suitable in their environments 1v1 vs. a shark or dog, I would probably put my money on the shark. But the question was which is more deadly, not riskier. In actuality, I would agree dogs are more deadly than sharks, but only due to the fact that many people aren’t in shark inhabitated areas. I disagree with the vampires vs. zombies. Have you seen twilight or 28 days later? Granted, there is a huge difference between zombies and infected. I think this is a great article regarding risk and how we as individuals assess it. We look at the scarier option and focus on that rather than smaller behavior changes that are actually more influential on our health.

  • Kendra Larson

    Thank you for sharing this article! I always look forward to reading your articles, since they are short and get to the point. It is true, people do not measure their risks very well. People are more scared of dying in a place crash and they do not realize that the chance of dying in car crash, is much greater than dying in a plane crash. Like you discussed in class, we are afraid of the unfamiliar. If we do not know anything about it, and it is new to us, we tend to be scared of it. We need to take a step back and figure out what truly is a risk in our lives, and stop being afraid of the unfamiliar.

  • Caitlin Donohue

    Great article, Ann! Such a great point. It’s pointless to be fearful of things that do not exist, can’t hurt you or have a low probability of even effecting you. I’m definitely going to remember these points when promoting health in the future. Since reading this and hearing you talk about it I have since tried to eliminate or reduce risks in things I can control in life such as always locking the door of my house when I leave for school. How many complex carbs should one have in a day, on average?

  • strakaJA01

    Thanks for writing this! I feel like I am in class when reading it! Ever since we went over the 3 questions in class, I always catch myself thinking about them. Especially number three. I tend to be a worry wart, so this helps me a lot! Your last sentence definitely stuck out to me! Honing in on the probabilities and not the possibilities can save a person a lot of worry and stress! Overall, you seem to have your life figured out when it come to health. Do you ever find yourself worry about something even after you have rationalized it? What do you do in this case?

  • lepkowskjj29

    I agree with needing to hone in on the probabilities and not the possibilities because there is an endless amount of possibilities that can stress a person out.

  • turbo_frey

    Thank you for this article Ann! I always love it when you talk about assessing risk, and I now find myself lecturing others when they are wrongly assessing their own risks. It is true that we need to focus more on the probabilities that a risk may occur rather on the possibilities in which a risk may occur so that we can better prevent stress and further injuries. So many times we assess our risk based on a few unfamiliar horror stories that we have heard of instead of assessing our risk based on the many familiar tragic stories that occur on a daily basis. How do you believe we can better emphasize this concept and educate others around us on how to better assess familiar risks vs. unfamiliar risks? Do you believe media sources have a lot to do with how we asses risk?

  • masterdan55

    I absolutely love this article! Too many people aren’t assessing what is really causing them harm. People feel like they can text and drive because it isn’t a risk. Yet automobile accidents are very common. Being able to recognize what is actually causing you harm is the best option for maintaining your health.

  • Josh Pritchard

    Justin I agree with your response to Ann’s article. I think people are so worried about sharks because when there is an attack everyone makes this huge deal about it and it is all over the news. Vampires and zombies we don’t need to be worry about, yet people are. And if asked about texting and driving they will most likely say they do text and drive. We are in Wisconsin too so I don’t think we need to worry about shark attacks here. We need to be more focused on health related problems such as binge drinking and smoking. Anyone have any ideas how we can get more media to focus on health risks and not as much vamps, zombies and sharks?

  • MeierKM23

    Great article, Ann! There is no point of being afraid of something that doesn’t even exist. Also reading these points made reminded me also of discussing them in class and you do such a great job of putting it all into perspective and explaining things. What really stood out to me when we talked about this was for example we are more afraid of sharks than we are of dogs, when dogs are much more dangerous to us. We often don’t think about assessing our risks and having you talk about them really helped me realize what my real risks are around me. I’m definitely going to try to remember these points, especially since I am going into promoting health in the future. Thanks again for sharing!

  • Steven Bichler

    Great article again! As you always said in class “Figure out where your real risks are and try not to get distracted by less important facts.” I agreed with it then and I 100% agree still. Why would you put your child in a car where it is a lot more dangerous then sitting at corner waiting for the bus. As a worldwide population people need to learn risk assessment in order to achieve better health worldwide.

  • Mcgrailkk30

    I think this post is really eye opening for a lot of people and I believe the bias we have as humans about risks is that we want to control the easy things. We work, have school, have kids, etc. so we will find ourselves in a car a lot, which according to statistics is extremely dangerous for young people. We have an optimism bias that prevents us from feeling that risk, so we add to the behavior by texting or having a couple drinks. However, even if we are driving safe it’s dangerous. We try to make our lives healthier or better through the easy things that aren’t hard to give up. College kids don’t want to give up binge drinking but they try all kinds of crazy diets to be healthy. If a rocking bod or healthy lifestyle is what your after, then ask yourself “are you willing to give up want you want most for what you want in the moment?”

  • AndreaBehling

    Kelly, I like the question you pose here, “Are you willing to give up what you want most for what you want in the moment?” For college students, I think this is especially a difficult question to ask ourselves. Instant gratification comes too easily with a night of binge drinking or sending a text on the highway. The idea that we’re indestructible makes decision-making more difficult, but we’re at a point in our lives when responsibility levels are low and all we really have to worry about is ourselves. Shouldn’t we be even better at assessing this risk the? Before we have children or full-time jobs and when things REALLY start getting difficult? Why aren’t college students better at this (myself included)?

  • Kevin Weber

    Thanks for the article Ann! I completely agree that we need to focus on the every day risks, rather than the more threatening things in life that we find scary. Most people don’t take the time to think what every day activities can be harmful to our health. We feel that we have control over what we do each day, so we believe that they won’t be a risk to us. I tend to worry too much about the small things in life, so after what we discussed in class, it helps to put things in perspective.

  • katie bartlein

    I lied last week when I said that one of the most important things I have learned from you is to know who is trying to sell you information. I would have to say that this three part series, is the one of the most eye opening and important lessons I have taken from you. It tough to know what ‘healthy’ is when someone is trying to make a profit off of you, or when we hear that milk is bad for us. I feel like the people that are really buying into that crap are the ones who know that they have a drinking problem, or need to go to the gym more often but it is easier to take a pill for weightloss. How can we get those people on the right page?! I know its a pretty rhetiorical question but when someone such as myself is so passionate about health, it is hard to understand why someone else doesn’t value it just as much.

  • Jake Eckhardt

    I agree with this. They know they aren’t going to change their drinking habits because they can’t live without drinking. Then they look at milk and say “oh my god, that shit’s bad.” Then they realize they can cut out milk no problem and feel good about themselves for being “healthy” instead of addressing the real issues with their health.

  • Jake Eckhardt

    I’m the same way. Maybe inheriting a bunch of responsibility is the kick in the ass that people need to focus on their future instead of the instant gratification they can get.

  • @annwertzgarvin:disqus, this was such a brilliant set of posts. I just wanted to pause and say thank you… really and truly, I loved each of them individually and especially pulled together as a group!

  • barczakdm08

    Great post! Very simple yet informative facts, I agree with you people need to be more realistic and focus on the present rather than the future. Like you said people need to put things in context, like milk vs texting and driving. Get your sh** together before you worry about whether or not milk is bad for you! By focussing on the present dangers you’ll live a healthier, safer, and a more stress free life!

  • barczakdm08

    I can totally relate to you! I always end up hearing all of the complaints about early classes, too much homework etc… I not going to lie I sometimes complain about it too, but at the end of the day you have to appreciate all the opportunities we are given. Like you said not many people have the same opportunities as us. Take advantage of everything you have!

  • Zach Perkins

    This definitely summed it all up! Being a student in your classes, I can definitely say that some of the examples you gave were spot on to what actually happens in class. I think this article is really the most important for our societies health. We often are worrying about the wrong things! Where is the risk? This is what is important to our society and we have to find a way to change the perceptions of what people think.

  • Connor Driscoll

    Thank you for posting! Your articles can help anyone by putting very important issues into perspective. For example, my friend’s parents recently asked me if I was drinking enough milk when they found out I broke my wrist. They went on to tell me how important it is and how much they drink it. However, they were failing to consider that they are chronic smokers who have no right to be telling me about my milk drinking habits! Anyways, would you agree that modern day media plays a huge role in how we assess risk?

  • jack lomax

    Assessing risk is something we SHOULD do. We need to get our priorities right. What is important to us?
    But i think its something that we can’t do all the time. The example about being in a car increasing the levels you are putting yourself in danger for example…so I shouldn’t drive? It would create a world of hypochondriacs! Everyone would be rolling around everywhere in germ free bubbles. We need to assess our risks to an extent. We need to be reasonable in our assessments of risk. I am obviously someone who has optimism bias. I understand however, that we shouldn’t put ourselves in GREATER risk with completely avoidable things like drunk driving/texting and driving. Lets just not go overboard with risk assessment.

  • Sam Kuchenreuther

    I was thinking the same thing about the dog vs shark. I definitely would feel a lot safer in a room with a dog than a shark. However, I see her point behind saying it. As humans we are bad at determining risk. Most college kids drink more alcohol than beer which is terrible for your health. So I do agree with her on that. Good article though if you ask me.

  • sarahbrooks

    I agree with your response. Anything can happen to cause harm to someone. However, people only look at the crazy stuff like a shark attack or whether or not milk is good for them. To maintain a healthy lifestyle we should focus on what is most likely to realistically happen; such as driving and texting like you stated above!

  • WolfgramKA06

    This is a great article. We really need to consider what is truly important to us. I actually don’t like to drive, so it would be nice if we had more public transportation, although that is just as dangerous. It’s easy for some people to evaluate risk more than others, and some people are more of risk takers. What do you think is something we should pay more attention to that involves risk, besides what was mentioned?

  • Ryan R

    I wholeheartedly enjoyed this read, Ann Garvin. It is, in fact, very interesting to note how afraid we are of things that have about a 0.00001% chance of affecting us, when there are everyday possible dangers that we don’t even think about. The shark attacks vs. dog attacks statistic is an alarming statistic. If I had the pleasure of meeting you in person, I would ask if you would hypothetically be more afraid of a zombie or a vampire.

  • Drew

    Jack, I agree with your comment above. We do need to get our priorities on track. But for one I think that a lot of the things that get in the way stems from other happenings. Solving one risk might bring up another risk. We are always going to be at risk in someway or another, but the way people are handling and solving such risks is crazy nowadays.

  • Drew

    Mr. Driscoll, I agree on how the media makes each an every situation so much worse than it has to be. It’s crazy how noisy and annoying the media is nowadays. The articles you read telling us to watch out for this or doing this could cause this. blah blah blah. We see how growing up we rolled in the mud, ate things we shouldn’t, and I’m still alive. The way everything is portrayed today someone could die from just about anything at anytime.

  • Drew

    I think that the reason behind all of this is more probability. I feel like that because there are so many dogs and such little amounts of attacks that people are more apt to shrug it off and say that oh one dog attacked once. When sharks aren’t as plentiful and when we actually do hear or see about them is there was an attack. We don’t normally walk up to sharks and pet them, but I do feel like there are more dangerous things the we take for granted. Cars for one is huge!!

  • KevinThomson32

    I just touched on this in your last article before reading this one. We always stress about things we shouldn’t like flying in an airplane and getting eaten by a shark when studies show this is very unlikely. If we learn to worry about the things we should actually learn about we will be a lot less stressed.

  • AmandaBrom

    I enjoyed reading this article. It helps people put things into a different light. Yes something maybe be dangerous but are you already doing something else that is even more dangerous. I hear people talk about situations like this all the time. When is the proper time to tell them before you are concerned with the amount of milk you drink, maybe you should stop smoking. When you walk into a fitness center you hear stuff like this all the time. Someone saying I’m going to eat healthy but then orders the fried food. I believe this article is something that everyone should read and then maybe things would change. Its hard to tell someone that the habit they are doing in unhealthy, no one wants to hear they are wrong. Maybe this article would be a good way for them to see they are wrong and not have to be told. Thank you for this article!

  • Palecekb

    Kevin I agree with your opinion of being worried about things that could rarely even come true. I can admit to forgetting the everyday risks that I encounter and in turn worry about the worse case scenario. I do think that the reason myself and most other people do this is because we become accustomed and familiarize the hazards around us as safe. Some of them for me would be driving, handling a vehicle seems normal and easy so then on top of it I add texting or eating. When in reality the driving itself was dangerous to begin with. What are somethings you have become familiar with and forgotten the dangers behind them?

  • Katie Ackerman

    You always know how to put things in perspective. This blog post rings a bell from something….oh right, class. Since first hearing your lecture of “compared to what” I have certainly tried to put this into play. Mostly it’s when I look at a food label, or when someone tells me protein is all you need. I feel so aware of everything now, especially when people are obsessed over their own personal “risks.” I can’t help but chime in with, “oh yeah, compared to what?” Now everyone thinks I’m a bitch (but a bitch compared to whom?) and in the end, we’ve all learned.

  • Katie Ackerman

    Agreed! I can’t say I don’t fall under this category at times, but it is hilarious at some extent to see what others don’t. So many college kids who binge drink 3 days a week, still think they are “healthy” because they make it to the gym 5 days a week. It’s almost like an oxy moron. I think Ann enjoys telling people they are wrong…in a good way.

  • Haley Horn

    Your articles are my favorite, and you are my favorite teacher at Whitewater because you are just so real and straight forward. We need more people like that in this world. I love that you write about points you teach us in class. I can’t stand when people are clueless about their priorities. First example, someone says they’re going on a diet and eating all healthy now, but still smoke. Uhhhh, what are you doing. Second example, my roommate got very sick with the flu and she was so worried about getting behind in school, that the sickness she had lasted almost three times as long because she was not taking the correct actions to make herself better. Just like you say, IF YOU DON’T HAVE YOUR HEALTH, YOU DON’T HAVE ANYTHING. It really bothered me when she didn’t stay home and rest and then come back when she was better. INSTEAD she stayed at school, was puking every hour, was going to class, and had her MOM drive 2 1/2 hours to stay with us for 3 days just because she was worried about getting behind in school. That shit boggled my mind. Turns out, she got caught up in 2 days. Unreal isn’t it?

  • treehugger90

    Great article Ann! I totally agree that we need to stop wasting time worrying about the things that are more likely not to happen. This article reminds me of your stress management class! You are great at being so blunt. LOL Your article also reminds me of myself because I worry a lot about getting some crazy disease; instead of worrying about getting bit by a dog or getting in a car accident. Like you said in class we are less scared of the stuff that truly can be a bigger danger.

  • lshortreed

    I wish that life was that simple and we could not worry about things that scare us or things that we don’t plan. I agree with you Ann is a very blunt teacher that gets the point across. I wish that more professors were like this.

  • Amanda Laatsch ?

    I really like this article because you are exactly right. People often spend time worrying more about things that are never going to happen, rather than things that are an actual threat to themselves and their lives. For example, people were worrying about the world ending, rather than worrying about the damage that the pack of cigarettes they smoke everyday is doign to them. Compared to what is a great question to ask yourself in everything you ask. I will definitely challenge myself and ask those three questions the next time I am trying to make a decision.

  • LevenhagAL14

    I loved this article and I loved this lecture. Listening to you talk about this really made me realize that I need to put life into perspective. My deadly fear of spiders, yet having no issue hopping in my car every day to get to work. It’s important to manage your fears and handle them appropriately, so while becoming aware of the serious issues that actually do affect me, it was important to understand that going crazy over it isn’t going to solve any problems. It’s all about that “compared to what”. You are easily my favorite professor at Whitewater because you tell it like it is.

  • treehugger90

    The thing is if everything was simple, no one would be different! I waste my time way to much and wish I didn’t;I am a hypochondriac. I am getting a little better with time. I also wish there were more professors like Ann.

  • GraceFelion

    Thank you for your post! Again, when you write posts or speak it class for some reason it just makes sense to me. There really aren’t many things I fear but there definitely are some things I should be more careful about. It is definitely important to keep that in perspective and take care of myself.

  • Leahrebout

    Thanks for posting! I’ve heard you say all of this in class before and it was something that I had never thought of in this context but when I do it makes so much sense. I don’t get how some people, after hearing it put this way, still don’t realize the problem with their priorities. Health should always be number 1 on everybody’s list, live to achieve health.

  • Haley Horn

    Agreed! My roommate keeps getting sick but she doesn’t get better because she is too busy worrying about school. I honestly believe that she thinks school is more important than her health, or atleast that’s how she is portraying it, and it is really frusterating because it’s not healthy (literally) to have that frame of mind.

  • AndreaBehling

    Grace, I totally agree. Keeping things in perspective is key. It’s easy to let our minds wander to fear things we’ve come to think are our biggest threats. This might be an off-topic comment, but I thought about one of Ann Garvin’s lectures just this afternoon watching River Monsters. The crazy guy on the show was fly fishing in India and saw an elephant across the stream. My roommates and I went “AWW! He’s so cute!” ……until the show’s narrator then said “Nearly 350 people are killed by elephants each year.” ……”Aw” factor lost. It just made me think of how we’re all so scared of things like sharks when actually, the chances of us being attacked by a shark might even be lower than being killed by an elephant!

  • AndreaBehling

    But how can we not be more afraid of spiders than we are of driving when we see so many horrifying videos and pictures of deadly, nasty-looking spiders online!?! While I think it’s valiant to say we should be better judges of threats, it’s easier to be scared of an eight-legged creature than hopping in your car. Why? I think one of the reasons is that driving is most often a necessary and mundane function, and we’d go insane if we had to drive everyday like there were 50 spiders hanging out on the dashboard. We become accustom to it. So that’s why I think it’s always important to keep ourselves in check and also make those comparisons.

  • AndreaBehling

    It’s easy to put other priorities before your health! I hate to say it, but I’ve been in your roommate’s shoes. Sometimes meetings and deadlines can’t wait, and it’s hard to rationalize the benefits and downfalls of not lifting your foot off the gas pedal when you’re sick. It gets especially more difficult when you have kids. I don’t speak from experience, but I’ve witnessed my mom be sick for nearly a month and continue to go to work and take care of her family because she had to. It’s not always easy, but I think that’s why we have to continually make our own health a priority in our lives, and make sure we have a Plan B when our health stops us from doing the things we want and need to do.

  • Willie

    Thanks for the post! Some people will never know a true threat from one they think they should be scared of. People always think to follow the norm and don’t stop to think logically about what really has the likely hood of hurting you not what has the potential to hurt you to most or scares you the most.

  • Zach Perkins

    Agreed! Ann brought up many good points in this article about how we are afraid of the wrong things. The major reason for this is because many of the things we are afraid of are very tragic, despite the fact that they will never happen to us…. I would bet her answer for your question is “doesn’t matter”

  • Haley Horn

    Right and I get that, it makes sense. But she keeps getting sick and putting off going to the doctor to get it under control and get the treatment she needs so she can keep moving forward 100%. I guess I forgot to mention that there’s a really good chance that her sickness is stress induced. So I guess I am trying to seek out ways to help her cope.

  • Jennifer Lynn

    This is awesome to think about! I have heard you talk about many of these things in nutrition class but it is nice to read them over again. I think we can all look at this post and think about the amount of time we spend on our phones while driving or think about how much alcohol we drink in a given weekend especially if there are sporting event on television. Do you think articles like this have an impact on college students?

  • PKroening

    Thanks for sharing this article! People are always wondering if they should be eating or drinking something because they have heard it might be bad for them. When in all reality they are doing things 100x more deadly everyday. What do you think is a good way to get that point across?

  • PKroening

    I agree with you. Almost always people are worrying about things that are not even relevant to them. Instead, these people should take just small and easy to fix precautionary measures. I like your idea about more public transportation.

  • PKroening

    I have the same problem. I always worry about the things that hardly even matter in my life. Thanks to Ann and this article it has help put things in perspective.

  • PKroening

    Agree one hundred percent. People are constantly worrying about the wrong things. People, myself included< need to make sure they are prioritizing the right things.

  • PKroening

    Totally agree with you. When I heard her say that in class it was really eye opening. This article helps put things in perspective. Obviously, people need to worry more about putting their phone down in the car and worry less about if humans are supposed to drink milk.

  • Collin Smith

    Oh, absolutely a great article! I also believe that in determining the situation and environment is important before engaging in risky behavior. Police are trained to utilize a laptop while driving in their car to run an individuals license plates. Isn’t that risky behavior? But they are trained to a point where they can do it flawlessly. You never hear news stories about police officers causing accidents while performing these actions. What do you think?

  • ZakFritz

    This makes a lot of sense. I have heard a lot of people say I want to lose weight, or I want to start living a healthier lifestyle then they go and get drunk three nights out of the week. They do this and then worry about how many calories are in the sandwich they just ate. I am pretty sure if you want to lose weight I would not be worrying about the sandwich and start focusing on something else that needs to change.

  • Haley Horn

    I feel as if I have so many friends like this. Especially the one’s that go on the crazy diets. You don’t need a crazy diet to lose weight, you just need a few minor lifestyle changes and you should be okay. If you want to lose weight, cut the drinking, eat healthier, and exercise more often. It’s that simple!

  • Sam Kuchenreuther

    That’s not risky behavior in my opinion. I think they have had the proper training and the PD wouldn’t put someone on the streets who wasn’t able to do both. Plus the laptop is up on the dashboard so they don’t take their eyes off the road that much so it’s not as bad as, let’s say texting and driving. Because when people text is often them looking down at their laps, which is the real risky behavior.

  • Jansscor16

    I agree, every time someone questions a possible danger, they say “I heard this” or “I heard that”. Like you said they never logically think about it and the amount of risk. Hopefully by using what Ann Garvin said we can help those that say or think this way and help them evaluate risks correctly.

  • barczakdm08

    Yes, exactly you just see so many people these days worrying about things they really shouldn’t really pay too much attention to.

  • pinsolera

    This article is very insightful and shows where many people are flawed in what they consider “risky” and worry about other things that aren’t of much importance. Which, I’ve noticed that when I started to stop worrying about things that were insignificant in my life, I felt and still feel so much healthier, than even two years ago. Also, the questions that you listed off in the beginning make a lot of sense because to some people, an opinion may fit with them because everyone has different morals. So, how long did it take for you to not worry about every little thing, if you ever did?

  • Kevin Weber

    I agree with you! With all the information we have at our finger tips today, you would think people would care more about their health. You only have one life, so what would people want to waste it on stupid decisions, while risking other peoples lives.

  • Tammy Hartmann

    Ann, thanks for all you have shared, and I love reading your articles. They help remind me of how important it is to send a message to others and change the priorities and perspectives often in our lives.

    Your questions were challenging: I bet once we become experts in asking ourselves how to determine our risk(s), a lot of time will be saved because we’ll focus on the more important things and on what needs to be addressed.

    I read people’s comments below your article, especially those who said they wished there were more people who practiced your article’s message out there. Why don’t they do exactly what you did? It’s not so hard. They could also share your article with others, like someone suggested—this would be a great starting point.

  • amykahl8

    I know a lot of people that get caught up I worrying about all of the wrong things. I need to show this to some family and friends to help them realize that they should stop worrying about standing too close to the microwave while it’s running and start worrying about the amount of fat and refined sugar they are consuming daily.

  • ghilonipt09

    I think a great way to get the point across to college students is have them write down everything they eat and do for a week and see what the results are because they need to make a change in their life and the only way someone can do that is write down everything they do for a week so they realize what they are doing exactly.

  • Keeli Gilbert

    Well this was fabulous!
    I never really thought about the things that I fear compared with those that could actually harm me and/or my life.
    I fear sharks and I have always grown up with dogs, I never thought that dogs would be more dangerous, but for me, I am around them more so I would be used to them compared to sharks since I only swim with them once a year. I wonder what other things I am fearing when I should be in fear of something I am or could be doing to cause my actual fear.
    Thanks for the eye-opener Ann! I needed this!

  • Collin Smith

    I will admit to texting while driving. I used to hold my phone up at the top of my steering wheel so that I could watch both the road and my phone. I did not need to watch the phone, however, as I memorized my keyboard. Since it has become illegal, I now text more secretly by keeping my phone low causing my eyes to move off the road. Have you ever texted while driving?

  • giorgiogmr

    This is amazing, thanks for writing this article. It never crossed my mind that eating junkfood is less dangerous than texting while driving. This article helped me realize that there are more dangerous habits that me and my friends have to change before worrying about lesser risks in our life. Most people don’t think logically about the risk they have while texting and driving compared to drinking a full glass of vanilla milkshake. Hopefully this article will help those people who worry about the lesser risk in their life and make them more cautious about their bad habits.

  • Ryan R

    I completely agree with your sentiments, Tyler Steinmetz. I like your examples of texting and driving, and Friday binge drinking sessions. I don’t know too many humans who are afraid of these things, but yet these are way more dangerous than the things we normally associate with fear.

  • Sam Kuchenreuther

    NEVER! Just kidding I have. I only do it when the traffic isn’t busy or if I’m on the freeway. I know I should stop but all my girlfriends will get worried. (Kidding again) But seriously texting and driving is risky behavior and is something we should all stop. I’ve been slowly trying to stop doing it.

  • Collin Smith

    I will admit that it is difficult. I am on the road every day on backroads going to and from either Delavan or Muskego. The miles of farmland can make me extremely bored and I find joy in keeping a conversation with my girlfriend (I only have one as compared to your numerous amounts). It is a bad habit, but in my opinion it keeps me mentally happy which is not necessarily a bad thing, especially with it’s influence on my overall health. Your thoughts?

  • Kendra Larson

    Yeah, I don’t think many people take the time to think about these kind of risks. They are too busy worrying about the things that they are not at high risk for. I never thought about this before until Ann talked about it in class. It makes you look at your worries in a different perspective. It makes you ask yourself, what risks are you really at risk for?

  • Caroline Brewka

    I had to laugh reading this. And, while it is funny, there is an unquestionable truth to it. However, I can imagine that it is hard to do. In a way, it is human nature to worry about the smaller risks. And sometimes taking care of the smaller risks makes the everyday life, a littler easier (or more comfortable to those who cannot handle lactose milk). What’s important is that we use our best judgement. Keep a healthy balance of risk assessments– chase the dangerous risks, but toss in a lesser risk every now and then. Thanks!

  • Taylor Schulz

    LOVE this article. It is funny, but it is so true, and relatable. Someone had actually told me the other day that milk was bad for me. I was confused because of all things that could possibly be hazardous to my health, they said it was milk? Even if there were some health risks associated with milk, like you said, there are far bigger and more important things that you should be worried about in regards to your health. I do believe that this article is a great piece of advice, mostly because I believe that a lot of us, especially college students, can relate to it. Thanks for sharing!

  • Sam Kuchenreuther

    I always say that you should do what makes you happy. And if that makes you happy then I think you should do it. But BE CAREFUL! In my opinion, you should only do it when it is completely necessary.

  • pinsolera

    I understand what you’re saying. I used to worry about that more, but I realized that there are so many other worse problems out in the world, like driving while there could be someone texting and driving right next to you. But Ann does a good job projecting the information to us with passion.

  • Katie Ackerman

    I think this is something we definitely we all over look. We suck at evaluating risk.

  • Katie Ackerman

    My favorite is ” I’m drinking coconut water to lose weight.” Uhhh why don’t you just drink regular water? People completely miss the point.

  • Palecekb

    Simple solutions like “eat more fruits and vegetables” or “drink more water” do not sell. People are constantly trying to make things look and seem better then they are. Your comment on coconut water is exactly right! It gets hard to not roll your eyes or look at them like “ummm ok?” I find these situations happening more with women then men, but they are doing it too, especially in the weight room. (gulping down a protein shake) saying things such as “Im bulking” it makes me laugh and have to turn or walk away.

  • Katie Ackerman

    I am not saying I am any smarter or better than they are but I just don’t understand it. How do you not understand that there is no and never will be a simple fix to health. One of my favorite quotes is “Food is the most widely abused anti-anxiety drug in America, and exercise is the most potent and underutilized antidepressant.” Boom.

  • Palecekb

    I could not have said it better myself.

  • Collin Smith

    I would agree with you. After all, is it really worth it? I wouldn’t trade a lifetime exchanging words with a friend over a text message as simple as “nothing much, hbu?”

  • Chris Williams

    Great article, Ann! There is no point of being afraid of something that doesn’t even exist. Also reading these points made reminded me also of discussing them in class and you do such a great job of putting it all into perspective and explaining things. What really stood out to me when we talked about this was for example we are more afraid of sharks than we are of dogs, when dogs are much more dangerous to us. We often don’t think about assessing our risks and having you talk about them really helped me realize what my real risks are around me. I’m definitely going to try to remember these points, especially since I am going into promoting health in the future.

  • TeamGarvin

    Jaws! That movie is the whole reason why people think like that. Like you mention in all of your classes, the social media plays such a huge role in our lives. That is the reason why people think like this. Same thing with twilight, and walking dead. None of it is real yet people believe it and it’s their biggest fear. People don’t look at the little things like ya milk is bad for you, yet all the alcohol you drink doesn’t effect you at all, bogus. I think you should make a movie Ann that has the real life dangers so that people will use it as their media and believe those things and fear what really needs to be feared. Like obesity. Make a monster that was formed by obesity so people will believe that causes monstrosity and maybe just maybe they will use that movie to avoid eating unhealthy.

  • TeamGarvin

    You make a good point by showing your family and friends. I didn’t think of a way to share this other than on Facebook. It’s good to see that people read these blogs and think I how can I share this. I try to tell my friends but they think it’s just a fad I’m going through, because I’m in Ann’s nutrition class. Yet in the hindsight they are oblivious to a lot of things. Good luck advocating this.

  • Janna Bartels

    I just really LOVE your posts. You are so direct and easy to follow! You make being healthy sound so easy, and it really takes effort! I love that this post talks about prioritizing what health behaviors you need to change first. It is because of this idea that I have decided to not drink alcohol. Yes, I’ll occasionally try someone’s drink. However, there are so many other things I struggle with, like eat a whole back of chips, that I don’t even want to start struggling with controlling my alcoholic intake.

  • Palecekb

    I am awful at considering risks, sometimes I don’t even consider them and end up thinking to myself, why did that not sound like a bad idea at the time?

  • DuCharmeDR11

    Going off what you said, I could not agree more on the need to put things into context. But to challenge that point, I do believe that every little step helps. Sometimes it is worth the extra time to take a step back and assess what behaviors really need to be changed, and which ones you are avoiding because they have become bad habits. What are some steps you take to change those “bad habits” that have been formed over time?

  • Tyler Pierce

    Ann, it obviously makes more sense to worry about the higher risk things such as alcohol than the lower risk things such as milk, but I get wrapped up in what I want to do more than what I don’t want to do. Such as I would rather drink a beer and give up milk than vice versa, but when you put this into perspective on how I should give up both alcohol and milk but should first give up the alcohol because that is the higher risks makes a lot of sense. Do you compare all of your risks to one another and how many risks do you compare them to?

  • Nathan Gillette

    It can be so easy to get caught up in worrying about every little thing. You make a great point about evaluating the probabilities. Every person has different habits so lifestyle changes need to be personalized to make a huge impact. Telling someone to limit their alcohol intake that is a regular binge drinker will greatly impact their lifestyle compared to someone who has an occasional drink out with friends. Some people feel guilty about every about every unhealthy behavior in which they engage. I believe in “everything in moderation” because everyone is human and will engage in unhealthy/dangerous habits at some point, we just need to keep those decisions conscious and make an effort to change them. My question is, with so much conflicting information about healthy foods/habits/lifestyles in today’s world, are they any great resources that you use to find researched and up to date information (that not just the average joe decided to post on the internet)?

  • Jeremy Demos

    This simple approach needs to be applied to so many more issues. Just a look at the evening ‘news’ where talking heads cry and scream about banning inanimate objects because something bad happened, or enacting new laws to prevent something they don’t like without mentioning the fact that their proposals do nothing to actually address the problem.

  • hensella

    This is a great approach Ann that many people should think about with their lifestyle. I think the majority of people get caught up in things that aren’t that important to live a healthy lifestyle. They get caught up in fads or something they read in health magazines. This simple thought process will definitely help me live a more healthy lifestyle. How do most people respond when you give them this type of advice?

  • Reece Raethke

    This is such a great point. People get so worked up about the ridiculous health claims that they fail to recognize the truly destructive behaviors they already have. People need to be smart enough to see the big picture and focus on what actually works, instead of worrying about the small details.

  • kkachel

    I have a very fit friend who bikes, hikes, skis cross country, is totally vegan and is constantly looking for ways to reduce her carbon footprint. But she loves beer, wine and tall mixed drinks. I think she drinks to the extent that it may nullify the positive effects of all her other activities.
    My behaviors are flawed as well. The first thing I need to work on is my lack of sleep during the teaching year. Not getting enough sleep is dangerous to my own health. When I drive, my sleepiness is dangerous to others as well. Thanks, Ann for helping me get my health priorities set.

  • Kyle moore

    Nutrition is always set to the side by indivudals who believe you can work off anything you workout. Well in fact thats false because what Americans typically think is an okay meal is about 1000 calories plus. A daily value for people is about 2000. Well 3 meals at 1000 equals 3000. Now this isnt including snacking. So lets say 3750 calories a day. In a great workout with cardio you will burn 700 calories. So after this math whats the difference? 3000 calories. Thats the problem there, junk food are not nutrient dense foods and have little benifit to people to burn off fat and gain lean muscle. So my point here is that the bad habits people have or splurging on foods is not easily overlooked from a nutritionist standpoint and should look at what they are intaking not others.

  • Aaron Ackerman

    Being a huge milk drinker I have never heard of these rumors of it being bad so that is sort of news to me. But for the rest of the article I have always lived my life that most things are okay in moderation. Ann do you believe it is okay to have a couple beers on the weekend with your friends? Or would you say having the goal of completely eliminating alcohol from your diet the ultimate goal?

  • Robert Murdock

    I was a huge milk drinker during my childhood and still am to this day. I remeber going to some friends houses and when it came time to eat dinner they would look at me funny as I asked for a glass of milk. I looked at them with the same amount of shock when I would see them all drinking soda. Now a days I see that similar with how some of my friends consume alcohol. Some will sit at the bar all night and drink like a fish, and I’ll meet up with them and have a beer or two over a two or three hour period and they look at me with shame as if I should be keeping up with them. In the end I think anything is ok in moderation, outside of cocaine, meth, and other such drugs…My question would be is it really terrible to endulge the sweet tooth, in moderation, with having a beer when your grilling out on a Sunday night? Or going out for ice cream for dessert with your significant other after dinner?

  • Sharmaine A.

    I agree. It is all about priority-what people think is the most important. It’s funny how people reduce thier behavior in something they think is harmful while behaving in other ways to bring upon harm.

  • Eric H

    People worry about the dumbest things and then ignore the obvious things they should worry about. A lot of people on campus will wonder if they should eat a piece of pizza cause it will make them feel upset about eating it, and then when the night comes, they have 5 drinks and eat a whole pizza. We engage in very unhealthy behaviors, and ignore them. Then when minor things arise, we make them a big deal. Is it okay to have a few drinks and be responsible? Will this affect your health to the point where nobody should drink alcohol?

  • Justin Shelton

    It’s just funnyhow people will make the biggest deals out of little things, such as milk that was stated in the article while the same people make unhealthy choices on a regular basis and aren’t the most healthy individual. I feel that people need to really take time to realize the risks they are choosing to take and ask themselves the “Compared to what?” question a lot more.

  • katrina brown

    i love your response to the students question about milk. you totally just switch things up but are able to successfully make connections and therefore provide a better more generalized and less bias point of view on health overall. It really helps me, because I personally have a hard time staying focused (mostly due to my A.D.D.) which overall challenges me to organize all the little fragments of information in accordance to my health and whats best for me as an individual. So it is very nice to now have a sense of direction with the concept of my health concerns and their risk’s importance in my life.

  • Travis Ricci

    In this topic i think its amazing that this is exactly what happens someone will read something somewhere usually the internet and then feel as though they have expertise on the subject and try to spread the fun fact around like saying milk is bad because of a certain ingredient in it which true or not its something they barely read and now assume I’M not doing that now. Then later on go out to McDonald and eat about 1500 calories in who knows what kind of beef or chicken along with the 1/2 liter of soda they consumed. Making the right choices in life overall and comparing bad to good.

  • Kevin Semler

    Asking if milk is bad for you gets me every time as well. Along with hundreds of other related questions, people who dwell on one thing being bad for you almost 100% of the time don’t see the big picture and what is actually killing people. Heart disease is leading killer of everything in the United States and that is the big picture. The media doesn’t need to portray stories and articles about why you shouldn’t eat whole grain bread because any type of bread is bad for you. The real story should headline- “What you can do to reduce your risk of heart disease”

  • Ronny

    I do think that a lot of people get caught up in the small things and we do not pay attention to the real problems that we need to face. This article doesn’t just relate to food but to a lot of aspects of our life.

  • Sydney Sipos

    I honestly laughed out loud at the “conversation” section of this article. But deep down, I know I’ve made excuses for my health behaviors in a similar way. I didn’t have the burger last night, so I can do two cookies today, etc. Seeing it laid out this way makes me realize how flawed our thinking and justification is when it comes to healthy behaviors (or lack thereof).

  • Brady Sexton

    I think people are just willing to take something out of their diet or life they do not care to lose so they can justify something they love. Alcohol in your article is a perfect example of this. People never seem to want to give that up but are willing to ask the question about other things to take out of their diet. Deep down they know they should start by taking alcohol out of their diet, but that is not what they want to hear or do so they look for other things.

  • Brooke Gregory

    This article really does put things into context. I have tried eating healthy before but still went out every weekend and smoked occasionally. I guess I never thought one could counteract the other. I always think “if I’m being mostly healthy, then I’m pretty much being healthy”. According to this article that is not the case. My only question would be is it possible to get away with both?

  • Alyssa Schragen

    I heard someone tell me once that “for every night out drinking, you lose two weeks of training.” As I listen to my coaches tell me this for years at the beginning of every season I continue to ask them the same question. Why is the people on the team that you find drink, smoke, and party the most; are the ones that are MVP? If they lose out on that much after one night of drinking, how is it that they are so much better than someone like myself that doesn’t do any of the 3. But then instead of comparing my personal skills to how much they drink during the season, I started to think “Wow, if that is true, image how much better they could be if they stopped. If their good now, I bet they could almost go pro.” Your article really got me thinking. I really need to start asking more questions in comparison to the facts they are feeding us athletes.

  • cateynavarro

    When you put things into perspective the little things seem to vanish and you are able to focus on the big picture. What does it matter if milk is good or bad for you if you never make it to the store because you got into an accident texting and driving. Or when people care so much about drinking calories. You probably shouldn’t be worrying about that if you are counting you calories and watching you weight because alcohol is just going to set you back (unless its ONE glass of wine). I find myself having these moments where I realize what I’m worrying about is so pointless and even sitting here thinking about is wasting time that could be spent in a much better way. I wish I had more of these moments!

  • Hannah Leggett-Hintz

    As we just finished talking about this topic in our Stress Management class on Monday, I have such a different outlook on risk. We truly perceive and place our risk factors way out of order to where they should be in our lives. As an over thinker, I tend to worry a LOT. Not only that, but when I worry, my mind automatically rushes to the absolute worst possible scenario in that situation. Why? It’s beyond me, but it happens in just about everything I worry about. Talk about a huge waste of time and energy. Now that I know about it though, I have such an easier time noticing it and pointing it out to myself. Because truly, everything works out in the end almost ninety-nine percent of the time. Whatever’s meant to be, will be. What does worrying do in any situation? It prepares evil in your mind and takes away the smidgen of hope that you may still have. Risk is something that we need so desperately to reconsider in our lives. What are the real risks that effect you every single day, and how can you eliminate those? That’s what I got from this article, and those are the questions I continuously pose to myself.

  • hasselbemj31

    In Monday’s Stress Management class when we did the activity about how CDC asked parents what they most likely thought caused the most injuries and seeing how far off they were really, started putting things into perspective. We as human beings tend to think about everything very negatively. We bring ourselves to the worst possible situation and not because that is who we are but because that is what our media has taught us. They have taught us that sharks are scarier than dogs because sharks like blood. But in all reality like you mentioned people get bitten by dogs way more frequently. I will admit that when reading this and answering those questions I went, sharks DUH! But why did I say that? I was even attacked by a dog when I was younger. This discussion we had in class and now after reading this article really made me start to understand that I need to start to focus on the important risk behaviors.

  • Nathan

    Thank you for the article! It makes since that people should put everything into perspective. I hear a lot of people tell me that they are just going to stop eating bread because it isn’t healthy for you. In my head I wonder, “What if you still ate bread, but you ate vegetables for every meal.” Bread does not add 4 inches to your waist line, but if you just do the basics then you should be fine. I am confused as to how people can think some things, such as that milk is bad for you.

  • Steffiheuer

    I like this article because my dad, out of nowhere, became this huge health nut. It was annoying because him and my step mom still did things that people should not. They do not drink alcohol at all, which is nice. Texting and driving is a HUGE no go for them as well, but they lay out in the sun for hours. My step moms family has a history of skin cancer yet she still does not use sunscreen outside. It drives me crazy to watch them layout in the pool with sun tan oil and zero SPF. I wish that we would focus more on the things that we can fix without becoming this extremely, no to everything, kind of family. Thank you for spreading your thoughts through this article.

  • Ananda Conlon

    Some people focus highly on “good foods” and “bad foods.” They trouble with that is that if you are stressing so much about the category that a particular food falls in, you may be doing more harm on your complete health spectrum. It is also important to keep comparisons similar. Yes, grilled chicken is better than crispy chicken, but if you absolutely love crispy chicken, I think that it is important to not completely cut it out of your diet. If eating a crispy chicken sandwich once every few months, makes you happy, then do it. So much hype gets put on the strictness of diets. I think that eating healthy most of the time is important, but i am also an advocate of splurging occasionally as well.

  • Ryano313

    If the main goal is trying to have a healthier lifestyle, you can’t do it in one aspect. You have to go all out and be healthier in every way. An example is like say you workout everyday and you eat somewhat healthy. On the weekends though, you go out and smoke and drink with your friends. Now that is just setting you back on your goal of trying to have a healthier lifestyle. If you aren’t going to go all out, you might not be satisfied with the end results.

  • Carly Konkol

    Seriously though, does anyone live a completely healthy lifestyle? And I mean 100% all of the time. I eat healthy, exercise and get plenty of sleep during the week, but I like to go out to the bars with my friends on the weekend. Do I consider myself an unhealthy person, not at all. Obviously. drinking more milk then alcohol is a no-brainer. But, I don’t smoke or do any drugs. If alcohol is my one “cheat” during the week, I consider myself in a pretty good place. I do agree; however, that cutting one thing out of your diet or not having a balanced diet is a poor plan. Some people I’ve known have cut out all carbs, but probably make up for those lost calories in other places. Everyone needs carbs, protein, fruits and vegetables. I try to eat all of these groups each day, even if they are seperated into different meals.

  • Alex Prailes

    I really enjoyed this article, thank you for sharing! I never thought of it as a “compared to” risk assessment. I think I need to look at how I view more things in my life. It’s about looking at the big picture rather than just little risk assessments. I also think we have to consider the fact about moderation. I think a lot of people when they diet think that because they’ve eaten a piece of cake their diet is ruined therefore they just stop all together. It’s better to understand that moderation is key and it will help live a healthier lifestyle as well. Do you have any advice on putting it into perspective of someone who doesn’t think their diet is bad?

  • Aarynn Bosshart

    Thank you for telling it like it is. It is so true that all too often we get caught up in the little things when it comes to health. You made me laugh out loud when you talked about milk conversations in your nutrition classes.
    Student: I heard humans are not meant to drink milk. We don’t digest it and there are too many antibiotics and hormones in it. Should I stop drinking milk?
    Me: How much alcohol did you drink last night? You smell like cigarettes. Do you text and drive?
    It’s so true that sometimes we prioritize our worries in such (for lack of a better term but more-so because I like the word wacky) wacky ways.

  • Natasha Tynczuk

    I completely agree with you! I know someone who has cut wheat completely out of her diet, and I can tell that she stresses about it. There are so many different foods she used to enjoy that she never eats anymore, not even occasionally. Some of the foods aren’t even necessarily bad for you. I do respect her decision to try and live a healthier lifestyle, but I believe that you can still be healthy without cutting all of that food out, while occasionally enjoying a cookie every once in a while.

  • Sam Kuchenreuther

    All of your articles have a common theme. The theme is that health is a lot simpler than people think it is. I love it! Thank you, Ann. Back in High School my sister got into a car accident while she was texting and ever since then, I never do. I have never been in a car accident and if it wasn’t for my sister, I might have been. Although I do have a question. I keep a healthy lifestyle by eating right and getting exercise but school still stresses me out. Is this a risk to my health? If so, how should I handle it?

  • Skowronssj06

    I agree with you and Natasha completely. I know this older couple who are friends with my parents and they did the Atkins diet. They pretty much can only eat like 4 things. They lost weight, yes, but they are MISERABLE. A big part of staying healthy is your happiness. Like you said, if eating a crispy chicken sandwich makes you happy- do it! I am one who enjoys her cheeseburgers. Do I want to cut it out of my diet because it’s unhealthy? No. It is my favorite food so I enjoy it every once in a while and eating only a certain type of food everyday can majorly affect your mood. Staying healthy is important, but staying happy is a key feature in a positive healthy lifestyle.

  • CoachDavis24

    Being in 3 of your classes, back to back to back, reading your articles is like being in the classroom. I appreciate how authentic you are. You have opened my eyes to risk management. I don’t know how much risk management I have consciously done. I have always been an easy going guy, but I have gotten away with making a ton of poor risk management. Your advise on risk management makes me see the big picture.

  • Miggz13

    I enjoyed this topic you posted up. At first I really
    believe you were going to discuss which supernatural monster is deadlier, until
    I read the whole article. I agree with you that everything needs to be put into
    context, but it easier said than done. Most people do not put things into context
    usually play it by the ear. For example you mentioned in your article on how
    milk does not digest well in humans and there are too many antibiotics and
    hormones in it and that alcohol is deadlier than just drinking milk, because they
    are not aware of the saturated fat. But let’s face it many students drink
    alcohol to fit in with the crowed. It is hard for a student to play it smart
    and be the only one sober at a house party.

  • Miggz13

    I understand where you are coming from no one lives healthy
    to its fullest , but I believe Ann Garvin is spreading awareness to those who
    do drink a lot of beer. Ann Garvin mention in her class that college students
    have being getting Rohypnol (roofies) through drinks at the bars. I have talked to campus officers about this
    situation and have mention that there has been an increase of this drug. One
    should not just focus on the affects in physical health, but should beware of
    the side of mental health when consuming alcohol. There have been reports of
    people walking off the query in whitewater after the bars.

  • Miggz13

    Although I have not read most of Ann’s articles she has made
    things a little simpler to understand. In reality if people want to live
    healthier they should just manage their health. That means write down a food
    log on the amount they eat, along with the amount of money they spend on take
    out food. Then people will realize the amount of money they could of saved if
    they did not spend money on junk food.

  • Miggz13

    No, I do not believe you can get away from both living
    health and not living health does come with a cost. For example living health
    can be expensive one would have to buy the certain food they need to eat, and
    pay for a gym membership just to go workout. Unlike the unhealthy way people
    would eat food that can be very high on cholesterol and could cause possibly too
    many other illnesses in their future. I do believe we can maintain a balance.

  • Carly Konkol

    Interesting point about the Rohypnol problem. I have not heard much about it, but I’m sure it is definitely prevelant. Something everyone should always be aware of at the bar. I, myself always keep that in mind for myself and my friends. Also, I totally agree with you on the negative mental health effects from drinking too much alcohol. Poor judgement and bad choices while under the influence are very prevalent as well and is something I didn’t even think of. My friend from high school was the first person to die in the quarry. He was not new to drinking and was 2 blocks away from his home, when he ended up 2 miles the opposite direction in the quarry. We all have our own opinions about the quarry deaths, but I strongly believe foul play was involved. Especially since I had a close relationship with one of the victims, which makes it hard for me to believe that alcohol is the culprit.

  • Jessica White

    I was thinking the same thing as I was reading this article. What is amazing is that Ann can make these 3 simple questions into a semester curriculum so you can take them and use them to make better life decisions. I like that she doesn’t just say, “do this and not that.” Ann states that we need to prioritize our concerns. Granted, I’m the odd one that would be more likely to have a glass of milk versus a bottle of beer in my hand at a party but regardless, after reading this article, it reiterates the fact that we have choices. Those are our individual choices to make, right or wrong, good or bad, healthy or not. The occasional ice cream treat isn’t nearly as bad as the consequences that could happen from texting and driving. It’s all about prioritizing. Thanks Ann. Lessons from Stress Management class are flying through my head right now.

  • HelpHealth002

    Thank you for writing this article Professor Garvin! You brought up a great point! I’ve run into people that will talk about how they eat only organic, non-GMO foods and how ‘healthy’ they are.. and then a few hours later you see them smoking outside. I believe eating organic and staying away from pesticides,etc is great but if your smoking as well, your still putting thousands of other unnatural substances (carcinogens) in your body. This article is great for everybody to read because we all have ‘bad’ habits in health and need to have a reality check on how were ordering our healthy decisions in importance. Just curious, how do you feel about drinking milk and the many hormones that are added to them?

  • Mitch Sween

    Thanks for the post Ann. I’m assuming that the point you are trying to make is that people suffer from tunnel vision when considering health, then spend so much of their time focusing on one aspect when they forget that health is as broad that health encompasses their whole life. Is it in each decision they make, it is in what food they eat, it is in where they go and what they do.

  • Tracy_Werner

    Although I believe all 3 parts of this post are important, I am particularly interested in the third question we should ask ourselves– Compared to what? You gave the examples of comparing substances that you put into your body. I think a lot of people compare their actions and habits to other people’s instead of comparing their own actions with each other. I am guilty some days of having the mindset that it’s ok for me to skip my workout because some people never work out and are perfectly healthy and don’t gain weight. Another example would be going out and drinking but having a few less drinks than friends so that it is not as bad. Comparing our actions to others is pointless because everyone’s body is different. We need to take care of ourselves and remember that everyone’s route to a healthy lifestyle is different. Thank you for this post!

  • ReneeKirch19

    Thank you for this article Dr. Garvin, it was an interesting read! I was a little thrown off when I first read the title of this article, I wasn’t quite sure what it was going to be about. After reading it however, I really liked the analogy you made. I have never realized how many people seem so clueless to the health risks that exist in our society today, and I would even admit that I can be one of those people too. I know I too tend to worry about the lesser risks in life and ignore the bigger risks that come along with some of my behaviors. Why do you think people do that? Does our society create the illusion that we don’t have to worry about the big health risks attached to our “bad” behaviors?

  • Trista Radloff

    I think there are two reasons why we focus on the lesser risks in life and ignore the bigger risks. First, we don’t necessarily see the effects some of the bigger risks have. For instance, heart disease. When I go to McDonald’s weekly and don’t exercise, I am not thinking that I may end up having a heart attack at the age of 50. I am not seeing the long term affects of my own unhealthy habits. Second, people think they are invincible. I know that at times I check my phone while I’m driving when I shouldn’t. I figure I have control, nothing is going to happen. In the end I think we think we have more control than we do. When we are texting and driving, we have no control. But I know that I feel that I have control.

  • karinaz10

    I agree, risk assessment is an issue. It’s difficult for people to envision what the effects of their current lifestyle will have on their future. I am one of those people. And although I do agree that personal health should be a top priority, I also think it’s okay to cheat sometimes. But, moderation is key. You don’t want to live a
    miserable life by not allowing yourself to eat certain things. Being happy is
    also a part of being healthy.

  • Brad Vogel

    One of the greatest follies that we face every day is the belief that statistics are an “end all, be all” indicator as to what our risk assessment shall be or what we should be most concerned about in our lives. I have ZERO doubts that context is important but what some do not often ever ask is questions such as “who made this study and with what means/funding?” “What do we know about the individual/organization that funded this study?” “Can we ourselves replicate this study and achieve the same results?”

    Statistics may make for interesting talking points but I believe that if you’re going to make them, you better be able to provide some convincing examples or else it’s no more than a talking point.

  • Matthew Manley-Browne

    Thank you for your post.
    I think this article is important because many times people do not focus on the bigger picture when it comes to risk. An example of a risk that many people may not think of is exercise and they way we eat. Many people think that you can eat whatever you want as long as you exercise as well. While exercise is important, the food that you put in your body is just as important as the amount of exercise that you do.

  • knapprl17

    Thank you for this article. Prioritizing is hard for many people, including myself. The questions you asked in the article helped me understand that many of the things I worry about and make my priority are the complete opposite of what I should worry about.

  • Jack Delabar

    Zombies are real and so is Big Foot…but anyways, this article reminds me of a discussion we had in class a few days ago. We were talking about how there are thousands and thousands of people who are afraid to fly, but deaths in car accidents are much more abundant. Maybe it’s because the media portrays things differently? The food industry is responsible for the obesity epidemic in our country, but if they can make money by giving people cancer and making them unhealthy, who cares! Same with cigarettes…messed up world we live in.

  • earose14

    I would for sure agree with you that people over think things. People always waste there time thinking about things that are not important other than the food there putting in there mouths. Instead of thinking about whats more deadly or risky think about whats harming your body by the bad habbits you have. The bad habbits you choose to do such as texting and driving is much more deadly than the things you listed. I have heard that it is more dangerous to text and drive than to drunk drive, is this true? Thanks for sharing this blog.

  • Glassborow

    Thank you for this article, I completely agree that people maybe worry about things that aren’t as important as others e.g. drinking milk compared to drinking and drugs etc. I’m definitely one of those people that worry about the silliest of things when I should be thinking about more important stuff like my grades, than whether I have said the wrong thing to someone. I do however, think that we shouldn’t just ignore other issues that may not seem as significant as others . Would you suggest any ways on trying to avoid over thinking?

  • Kaylee Raucci

    Thank you for the article Ann! I just don’t get what zombies and vampires had to do with the artilce itself? If they don’t exist why even bring them up? Because we’re talking about things that can actually happen to us, it just seemed off balanced to me. Other than that I like it a lot. I am someone who is more afraid of sharks than dogs, and i’m with two dogs everyday. Obviously my risk is higher to get bit by a dog, but it doesn’t scare me. It’s weird how that works, isn’t it? People get scared at far fetched fears, when the one that should scare them the most is right in front of them.

  • mankobj22

    The chances of being killed by a Zombie/Vampire can easily be put on the list right next to sharks, and let’s throw in severe wheat gluten allergies too. Sure, it is possible to be killed by a shark or to have a severe wheat gluten allergic reaction, but the chances of either of those things occurring are so small that they will never happen to you (and just to clarify, I am referring to “you” as being the world’s population, not “you” as a specific individual). That is why I have them on the same list as Zombies/Vampires. We tend to fear the things that will never affect us, but then laugh in the face of actual killers such as coronary heart disease with the way that we consume unhealthy foods.

  • ReneeBinder

    These three questions are very important to consider when thinking about different diet techniques that are on the market. This is something that in the past I have gotten absorbed by. It is very easy to believe everything they tell you on the commercials but in actuality they don’t care about your health, just their revenue.

  • Charles Fischer

    Context is how you see it and what your priorities are, most people see the first thing that catches their eye and wants it, not taking the time to see what else is out there that my be more healthy for them. We as a people need to take the time to look beyond or short term needs and look at what we need to do to live a long health life.

  • SasCas116

    Thank you for this article! I usually am one to ask myself these questions on occasion. However, your “compared to what” question has been drilled in my mind ever since I took Nutrition for Health with you (best class ever by the way!) Since it’s been drilled in my head, my health has gotten exponentially better! I am a living testament, that you’re not crazy and your theories work! With this blog in particular, I enjoyed your trivia game, it put more things into perspective for me! With your quote talking about focusing on the risky habits then the lesser things, I completely agree and couldn’t have said it better myself! 🙂

  • SasCas116

    I totally agree Matthew! It’s funny how we tend to create our own paths of achieving a goal when there is an obvious one already provided. Take eating and exercise for instance, we all know what to do.. eat well and make sure to stay active! Yet diet companies make all of these loopholes and lies to trick us… aka creating their own paths of a achieving a goal. However society falls into the trap, simply crazy!

  • Kent Miehe

    Thank you for sharing! I agree that people have different levels of health. When making healthy choices, they need to put things into context depending on their current level of health as well as how concerning their choice REALLY is. There are so many different aspects of health that can’t be looked at through the same viewpoint. What is the most important thing people can do when making those decisions and evaluating their importance?

  • Kyree Brooks

    I enjoyed reading this article because Ann shared some very important info. I agree that many people focus on small problems. For example, such as wheat and white bread choices. One may have more fat or carbs than the other or one may be healthier, but at the end of the day you are consuming carbs regardless. If people make safer and more efficient decisions then you will make the world safer period. Your choices you make in everyday life, make a difference.

  • danac501

    Thank you for this article it was very insightful! This is total relevant to me because I am a worry wart about everything going on in my body. Example if I see a hive or a rash I think I am automatically allergic. I feel a weird bump on my body I think it might be cancer. But then I am over here not watching what I am eating sometimes aka junk food! How can I get rid of this worry? But this open my eyes to look at things I can fix first that I am doing to my body. Then the doctor does the rest!

  • Theresa Fitzsimmons

    Thank you for pointing this information out. I agree with you that it is important to prioritize and to remove harmful habits from our lifestyles. I honestly used to smoke cigarettes when I was a freshman in college, but I only went through one pack a month! To me it didn’t seem very harmful and I felt that it helped me relieve stress. Other friends of mine were stupid and smoked other things. I always thought that my few cigarettes weren’t as bad as what they did so I was okay. No matter what this was harmful to my health. When I first quit I actually felt amazing. Most people say they feel terrible but this wasn’t true. Just psychologically knowing that I was quitting something that could cause my body so much harm was an award to me. It is important, and I agree with you when you say it is more important to quit harmful habits instead of focusing on small facts. How could we apply this information to people who suffer from harmful AND addictive habits?

  • Nicole Myers

    Out of the many classes that I have taken about Health in general, I always remember you in nutrition class saying, “Compared to what?” As college students we drink all the time and then you hear people say eating a gluten free diet is the way to go. Well, “Compared to what?” if you think about it the way you describe nutrition in class it really brings all the health problems in the world to the surface and makes you double think your choices from day to day.

  • d_millyy

    I like how you addressed the fact that we need to look at the long term aspects of life. Because the truth is why worry about cardiovascular disease if it’s not going to affect me for another 20-30 years? How about in 10 years i’ll start watching what I eat. But tomorrow that big mac combo could be just the right about of saturated fat to knock you out and really damper your day. But even just weight gain too. People don’t think weight is really that big of a deal until they wake up one morning and can’t see their feet. health is so tricky, because it’s not something that happens over night; positively and negatively. That’s why it’s so hard to promote! What would you recommend as a way to get people to understand that long term health risks are determined by how you act today? Or even, what’s the best way to reach people with this information?

  • I always have a problem evaluating risks. I am one of those texting drivers. but every since the texting application “swype” came out, distracted driving has become much easier. It just auto-fills in my words. Or even voice texting. Now my eyes never have to leave the road. I’m not condoning others to do it, but I took a virtual driving test with two police officers present to assess my distracted driving skill level and I was the only person that day to do it. Even they were impressed. But I still wont consume milk. I hear that it is mostly puss and blood…..

  • Sam Kuchenreuther

    I completely agree with you on that, Collin! I would not trade for that either. Thank you for the response!

  • Catey Navarro

    I have so many friends that voluntarily eat white bread and I question if they have ever seen the news or read a label? The smallest choices will add up and one point so while we are in control we should make the best choices.

  • thomas kearney

    This is very true. I always hear people talking about they don’t drink milk be we are not suppose to drink it, but they smoke and drink regularly. I think a lot of people don’t have their priorities in tact so they focus on the little things and over look very often. Texting and driving is not good at all I do agree with that as well, I think phone companies need to continue to find healthier alternatives to this

  • Kaylie Mae Kuhnke

    this article gave me alot to think about. i wont lie yes i smoke, yes i drink way to much, and yes i text while i drive. not thinking twice about my actions and how they affect me and affect others around me. thinking about things that are alot less common like shark attacks, zombie apocalypse, or the end of the world seem to be more relevant then the things that are more likely to end my existence on this earth. Because thats just it, the things that are more likely to kill me like a car accident or plane crash are so common that they dont cross most of our minds. things that are not common and terrify like zombies cloud our minds and thought because it is more unlikely to happen. this article really made me think about my choices and i handle my life and what i need to change and why.

  • JeremyWahl

    this article is very true. i know a lot of people who do not drink milk because it it “unhealthy” but binge drink without thinking of the consequences. i also like the shark vs dog comparison. in your class we talked about saying compared to what with your decision making. if you say drinking milk is dangerous, next time say to yourself compared to what. we all know that drinking alcohol is much more dangerous. if you think of the bigger picture, it might help make better decisions in the future.

  • Amanda Wood

    There are a lot of things in life that are killing us. Weather it is by choice or not is our mistake. Things like drinking alcohol, smoking, and not sleeping are just three things that I do best. Yes, I said it, I do all three of those on a daily basis, therefore I am basically killing myself slowly, so having a glass of milk with dinner is not going to make or break my death. What will is changing my habits. I know that down the road if I completely cut out smoking, drink on occasion and sleep atleast 8 hours a night I will be atleast 65% healthier than I am right now. This article not only told me that, but it brought it into perspective to me.

  • sauerm29

    I really like the point Dr. Garvin makes about prioritizing and putting things into context. What works for me, may not work for you; and vice versa. I don’t believe there is just a general set of universal rules that one can apply to their life. We are all unique individuals and we need to consider our own circumstance and context when making decisions about any area of our health. Prioritizing is important also. If we try to fit everything we’ve ever learned about health, into every day of our lives, many of use will likely go insane. Prioritizing what is most important, right now, and then adding/changing things as we go, is much more practical.

  • Abbey Stibbs

    Great point! For example, right now I have an extremely bad cold. I have the congestion, the cough, I’ve got it all. My main focus in my life currently is getting better. In order to do so, I have to make sure that I am eating right, getting enough sleep, and taking my medicine on time. On top of being sick, I have my everyday worries as well; school, social life, etc. Since I am so sick right now, I have temporarily put those things on hold. I think you are correct when you say that you need to prioritize your life, and worry about your health.

  • LeiderGM20

    I had a conversation at work this weekend with this guy who claimed that he was going to live longer than me simply because I don’t eat meat and that makes me unhealthy. To which I replied how often do you drink? He said at least 3 times a week….and how many times do you fast food a week vs eating at home? Multiple times. I don’t drink nearly that often and since I dont eat meat I very rarely eat at fast food places….so you tell me who has healthier decisions. Me not eating meat or him drinking often and eating a bunch of fast food. I’m not saying I’m a health food finatic but compared to majority of America I believe I can stand above a few.

  • tyler

    I really agree with what you are saying. I know for me personally, I tend to prioritize somethings wrongly such as my health. If I am sick, and still able to do things no matter how bad I feel I will still do them unless I physically cannot move. Prioritizing for people can become quite difficult, because there are so many different ways that work for different people. I know for me I have a problems sometimes with emphasizing too much on things that do not need to be, and not enough on things that need to be. After reading this article I realized how bad of a habit that really was. I really appreciate you bringing this to my attention. I know that at times I can be one of those people you described in this article. This can be useful in my life because it has now been brought to my attention, there may be some situations where I think twice about whether or not to focus on them because of reading this article. A question I might propose is how can we get people prioritize or focus on the right health things?

  • Alise Brown

    You have to pick and choose. Milk vs. Alcohol and you know the outcome of both so why choose the obvious bad one. But not just in this example but in general, you may be looking for why something is bad but look at the positives compared to the negatives and if the benefits outweigh it then it may be a good option to consider.

  • Ananda Conlon

    Exactly! I am the same way with certain foods. The important part is to really eat those foods in moderation. Not only would it not be healthy, but also it doesn’t make it as special. My mom gets me a carmel apple on special occasions and I really enjoy it then, but I do not eat them regularly.

  • Travis Mattice

    I like this comment because it is true. Most of the things we do have both negative and positive outcomes. Like you said it just comes down to which one outweighs the other.

  • Andrew Bliefernicht

    It’s all about decisions. When you have a choice like alcohol in front of you with a lot of negative effects on the body and for the life of me I can think of one positive, why would you choose it? When I turned 21 I’ll admit I went out often. It was new to me as I only drank with my parents on special occasions. But after about 6 months of being able to go to the bars it’s become clear to me that I’m overpaying for something that tastes terrible to me for only negative effects. What am I doing??? My friends always ask me to go out with them and when I do, which I rarely do, I’m usually the DD, because I’ve come to realize there is no reason to put myself at risk in the short term and in the long term with drinking alcohol.

  • Adam

    I enjoy this article and I think it really brings an obvious problem to light. People worry about things that are close to irrelevant like shark attacks when they go on vacation. Yet on that vacation they are clubbing every night consuming 10+ drinks. Dont worry about the little things, I think you should try and change the obvious ones you overlook everyday, such as stop texting and driving.

  • B Keng

    We learn and seen that zombies and vampires are bad. We are taught about the dangers of alcohol and its effect on the body, same goes for milk. Knowledge is key to knowing what is good and what is bad. If something is considered good than give it a shot. if it has anything that can benefit you but also does more harm than good, it is best to avoid it.

  • Garrett Nelson

    Very interesting article, thanks for sharing Ann! I think that is such a great last question, “Compared to what,” because putting “how bad” or “how good” something is for you into perspective is a key to understanding health and making healthy decisions. For instance, picking milk vs. alcohol.. well that’s a no brainer, but lets say you’re making a decision on whether to get a certain type of vegetable vs. a certain type of fruit vs. a certain type of dairy product vs. a certain type of grain product. Which one do you pick? Do you choose all from one category, do you choose a couple from two categories, or do you get one from each? I have trouble sometimes going to the grocery store and finding an even balance of foods to get all the nutrients I need in order to maintain a healthy diet. But, I believe that is key, BALANCE and MODERATION. No food or drink is necessarily a bad drink when used in moderation. And when you have a balance of nutrient dense food and drink, well that’s ultimately where you want to be at, and be able to maintain that habit. In order to do this, it is important to know what the risks are. For the author or anyone else to answer, what do you believe is the most effective way to compare/regulate risks when making healthy decisions?

  • Leahrebout

    I agree Jeremy, there are always those fads about what’s good for you and what’s not that are ever changing. There’s so many people that believe in these so passionately but then are making health choices like drinking all of the time is a good example. When looking at health behaviors I think that compared to what is the perfect way to determine the healthier decisions. 🙂

  • Leahrebout

    I’ve had a similar situation where my roommate seemed like she was always sick! She was always upset about how much she was sick. I tried to tell her she should try changing her patterns to be a little healthier and that could help. Coming from me and not an expert she didn’t take it too seriously. Eventually I stopped feeling sorry for her when she would get a cold and complain about it because she wasn’t trying to make any changes to fix it. It was very frustrating to watch but everybody makes their own decisions they should just focus on what are the healthier ones!

  • Leahrebout

    Thanks for posting! I’ve heard you say all of this in class before and it was something that I had never thought of in this context but when I do it makes so much sense. I don’t get how some people, after hearing it put this way, still don’t realize the problem with their priorities. Health should always be number 1 on everybody’s list, live to achieve health.

  • Cossioj14

    You see these kinds of things all the time with so may people in the world today. Some one says “Oh my god smoking is so bad for you.” and you see the same exact person slugging a liter of mountain dew while carrying a mcdonalds bag in the other free hand. I think the word were focusing on in this post is priorities. Where does everything rank in matters of danger in our sedentary life styles. How dangerous is milk compared to binge drinking on a Thursday night? Probably very minimal, unless someone has a medical condition to milk but I would assume that wouldnt give them the green light to go binge on a thursday…well maybe in some peoples minds.

  • Hillary12

    This article puts into perspective the silly things people worry about everyday. It’s completely true that if people were as worried about driving a car as they should be most people would probably choose not to drive. If people were as worried about heart disease as they should be they wouldn’t be eating out every week and drinking every Thursday. People are more worried about getting into plane crashes that are highly unlikely. Peoples views are very skewed on what we should actually be worried about. Basically people suck at worrying.

  • Slepicka12

    I agree with you about being taught about the dangers of alcohol. And i also believe that knowing what the good and bad in life is key.

  • Slepicka12

    I have to agree with you about not thinking twice about drinking, texting and driving, and participating in other activities. I also like how you put that there are more likely things to kill us in life but they don’t cross our minds.

  • Taylor Schaeffer

    This article really makes you think. It makes you think about what it is that you should really be worrying about. I agree most people get distracted by small things like milk or sharks that are not likely to make a difference and don’t really see the danger right in front of them. I myself am guilty of this, my knee jerk reaction to the question “what is more deadly sharks or dogs” was sharks. I think keeping the three questions in mind that you presented help make the correct judgements.

  • Camillewuensch

    This is a great article! I do think that in this day we don’t ask ourselves the most important questions and prioritize the most important things like health. We hear some things from friends or people on campus and we all of a sudden think we need to lose 20 pounds and stop eating certain things and taking certain pills because that will help us lose the most weight the fastest, and we never really ask the questions that you Ann brought up. I think that if we want our bodies and businesses to be healthy we need to slow down, ask those questions and then take action.

  • shackletka05

    Thank you for sharing! I found this article to be very insightful. As I was reading, it truly made me look into the way the world panics about small things like milk when there are so many other health risks or bad habits that are not considered. It is important to focus toward making the best decisions you can towards better health each day.

  • Miggz13

    I hear you, my family is huge no go on texting and driving. I going to be honest I have texted while driving several times. My brother was in my car one time when I was driving. When he saw me text he told me to pull over on the street just so he can take my phone away. After that I try to tell my self to stop that habit.

  • Kaylie Mae Kuhnke

    Thanks i learned that in my stress management class we really don’t think about the everyday things that effect us the most.

  • warnlofjc20

    This is a very well written article. A lot of the time I find myself worrying about really small insignificant things when I have much bigger things that I should be concerned with, which I think a lot of people do. Maybe that’s because the smaller things like whether or not you should drink milk is something easy, it wouldn’t really be that hard at all to stop drinking milk. But something like drinking alcohol or texting and driving is so ingrained in people that it would be a much harder habit to break so they choose to focus on the easy one instead of the larger issue.

  • warnlofjc20

    The whole sharks vs dogs thing is really similar to the argument about cars vs airplanes. Statistically speaking you are way more likely to get injured/die in a car accident that you are in a plane accident, but it would be near impossible for someone to stop using cars so they choose to fear the airplanes more. They’re choosing the easy fix rather than being rational.

  • warnlofjc20

    I don’t think it’s so much that people don’t realize their problems prioritizing things so much as its people not wanting to deal with that realization. One of my friends is a huge smoker, probably close to a pack a day, and it’s not that he doesn’t know that it’s killing him and his checking account it’s just that he’d rather roll with the punches and not quit smoking than actually putting in the time and effort that it would take to quit.

  • warnlofjc20

    That personal accountability you have is what a lot of people are missing. I think a lot more people need to realize that things like smoking, drinking, eating bad and anything else detrimental to your health is all a personal choice that you can choose to stop doing at any time instead of just saying “Well I’m addicted so I guess I’ll just keep doing it till it kills me”.

  • warnlofjc20

    Well it’s not the phone companies fault that people misuse their products. People really need to take a lot more personal responsibility instead of just passing the buck onto someone else.

  • Leahrebout

    I agree it comes down to people not wanting to change. We get very set in our ways and the thought of changing can be scary to a lot of us. Habits are some of the hardest things to quit too, I just wish when it came to health we all realized how important and worth while that change would be.

  • Schudakp21

    I loved reading this article. I really love milk but i always get criticized for drinking it by my friends because they dont think its good for me but then later that night they drink 8 beers and dont understand the irony of it. I think people should stop worrying so much about the first thing the hear about a product and only believing one thing about something. Prioritizing is the best way to achieve your healthy goals. You have to understand that sure you may be doing one thing right but then do 4 other things wrong without even realizing it.

  • Taylor

    You are very right people are just looking for the easy fix with this as with most things in life. It isn’t convenient for somebody to be afraid of cars so they choose airplanes instead.

  • Slepicka12

    Yes. and we really should start thinking about all the everyday things and the big picture.

  • thompsonjm99

    awesome article. This article was intriguing to me because I am a worrier. I agree that we must figure out what our risks are in order to avoid them and then we need to figure out how to substitute that bad things that we consume. I also agree we must change our approach to doing dangerous habits rather than worrying about the smaller things in our lives. How to we change from focusing on probabilities and begin to focus on possibilities?

  • warnlofjc20

    Exactly. It’s completely impractical to think that someone is going to stop driving a car, but realistically how often does your average person fly? Some people don’t fly at all which is exactly like the sharks in the sense that you’re risk factor is literally 0 at that point but they’re still terrified of it.

  • warnlofjc20

    Changing health is definitely something that more people need to be proactive about because your body should be the most important thing to anyone. I think one of the big problems with health awareness is it can have such a delayed effect so people aren’t getting that immediate regret that they do with other things.

  • Caleb Franklin

    This is another nice article
    and I find myself using the “compared to what?” question often in my
    daily life. Your student/teacher conversation reminds me of the recent ebola
    freak out that people in America had. Everyone blew up and was suddenly
    terrified that we were going to be randomly struck with ebola, when
    realistically it is so far down on their lists of hazards in life that it
    shouldn’t even be a concern.

  • Luke Drumel

    As a college student I see my roommates constantly making the same mistakes with the milk vs alcohol reference more than I would like to. I worry for them because they are all on a collision course heading down a path that doesn’t look bright. I will use my knowledge I have and the some that you have given me to help them recognize that these habits could tremendously impact their lives.

  • hicksjd11

    This article is very relatable. Especially the reference you use about milk vs alcohol. I find it funny when people get so caught up on the new possible harmful affects of a product when there is already so much harm they are knowingly putting on their life.

  • hicksjd11

    Exactly. Even if something isn’t the healthiest product on the shelf, it’s certainly a better alternative to numerous other unhealthier options.

  • hicksjd11

    Yes. I think that this is possibly due to the fact that many of these habits and activities have become the norm. Therefore, people assume that because everyone is doing it, it can’t be too harmful.

  • orvisbj27

    Reading about milk in this blog reminded me of a conversation I had with a someone who lives in rural Italy. Apparently, milk is NOT an acceptable beverage choice at the dinner table. Italians apparently are appalled by the notion of milk for dinner. It source of nutrition reserved only only in morning or cooking. I likened it to orange juice for Americans. Indeed, the American dairy industry has done a great job at convincing us we could and should have a glass of milk at every meal.

  • What an interesting article!
    It is so ironic that people will worry about things (such as plane crashes and shark attacks) that are relatively unlikely to ever happen to them, compared to things that are more likely to happen (such as car crashes and dog attacks). It really is important to put situations into context, because if you waste your time worrying about something that is probably never going to happen, you will not be ready for the more probable events in your life (which could be fatal)!

  • SasCas116

    I totally agree, but I also have to add that faith can really play into worrying about something that may never ever happen. You have to have faith knowing that if that is something that you’re never going to spend effort worrying about, then faith can come and assure you that you’re protected and alright. However, it also is more likely that dog attacks and car crashes are more likely.

  • SasCas116

    I have to disagree with you on this, yes it’s funny, however it’s preparation. They are mentally preparing themselves for a future harmful reaction. If an individual knows about the harmful affects of a product already, then why would they spend time worrying about finding out information they already know. Filling their mind with new information is the way to go for a strong mental preparation.

  • Eric H

    Thanks for the article. This is a great perspective on this topic. People are so worried about things such as the calories in a slice of turkey, but put no second thought in that they are doing so many unhealthy and risky behaviors. As a college student, I see people talking about their workout regimen or the food they buy that is healthy, but these are the same people that go out Thursday-Saturday and get hammered at the bars. We ask the wrong questions and never second guess any of it.

  • Eric H

    I agree with this. Most of my roommates are heavy drinkers and know what the consequences of drinking are. However, they view it as socially acceptable to drink loads of alcohol because they only get to live college once. These unhealthy behaviors will derail them in the near future.

  • hicksjd11

    Good response. I didn’t think of it that way but I understand what you’re saying

  • SasCas116

    Thank you, I’m glad I could expand your thoughts. I was just kind of typing and it came to me, and I was like oh that’s good! I’m going to stick with that. I impressed myself with it!

  • Alyssa Schragen

    Not only do we ask the wrong questions but we often abide by the wrong answers. There are far too many times I have heard of people following different weight loss programs, or diets that don’t work out for them and when we do the research they find out it has been discontinued or rated poorly because of the end results being so negative. Why do people wait until something bad happens or until something doesn’t work to do the research?

  • Matthew Manley-Browne

    I agree with your comment, many times it seems that big events or news stories get blown way out of proportion, or when people watch the news they forget to compare the story with the factual information that it contains.

  • Hillary12

    I completely agree! Since we drive all the time we don’t even think about the dangers of it anymore. It’s hard to worry about activities we do all the time because like you said they are the norm for us. If we flew as much as we drove a car I’m sure people would worry a lot less about it.

  • Carly Konkol

    Great insight. I never thought of that aspect of the situation. Thanks for your comment.

  • Kelly Martin

    I really like the point of this article Dr. Garvin. There are many people who are already packing for the zombie apocalypse when there are still houses right down the street who can barely afford food or who do not have clean drinking water. This article tells us to focus on what is really going on and strive to make it through the hard times. Thanks for writing this article!

  • Pvtgt

    Well one thing that we have to take into consideration, is the fact that many of us are looking at the “alcohol” standpoint from a college perspective. Do college kids drink alot, and in excess? Of course! Its part of college. Now, can the human body recover from these drinking events, so as long as they are not done consistently? Yes. Milk is a big problem in our society as well. Most people do not realize, that milk is actually thrown on the “do not have a lot of” list for nutrition and health because of its sugar levels. No matter what type of milk you get, you are getting high levels of sugar. Even though drinking has a higher probability of causing harm or illness, does not mean that people should have to rethink their answers. Coming from the military perspective, overseas, you are CONSTANTLY in danger, especially when out on mission. I was not worried about the action or event that presented the most immediate and devastating danger to me, I was focused on other things. Now don’t get me wrong, the underlying concept of what Ann is writing about is a good idea for us to realize. That we don’t HAVE to change our thinking or mindset, its that we need to ACKNOWLEDGE what else there is.

  • DuchAM21

    After reading this article I realized that I am guilty of not setting my priorities straight. Every time I wash a piece of fruit, I wonder if I am actually rinsing off the chemicals and pesticides, but don’t even think twice about the night before in which I binge drank. Our society focuses too much attention on what is broadcasted on the media, and we make poor decisions because we are too wrapped up in the new fads and media concerns.

  • Abby2017

    I like how you did comparisons to different things and described us the actual statistics. Such as the sharks or dogs one. Or the alcohol or milk. Milk is way more healthy to drink obviously, but I liked how you further described that. People sometimes do not realize what is dangerous and what is not, or they know that something is bad but they go ahead and over do it anyways. I like the phrase “Everything needs to be put into context.”

  • Ashleigh Hartlaub

    This article really shows how people respond to the most weirdest things and how it effects health. When it comes to our body we always think “it will never happen to me” or “I can binge drink today since I haven’t done it in two weeks”. I have been a victim to both of those thoughts and reading this article really made me think of how I look at my health. Taking care of your body now will have a greater effect when your older. So learning what I am at risk at might help me with heart and other aspects of my body.

  • caroleighp

    I have a hard time with this article. I don’t think the discussion on milk should be completely dismissed. Sure some things are more bad than other bad things (alcohol vs. milk) but that doesn’t mean the less bad things (milk) aren’t still bad. Just because there are more crucial bad behaviors in your life you need to work on, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider making changes about the less bad behaviors. The Standard American Diet has many areas that need improvement other than just alcohol consumption and Americans are at risk for more than just texting and driving. I understand you are talking about putting things into context so your assessment makes sense. Maybe my thoughts are just highlighting my lack of good risk assessment, but I feel it’s important to note that directly comparing one or the other gives the impression that the safer/healthier risk does not pose a threat, even though it still does.

  • AndreaOlsen22

    I really like the title of this article and the point that it makes. Seeing your comparisons you make the and the factual statistics helps make the point even stronger. It shows how we worry about the little things in life and don’t take the bigger into consideration. I agree 100% with how we fail to put EVERYTHING into perspective sometimes. We are all guilty of it. I know that when I go out for a night, drink and get some fast food, I find myself trying to eat healthy the next day. The thing is that doesn’t just erase those activities away from the previous night. I still put bad, unhealthy things into my body. When it comes to dangerous activities, we always think optimistically and say “well it’s not going to happen to me”, when in reality it very well could because nothing is impossible.

  • Sarah Kasiurak

    I agree as well. A lot of my friends tend to drink heavily on the weekends and sometimes pay the price. They think they might as well have a great night because college doesn’t last forever so why not! Hopefully they start to realize the unhealthy risks before it catches up to them.

  • Jessica Peardon

    I really liked this article and especially how milk is not dangerous. The media these days seems to find something wrong with EVERYTHING. Yogurt, fruit, meat, etc. As a consumer it is difficult to know if this information is true and how much of a threat is it really. I like your perspective how compared to alcohol, milk is not a huge problem in our lives. We need to better assess our risk factors.

  • BastarKm06

    I really agree with seeing comparisons helps people understand things. Putting things into perspective can really change the way you act. I have a hard time putting my own stress into perspective, but I know if I did then I’m sure I wouldn’t have such a hard time.

  • leeana liska

    The author makes a strong point about prioritization. Lately, it seems like the bandwagon effect in America is affecting and influencing health decisions. “Milk is bad for you”, “low fat is always better”, and “high protein diets are the best way to loose fat” are all common phrases that people are focusing and worrying about when there are greater problems that we face everyday.

  • Alexa A Dralle

    I cannot emphasize how often I hear about how amazing protein shakes are, like they somehow are going to make you look like a hot tanned lifeguard. They pour powder into water and guzzle it down not truly knowing what they are ingesting. Do they need all that protein? Probably not. Do they know that their body can’t store excess protein? Definitely not. Do they tweet a picture about their pre-workout drink in the car on the way to the gym? Yep. Some priorities those are.

  • Emily Krueger

    I like the three comparisons you wrote about throughout the article. The milk vs alchol was one of my favorite due to the interesting informaton shared on this topic.

  • struckml03

    I definitely think you should prioritize. I realize texting and driving is bad, in fact worse, like you stated. But if someone is already being open to realizing something else is bad too, I dont think it matters which comes first – as long as you eventually realize other things are bad and try and change that behavior too. At least some people are starting somewhere. Its important to stop the dangerous behaviors but I dont feel you really have to stop those first. If one is willing to see and try and change a bad behavior of their own already, great! Start with that! I am happy you realize and are changing. Small steps!

  • Colin HIckey

    These comments are golden. My mother and my sister both tried to go on a juice diet and get rid of a large majority of the food that they ate. It is completely ridiculous because they got rid of the “good and bad” foods. Even with a regular diet, I personally think that it is healthy to splurge and even will increase your attitude about something if you take a minute to splurge. It is very necessary to eat healthy, but taking that time to have a snack is okay occasionally as well.

  • Taysia Justus

    I think all too often we think that we are invincible and bad things could never happen to us such as a car accident or overdose of alcohol (especially at the college age). But those aren’t habits that we are willing to give up, and I too am a subject to this behavior. But when we hear things such as milk being bad for us we are “okay” with it, because we are able to avoid drinking milk everyday.

  • Kayla Martin

    I like the question “compared to what”, I feel like if most people would start asking themselves this question then people would realize how stupid their questions are. I am looking at Luke Drumels post about how his roommates drink a lot. I am someone who doesn’t drink often but when I do I binge drink to the extreme. I know it is bad and I know I shouldn’t do it but I can’t help the fact that it is fun. Maybe next time I can ask the question alcohol is fun compared to what…

  • byrnesbk24

    I think most students in a nutrition class immediately think to ask questions about food instead of other things that also involve health. This is probably why you get those “is milk bad for you” questions. People are also always wanting to know the pros and cons of every new health craze out there. They hear rumors and think they are facts….its always “I heard that…” statement. I think people need to look at the source before jumping to conclusions about something. It reminds me of my trainer/coach, he (and his colleges) give out nutrition advice as if THAT’S there job. In reality you is only a professional on active movements ect. he is not a nutritionist of any sort and it drives me nuts when he is telling people what to eat or what recovery drinks to drink. Some of these people have never had any sort of nutrition advice in there life so they listen, even though it may not be the best thing for them or in general. How could I approach this issue with my trainer? I don’t want to over step but it has always concerned me.

  • Garrett Nelson

    I think you make a good point, a lot of people deal with situations like this in college especially. If you are surrounded by people that drink all the time, it could influence you to drink more as well, making you develop poor habits. I think doing things in moderation is always key, even when it comes to studying for school, work, sports, leisure activities, etc. If your balance is off between these certain life aspects, then it can be ultimately be an unhealthy behavior. Thanks for the post!

  • milleram97

    I absolutely love this post.
    The line that most stuck out to me was “hone in on the probabilities, not the possibilities”
    In a world where everyone can tend to be paranoid about the littlest things, and make invalid arguments out of the “what ifs” versus the more likely “what can or will happen”,this is definitely a good point.
    We need to consider who is giving us the facts, if they have logic behind them, and how it applies to my PERSONAL life. Don’t take everything people say on face value without doing some research on it, before it comes back to bite you (metaphorically of course). And if you realize that the information can not impact you, why worry about it?

  • Sara Fuller

    I was always super worried about getting attacked by a shark when I go into the ocean, but looking at the statistics that were offered I can honestly say i’m not worried about getting eaten by a hammerhead anytime soon. I will definitely try to use the three simple questions next time I am assessing a decision.

  • hansends21

    Although I know that I am guilty just as everyone else in risk assessment, I do feel that I fear the things I should fear. For example, I fear driving because I know that many people die or are injured everyday in car accidents, I do not fear flying because that is much less likely to happen. I know that in most cases people view this to be the other way around. My problem is, when I fear or worry something, I take it all the way there. I have to find a balance of being fearful of something and just being cautious. For the most part, I try and control what I can so that I steer clear of these tragedies, like I try to drive safely, however, I cannot control how the next person drives that could potentially hurt me, so I freak out. I need to be aware, but calm the heck down at the same time.

  • Ashley Gardner

    I really enjoyed this article. Ann talks about this a lot on the stress management course she teaches. You never look at the bigger picture when determining to be more healthy in this part of our lives. The fact that we think milk is bad, yet down bottles of alcohol is pretty ridiculous when you talk about it out loud. The “compared to what” question is one of the questions that I think everyone should start asking themselves when determing what they want to change in their lives.

  • Ashley Gardner

    Hi Luke, I would have to agree with what you stated. Ann gave us some great ideas on staying healthy. My roommates also worry me on some of the health decisions they make. I plan on showing them this article to help them realize how much their health decisions affect their lives. Maybe even share this with your roommates as well! Then they will know the questions to ask themselves when making healthier choices.

  • amykahl8

    I know someone who wants to lose weight so this person eats a lot of soup and not much else. However, she then proceeds to get wasted every single weekend and can’t understand why the weight isn’t coming off. I can relate to your worry and frustration. I feel like there’s nothing anyone can say to her to get her to change her ways.

  • amykahl8

    Sarah, I too have friends that experience the downward spiral of mass amounts of alcohol consumption weekly on the days of Wednesday-Saturday. It is a great concern of mine. Although, I understand the want to have fun and enjoy college, I don’t understand why it is fun to put ones body through this week after week, to me it seems there must be other ways to have fun or to cut down on the alcohol abuse. What are your thoughts?

  • amykahl8

    I wish I could understand why so many people in college don’t think the choices they make will effect them as “adults” later. I wish there was a way to show people a picture or of their health records in the future if they continued their bad habits.

  • amykahl8

    Sara, I think that is a good decision on your part. It is confusing to me why so many people have a fear of getting fat due to the messages sent through the media today, but I know so many people who eat at fast food restaurants at least 5 times a week, barely exercise, and unfortunately they may end up with diabetes or heart disease. Why is it that people can know the risk of their behaviors but partake anyways?

  • amykahl8

    This reminds me of companies who are trying to sell diet pills.I doubt if they know anything about nutrition, and they aren’t selling a healthy option for people. Who? would be people who want to make money, not who care about the health of society.

  • Sarah Kasiurak

    I also agree that there are other ways to have fun without the use of alcohol and cutting back would be beneficial to their bodies. Maybe some feel pressured that they must go out because they have a fear of missing out or because their roommates make them feel bad if they don’t?

  • byrnesbk24

    I couldn’t agree more. It also happens with supplements. Companies that sell protein powder or other supplements are not regulated by the FDA so they can pretty much put what ever they want on the label or ingredients list and it doesn’t have to be true.

  • amykahl8

    It disgusts me that companies are often more concerned with earning money than actually being honest and selling a good product that will help people. Some companies actually design their products to break after a certain amount of time so customers will have to come back and buy more. It’s despicable.

  • amykahl8

    Yes it would be very difficult to make better choices if a person’s roommates were all going out to the bars or parties several times a week. I wonder what we can do to improve people’s mind sets on binge drinking dangers?

  • Samantha Lavenau

    I agree with you Luke. Most of my friends are heavy drinkers and we do not see the consequences that come with drinking. We are all also into fitness and try to eat as healthy as we can during the week, but drinking every weekend does not balance out all our hard work during the week. It takes baby steps to give up habits for them to stick, for you to gradually become healthier. We are trying!

  • Sarah Kasiurak

    I’m not quite sure how it can be done. Maybe the colleges could promote more actives on the weekends to give students the option at least. That way if students did want to cut back they have more options on the weekends.

  • Michellelele123

    I agree with you! and I remember this lecture in class too! I know it makes me feel silly that I worry about so many things that will probably never happen, yet don’t worry when I do partake in risky behaviors. I feel like college students especially do this!

  • amykahl8

    Yes, that would be beneficial for the college to make some more money if they charged a low student fee for the events, and it would keep some people out of trouble. Some colleges aren’t in a big city where there’s a lot of things going on, so students might feel like they only have drinking to stay entertained.

  • Tyler Mueller

    I have a friend like this as well. He goes to the gym all week, and tries to eat healthy. Then the weekend comes around and he gets wasted for three sometimes four straight nights, and then wonders why he isn’t losing any weight. Another thing he does later in the night after drinking is goes to McDonalds to eat. All the hard work he put into the gym all week long is now completely wasted, and he doesn’t understand why.

  • BastarKm06

    I do this everyday and yeah college students definitely do this, which leads to drinking an stuff I’m sure.

  • amykahl8

    This is very frustrating to watch, because I want people to be healthy obviously and to get rewarded for their hard work, however, people need to understand the consequences of their actions. Something has to be done to inform people about how the things they consume can influence their health.

  • Kendra Larson

    I remember in Ann Garvins stress management class when she talked about how we all typically fear the unknown, and I think that she brings forward a valid point. People do typically fear the unknown. We do not necessarily like to experience new thing sometimes because we fear what the outcome is going to be. We also fear the unfamiliar. For example, I used to be scared of flying because I had seen too many movies where there was a plane crash or it got hijacked or something bad happend. However, when I finally experienced actually flying in a plane, it did not seem so bad. For years, I feared the unknown of flying and when I finally experienced it, my feelings towards it changed. At first I was on edge when I got on the plane, but once I was up in the air, it was actually kind of peaceful. Sometimes we need to take a step back and think about what we are really scared of and really think about if what we fear is something that we should fear. Don’t let fear keep you from experiencing amazing things in life.

  • catec18

    I think this question is great because it relates to EVERYTHING! You can ask it in any class and sound smart. I also like the quote towards the end about focusing on probability not possibility. It makes sense why we would be more worried about being bitten by a shark than by a dog. Most people have dogs in their homes and it’s normal. But because they are everywhere there is a greater chance of me running into a dog that will bite me than a shark since sharks are not commonly found in homes. Looking at the probability really focuses on the facts of the situation instead of worrying about the situation.

  • Anthony Davis

    I think that I definitely see this every day with different issues. Friends commonly ask, should I eat more protein, what should I eat for complex carbs? They are concerned with their health for 5 days during the week and then proceed to getting hammered 3 days of the weekend and go back to being concerned about their eating habits on Sundays. If you are so concerned about your health and what you eat, don’t get hammered and eat bad foods on the weekends.

  • leeana liska

    I agree with you, Amy. Small colleges many times don’t have as much going on and not as many big events. I think like Sarah had said above that events would at least give some students an option. In addition, it would also allow students to socialize with others and find people on the weekend that don’t want to drink either.

  • amykahl8

    Yesterday I read an article someone shared on facebook about how wearing a bra is bad for women and it could cause breast cancer. I am not sure how accurate the article is because the source was something I hadn’t heard of before. This is obviously a scary thought if it’s true. However, I then thought about a bigger problem, heart disease, and how people don’t seem that scared to eat junk food every day and be clogging their arteries. It’s a strange concept how some messages can scare people more than others, even though it’s the same fear…death.

  • leeana liska

    I have heard that claim before and this is a great example of how we don’t prioritize our health right. This is a good example because it shows how people are scared by things that don’t have real threats. In an article I’ve read about this claim, they said that there is a relationship between the number of cases of breast cancer and those individuals wearing a bra. I found it kind of hard to believe that it was causing it because doesn’t the majority of the population of women wear a bra? of course there would be a relationship. We tend to freak out about studies like these instead of hard facts like cardiovascular disease.

  • amykahl8

    I think it’s important for people to learn how to be critical thinkers and analyze information so that there isn’t a bunch of people freaking out about things that they shouldn’t be concerned about. Also it’s important to be able to access reliable information that can help someone out if they have health concerns for example.

  • Lindsey Kessler

    I totally agree with what you’re saying, but if you use your knowledge to help them recognize their bad habits, you should do so in the style that Professor Garvin does by being humorous or sarcastic about it 🙂 Otherwise, they might not listen. I always knew drinking was bad for me, but before taking Professor Garvin’s class, I never knew how to say no to drinking without sounding like a party pooper. Now I’m not afraid to have 1-2 drinks when I’m with my friends and be able to have a good time and my friends have started to follow my behavior just by being confident in my choices and actions 🙂

  • Chelsea Haffele

    Yes. Again I think that we are so fortunate that we don’t even think of others. In college we are very focused on ourselves and don’t consider what others don’t have.

  • Anniep1023

    This article really makes you re-evaluate how you make your decisions in everyday life, whether that be nutritionally, socially, etc… I completely agree with the concept of “everything needs to be put into context.” What is more worrisome and risky for one person might not be to another. We need to look at how our decisions will affect us in our own context. By really using and understanding the three questions, we as humans will be better able to live our best and most health-wise versions of ourselves.

  • MattDennert

    By the time people realize the danger they might put themselves in with the bad habits they have aquired the affects have already imbedded themselves deep into the person. I’m not saying that I’m perfect but I like to believe that I am trying to make the right choices with my health and well being. It’s unfortunate that most people can’t realize this sooner.

  • Anthony Davis

    I completely agree Amy, and I believe that the main thing is that individuals do not know exactly what they are doing to themselves until it is too late or until they have to take some sort of rehabilitative action. Our society in general seems to focus on short term change and we are not focused on out long term health and the steps we need to take in order to achieve it.

  • amykahl8

    Yes. like with smoking people know how bad it is for them, yet they still do it. When our grandparents were growing up they didn’t know how bad smoking was. We don’t have excuses anymore, we are lucky we have so much more information, but it’s up to us to use it.

  • RadebaugVP02

    I think most of us focus on the possibilities over the probabilities more often for sure. I am one of these people. I feel as if I start focusing on the dangers of a situation rather than what I find fun in it I will start getting things on the right track. Many of us as college students consider drinking part of our daily weekend routines without even considering the dangers of it. I also feel that this will increasingly get worse as generations pass if nothing is done about it. I will use the knowledge I have to help this situation but much more needs to be done.

  • gaulrappkj17

    I never heard of the milk vs. alcohol. It sounds ludicrous to compare milk to alcohol, but I guess this is the society we live in. And yes, we need to start thinking for ourselves, too often we are so worried about the latest “what not to do” that we do not stop to think about the actions we are living and how detrimental they are to others as well as to ourselves.

  • BEATYSM25

    I completely agree with you, Garrett. I think balance is hard to find for a lot of college students, including myself. But I think the “compared to what?” question is applicable to all aspects of life. And if you have the control to take a step back and ask yourself that question, I believe it can put a lot of things into perspective for you and ultimately help you prioritize what truly deserves prioritizing.

  • Garrett Nelson

    That makes a lot of sense. I think asking yourself “compared to what” is a good way to prioritize and put things in a perspective that you can make sense of. There are many things we deal with on a day-to-day basis that we can sometimes lose where we are with things. Other outside influences may effect how we balance our time and lives, but taking a step back and reflecting every so often can be important to keep things in perspective. What do you think the hardest part of learning to reflect is?

  • wegener61

    I like how the article says that everything should be put into context; yeah if we lived in a perfect world, many risky behaviors like texting and driving, or drinking milk wouldn’t even be a problem, but we don’t live in that perfect world and therefore we have to be able to make our tradeoffs in assessing the risks that we take on a daily basis–many times taking the right risks can be very much worth the rewards.

  • JeremyWahl

    i like the milk vs alcohol comparison. i think most people read into things too much and forget about things that matter way more than some simple stuff. i also like the compared to what part. you can use the compared to what part to anything.

  • Ryan Dow

    We talked about this a lot in our class. But actually reading it more in depth is even more awesome. Great read and enjoyed the quote at the end.

  • flaschbm09

    I remember you talking about this in class and another lecture where you were talking about how dangerous it is to drive a car. Now I know that it’s dangerous but I never actually thought about it until it was brought up in class. It now makes me more aware of driving in general. I also find it hard to watch my dad drive. He is always messing with his phone whether it’s looking for the weather, texting or finding out what the flavor of the day is. I know that I’m not always good about not messing with my phone, but seeing him do it kind of is a wake up call for me.

  • BEATYSM25

    To be honest, I believe the hardest part of learning to reflect is simply making the conscious effort to slow down and take a step back from a current situation. I think in the faced-paced society in which we live, it is very easy to get in the habit of rushing through life and doing whatever is necessary to complete our tasks. I also think it’s easy for us to get stuck in our same beliefs and our ways, continuing what we’ve “always done,” and sometimes causing us to be reluctant to reflect. Overall, I believe it’s all too easy to get caught up in the daily happenings of life. What do you think the most difficult part of learning to reflect is?

  • kwit21

    I really like “putting into context”. I see with many people and have caught myself worrying about a little thing kind of like the milk. When putting everything into context you can really see or at least get a better idea for what is important and what is not. Ever since you mentioned this in class I try stopping family and friends who worry about the wrong thing and put it into context for them. It is pretty interesting how they react.

  • kwit21

    I don’t have a friend like this, but I can imagine how frustrating that could be. I feel like people who want to lose weight sometimes just make it harder for themselves by not making simple changes that could make all of the difference that they are looking for.

  • Jenna

    I definitely agree with the “putting into context” aspect. There are so many things that we worry about that are 1) out of our control, 2) completely irrelevant and 3) something that has a 1 in a million chance of happening! Things like putting zombies vs vampires is something completely irrelevant because they’re both ridiculously unlikely! Milk vs alcohol. I’d be interested to see what the reaction to this debate is and what people, especially college kids, come up with.

  • Jenna

    Ann always talks about texting and driving. And it’s scary! I admit that I do it occasionally, however, I only do it when there are no cars around me. I am definitely a hypocrite when it comes to this topic. I do text and drive, and when I see other people, I cringe and give them a dirty look…even though I was just doing that 15 seconds ago before I caught up to them. Even when we think that we are super in control, it only takes 1 second. Everything could change in an instant, and if you’re focused on your phone while driving…this could result in a deadly ending. It’s scary to think about and most people think…”It won’t happen to me,” but just wait…it can happen to anyone, and that’s what I’m most afraid of. Even if I’m not the one that is texting and driving, it could affect me and I could be the victim for someone else’s mistake.

  • Jenna

    Once again, I agree with the “everything needs to be put into context.” Realizing what we can control and what we can’t control is a big factor that plays into this! But like you said, also looking at the decisions that we make in our everyday lives make a difference in the long run. A decision that we may make today, will certainly effect one decision or another in a week, or month, or even a year. Every decision we make will not only effect the present, but will have some sort of effect on the future as well. Each decision has repercussions that we all must face, whether they’re small or large.

  • Jenna

    That would something great if we could show people how their decisions now would effect them later…because like you said not many people realize that every decision has a long term result of some sort! People only think of the present, or the short term future…not once do they think or something that could happen 15-20 years down the road!

  • Jenna

    I think that finding that happy medium of fear and calmness is something that every one needs to find! I find your points valid about driving and flying…those are both so true. So many bad things can happen on the roads even if you’re the perfect driver. Other people are out of your locust of control…so therefore there is something to fear! A little bit of fear is good…but too much can just damage us and eat us from the inside out. There are so many things that we should fear unfortunately…and everything that is happening in this world nowadays is really just sad.

  • Jenna

    It is sad how many people fall into that category of excessive eating of fast food and minimal exercise. It is sickening. I’m not saying that I am the most healthy person on the planet, but I know when things are bad for me. Even though eating that cheeseburger from McDonalds now won’t do much…if it happens 4-5 times a week, it will effect you! Maybe not next week, maybe not the week after…but one day it’ll catch up! And then you’ll start to realize how all of that bad food affects your body…but people still probably won’t make the change unfortunately.

  • Taysia Justus

    I love the great idea of using Professor Garvin’s witty humor to get people to listen. I never thought of it that way, but it really does make sense. I know personally I hate being told what to do, but I like humor. Great way to help people make better life choices! I now she always has me listening in class!

  • Taysia Justus

    Personally I think mostly every college student can say they make the same mistake. I can attest to this. However Ann’s class has really had an impact on how I think about what I put in my body and how I use my body. I think your roommates will really appreciate the advice in the long run!

  • Garrett Nelson

    That is a great point, I would agree with you that taking the time to step back and really look at what is happening around you is a problem with many people today. We get very caught up in routine and taking an easier approach than to really sit down and reflect on what we can improve on. Not saying that routine is a bad thing at all, but maybe sometimes change is necessary to improve and even make yourself happier. I think the most difficult part of learning to reflect is “finding the time” to do it, since we get wrapped up in so many other things that consume us. One part of having that time to reflect is learning how to balance your time and knowing how many stressors and challenges you can take on. When you get caught up so far into something it can be hard to reflect. For me personally, when I have an idea or something in my mind that I like, I typically like to stick to that as much as possible without modifying things, which is one of my biggest weaknesses I believe. What do you think is one of your biggest weaknesses that might hold you back from reflecting/evaluating, or simply improving yourself?

  • ryanstorto

    I agree with what you say in this article. So many times we are oblivious to actual dangers and worry about things that are not as significant. I think the internet has a lot to do with this and people need to learn about what actually damages your body and understand what their body needs. I agree that we need to change our behavior habits to become healthier individuals.

  • kwit21

    I know I personally chose not to drink alcohol. I have seen it do some bad things to people and do not like the way it makes me feel. I am also a college kid. Obviously not a typical one. I try very hard to not worry about things that I can’t control by saying, “It sucks, but there is nothing I can do about it now. Now it is time to move on. What is next?” I find thinking like this makes it a whole lot easier to figure out what is important. If I can’t change the way something is, then it is time to figure something else out. I do not typically worry about things completely irrelevant, but I do over think a lot that then become the 1 in a million chance of happen and that also worries me more than it should. I have not figured out a very good solution to that one yet.

  • FalkinerRR23

    putting everything into context makes it a lot easier to see what is important and what is not important. You are able to figure out what the specific details you should be paying attention to are and then are able to stop focusing on the little things so much

  • Austin Jones

    using the compared to what strategy is the best way to assess risk in my opinion. What i put in my body and how I use my body are things I think about a lot more in my personal life. I see the same things in my friend group with the use of alcohol and drugs. your class has made me think twice! its important to prioritize the importance of things in life

  • barema28

    Nobody in college thinks that their drinking habits, sleeping, eating, driving habits are bad or dangerous. They worry about if they are drinking too much milk, and that is the issue. They dont see the real problem, and that they can avoid it just my changing their behaviors.

  • McKenzie Foster

    I think this article is a big eye opener. I do see it being a very big common issue where college students will ignore the less risky problem and choose the bad habits. It’s almost second nature in college to choose alcohol over milk because which is more fun? Alcohol. What is healthier and much safer? Milk. But in college the students are trying to find the fun in anything. I do think people should be more aware of the risky decisions they make though and consider trying asking the 3 questions Ann has mentioned, it could help a lot and help people really turn the lives around.

  • Jaglerjn22

    It’s normal to worry about things that may never happen…but there is always that chance! There are things that some of us will never stop worrying about, never! I am a worry wart too and often make things bigger than they actually are. It’s just something I do, and I always end up getting super upset about something that will be irrelevant in 3 years. I believe it’s how I’m hardwired and am still coming up with a process to fix that flaw of mine.

  • Elaminsj25

    I recently had a conversation with a friend of mine about traveling. We discussed the fact that some friends and I had recently made a 23 hour drive to Miami for Spring Break. I told him that it was fun but I would NEVER make another drive like that in my life. I told him that I wold definitely be flying everywhere else. We laughed about and then he made the comment that he was afraid of airplanes and that he would much rather drive. My response? “Dude, do you not realize how much more dangerous driving is in comparison to flying?” We went on to have a short humorous conversation about this topic. The point of my story is that I agree 100% with what you’re saying. We have to be better at assessing risks not only in business, but in our everyday lives.

  • BEATYSM25

    Very well put. Personally, I am a big perfectionist, and I think that often hinders me from reflecting/evaluating. I also have a difficult time saying “no” to things. Thus, I get so caught up achieving my goals and doing everything “perfectly,” that by the end of the day I’m too exhausted to even want to think about what I’ve been working on. I have been working on being more realistic about what I can fit into my schedule recently, and have tried saying “no” to some opportunities, but it’s difficult for me. Reflecting as I write this, I logically know that if I wasn’t juggling so many obligations at once, I would be able to do my few main priorities better than I am right now.

  • mindhamrr11

    I like the idea of weighing your risks. I also like the idea of prioritizing your risk. However, I don’t think you should live in fear of things such as drinking or driving a car. If you have a decently healthy life and exercise regularly, I don’t going out and drinking with your friends is going to set you back enough to not do it for health reasons. You have to grow up at some point in your life and take on responsibilities, so I think you should enjoy the enjoy the college life while you can because once you have kids and a wife, there isn’t any going back.

  • Garrett Nelson

    Me too! Do you think as perfectionists, we evaluate ourselves in the moment, rather than later afterwards? This might not always be the worst way to have effective evaluations but might not be as thought out, even though it could be quite efficient (which is what is nice for me haha). I agree, I think I juggle so many obligations at once as well that it is hard to sit down and reflect over everything. As a perfectionist, for me it feels as I do my critiquing as I go without even realizing it. Thanks for sharing!

  • BEATYSM25

    I can relate. However, I often find myself being over analytical both in the moment, as well as afterwards. I tend to be more critical of what I have already done, rather than reflecting on what I did and how I could have done it better. I think reflection could be a much more constructive tool for me, and another reason why I feel the “compared to what?” question is applicable to so many different aspects of life. For me, I have to challenge my perfectionistic thoughts when looking at my finished product and ask myself that question. Another question I find valuable to ask myself is, “At what cost?”

  • Garrett Nelson

    I guess that makes sense with myself as well. I am critical more so than reflecting on what I just did. I tend to ask that same question as well, “compared to what?” I guess it is important to know and understand we all have our own unique ways and comparing ourselves with others can be a good thing, but also bad if we let it affect us in a negative way. Asking to what cost is also another way many people compare things with one another, including myself. I tend to ask and speculate whether I have done a good enough job or given my all, in terms of finishing a job or assignment, whatever it may be. These comparisons will sometimes eat away at me if I don’t take the time to sit back and realize I am trying to do my best and at the same time balance everything in front of me. That’s why reflecting really can be helpful, and almost act as a destressor.

  • BEATYSM25

    Good point! I definitely think reflecting has the potential to be constructive. I agree with you that as long as you’re not comparing yourself to others in a way that only puts yourself down, comparing can sometimes be a positive thing. Personally, I find that it motivates me, but maybe that’s just my perfectionism speaking. I think if you reflect in a way that you give yourself credit for doing your best, but also realize that there’s always room for improvement, and consider what improvements could be made, you will grow as a person.

  • kwit21

    I definitely understand what that is like. I personally try to find my flaws and try hard to fix them. This is one of the most difficult ones for me to change. I causes way to much unnecessary stress and just gets in the way. It also begins too many arguments between people I care about. I guess I just need to find another way to try to fix of it because I am really sick of it ha.

  • Kent Miehe

    Thank you for sharing! I totally agree that people have their priorities mixed up when it comes to worrying about their health. Some people criticize others for using a small sugar packet in their coffee, while they are chowing down on donuts. When things are taken out of context in the health field, more questions appear rather than answers about what we should worry about and what is the healthiest option. We also have to think about what’s best for us when making a healthy decision. We often get caught up in the media on what is good or bad for us without thinking rationally about what we are deciding about. The more we can make smart, REAL comparisons about our health, the better off we will be.

  • Kent Miehe

    I agree with your opinion. When someone hears about something bad happening, they think that they are automatically at a higher risk. Once they start making realistic comparisons, though, they will see that they are not in as much trouble as they think. When people then start to prioritize their risks, they will have a better understanding of what can REALLY affect them. Making rational comparisons and prioritizing your risks like you said can greatly affect and improve our health. Thanks for sharing!

  • Kent Miehe

    I totally agree! Not only do people prioritize their risks in the wrong way, they prioritize their health in the wrong way as well. If fun is their #1 priority, they will compare things as to which is more fun and not necessarily what is healthier. This is where people can start to run into ACTUAL risks that can negatively affect not only their health but other areas in their lives. Once we can put our health first and start making comparisons on the healthier options in our lives, it will be better for us in the end. Thanks for sharing!

  • Kent Miehe

    I agree with your point! When I heard about the statistics on texting and driving, and how likely it is to get in a car accident, it made me more aware about driving safe and being careful when I’m in a vehicle, regardless if I am the one driving. We have this “comfort of control” and think that lots of risks will never happen to us. We fail to realize that those risks can affect us more than we think. Once we do this, we will be able to avoid them and be safer in the long run. Thanks for sharing!

  • Kent Miehe

    I agree with your opinion. People don’t think that risks could “possibly” affect them, but in reality, they “probably” could happen more often than not. Many of our daily habits contain risks that we don’t even consider when we do them. When we can look at what we do and really think about the probabilities of something bad happening, we will keep ourselves safer and healthier for a longer period of time. Using our own common sense can make a big difference, but like you said, people need to do more to prioritize their risks to keep themselves out of trouble. Thanks for sharing!

  • mindhamrr11

    Thanks for the reply, Kent! I see a lot of people who think that something is more likely to happen to them because it happened to someone they know like you said. Again, people need to prioritize their risks and not live in fear.

  • mindhamrr11

    I like your point of how more questions appear instead of answer about things we worry about. I also agree about how people get caught up in the media too much. That reminds me of the Dr. Oz show with all the false information on it that so many people probably tried and wasted their money on.

  • Jaglerjn22

    I can see where you’re coming from. And when you find something “wrong” with you or a flaw that you’re not particularly a fan of, realizing it is the first step! It may cause things that you don’t like in your life, and that’s when you can decide to make a change and make the best of it! If you don’t like something…change it! But I believe that realizing that there is a bigger issue is sometimes the hardest thing to do!

  • flaschbm09

    I definitely do what your saying about giving people dirty looks right after I just was doing that. Often times for me, it’s not that I’m texting but that I’m changing the song on my phone or giving a thumbs down on Pandora or Spotify which is just as bad as texting and I do it often. I just need to get in the habit of not picking my phone up at all while I’m driving.

  • flaschbm09

    I agree! We get so comfortable doing it that we consider it an “every day thing” and don’t give it a second thought. We also go into a dazed zone where, for example, when we’re driving home where we know the route home and we sort of zone out on the way home only to be interrupted somewhere along the line and think, “I didn’t realize I was this far already!” I’ll admit, this has happened to me a few times. I think we just need to be more aware of our driving and our surroundings.

  • Julia

    Is this a college problem? I’m starting to think this is an overall college issue. Students or young adults think they should eliminate milk from their diet, but continue to drink soda or any other junk food for that matter. College students work out consistently, stay active in sports, play the big game, and then….. celebrate by drinking. It’s like college students take care of their bodies Monday through Friday, but then Saturday and Sunday they get wasted. Sounds hypocritical to me. Unfortunately, no matter what, college students will struggle with this.

  • Kaila Witthun

    I agree with that. Realizing and admitting that something is wrong with you could very well be the most difficult part. It is definitely not easy to just change it either though. But if you realize the problem it is much easier to make a change than not even seeing anything is wrong.

  • Kaila Witthun

    Absolutely, it is even more interesting when you hear someone completely supporting an example we talked about in class. I definitely have also heard people saying they are scared of flying even though every now and then they are on their phones while they are driving. They think they are in control so they have piece of mind. Even though the risk of getting hurt in a car accident are high enough and even higher when they’re on their phone, than in a plane.

  • Kaila Witthun

    People most definitely have their priorities mixed up when it come to health! People really don’t get it. Some who drink a diet soda or something will pick on another individual for having like you said a sugar packet in their coffee. It just is not right. We really do get caught up in media and just sometime kind of mindlessly follow along without thinking and making out own logical choices.

  • Thumbs_up

    That is true. Most of the people do not see what is really wrong with their habits and with their lives. It is nice how a simple guidance like this article can help us to get back or start to see the right track.

  • Timothy Joseph Basaldua

    Throughout my adult life, I have engaged in some risky behaviors such as drinking, texting while driving, smoking, eating fast food all the time, etc. I am trying to cut out one bad habit and replace it with a better one. For example, if I am prone to eating junk food, I will try to replace it with a piece of fruit. I don’t always make the changes, because I can get very set in my ways. I agree that it’s important not worry about small things like milk intake. It’s important to consider moderation and there are so many things that we engage in that are far more dangerous and risky.

  • CPanella1

    This is my favorite article of yours because it is so true. I drink a soda and worry that I shouldn’t be because it’s so bad and so sugary, yet I go to a bar and don’t really think twice about my drink order there and the impact it has. In reality the soda was the best thing I’d have that day before the bars, which is sad. Ann’s class has opened my eyes to the world we live in and how we focus on such minor downfalls rather than the big pictures. Compared to what is my favorite question to ask people nowadays!

  • Timothy Joseph Basaldua

    After taking all of these health classes, I am learning that a lot of things that are promoting health and wellness are actually not good for you at all. I think it’s important for people to do research about the products they are taking. It’s very easy to read the label of a health product and get sucked in with all of the advertising.I agree that it’s important to educate people who are so consumed with the little things. I try not to tell them they are wrong, but I try to get a perspective as to why they think that way.

  • Will Ettl

    Being a poor college student we all make poor choices and well we all know we do. We all need to be smarter when it comes down to it. That is really easier said than done and will have to know the right thing from the wrong one before even making the decision in the first place. In the end everyone needs to know what they are doing before they actually make a choice and should also view the outcome first also.

  • Kaila Witthun

    There you go. By giving them perspective you are also giving them better information and they can still ultimately make the choice themselves. If they still pick the unhealthy option they may need a little more help. After having these health classes I find it difficult to keep my mouth shut with people and their choices. I don’t want to be that person, but I have learned so much in these classes that it is difficult to not be.

  • Alex Marski

    I can relate to this comment as well as many others in college. Many of us say oh its the weekend why not drink until 3am. you are absolutely right that these unhealthy behaviors will lead into their future for some not all.

  • Nathan Tessar

    I fully agree with you Julia! It is a college problem throughout the world. College students, (including me at times) believed that working out and drinking on the weekends would be just fine and loose weight. I personally realized it by gaining 20 pounds instead of loosing 10 by thinking that way.

  • maxfunny

    I completely agree with you. Once you have that realization that you are really hurting your body it is a big wake up call. It is even s bigger wake up call when you learn knowledge of something you did not know or thought differently on. The wake up calls are real and really worth it. I would talk to them like taysia said.

  • Katie Germain

    I also agree! I think it can be so easy to get caught up with the weekend college life and make unhealthy choices, but it also important to remember that we have to be good to our bodies. I need to remember to eat better and make a better workout routine and stick to my fitness goals so I can stop making unhealthy choices.

  • Leah Renee

    thinking and saying “compared to what” is one of my new favorite things. it is super useful for everything

  • Katie Germain

    I have a friend like this as well. She eats very little all week and then on the weekend she indulges in a lot of alcohol and goes out to eat after she is done drinking. It can be very frustrating trying to explain to a friend how they need to chance their unhealthy habits in order to look the way they want to look.

  • Emily Krueger

    I like the three comparisons you wrote about throughout the article. The milk vs alchol was one of my favorite due to the interesting informaton shared on this topic. I like the quote “Focus your behavior change on stopping dangerous habits before worrying about the lesser risks in your life”. Life is too short to be worrying about the small things on a dailiy basis.

  • Paige Cuchna

    A lot of my friends are heavy drinkers and Im not going to lie I have my fair share of nights where alcohol is involved. I am unbelievably afraid of heights and being on air planes but in reality I should be more afraid of what alcohol can do to my body. Alcohol has more of a chance hurting me than a plane crash.

  • Marlee Williams

    This article is so relevant to college students and assessing risk because college students have so many risky behaviors that they don’t realize are putting them at a HUGE risk of injury, disease, illness, etc. Yet, they worry about things that are so much less relevant such as getting eaten by a shark. Just doesn’t make any sense.

  • flaschbm09

    I do the same thing with eating a lot of junk food for snacks. I also understand the need to cut out bad habits and replace them with good ones. I often tell myself or make the promise that when I go and reach for and unhealthy snack, that I instead grab something healthier……..but I have yet to do that. I really want to try to be better with this.

  • afallon14

    Being in Ann’s class this semester has definitely made me think about my lifestyle choices as well as notice peoples around me, like my roommates. It is hard as a college student to stick to a routine lifestyle and stay healthy because there are so many things that come in between that, like going out and drinking or staying up late and snaking. This class was kind of a wake up call in the sense that people need to start treating their body’s better, like Ann always says in class.

  • Desiree

    this is true I hear people talk about how we shouldn’t be drinking milk for so and so reason but yet talk about how wasted they got a party. It doesn’t make sense at all because you are worried about milk which is way more healthier then not remembering what you did last night from drinking too much.

  • Brady

    This article does a great job talking about risk assessment, and how its being lost. The milk example was a perfect way of describing many people in today’s world.

  • Brady

    True, but the ultimate goal is to not have to need that wake up moment. Or at least have that wake up moment not be too detrimental.

  • maxfunny

    I still think no matter what you will have a wake up call because we can always improve ourselfs. The wake up calls are now part of our generation and society.

  • Brady

    But I think that is a problem. It shouldn’t always take an “ah ha” or an “oh shit” moment to get something accomplished.

  • maxfunny

    I couldn’t agree more with that being a problem! It’s just how do we change that. You can see kids cramming and really getting freaks out about a big test or finals but if they did do what they where suppose to they should be fine, but that really only happens in a perfect world. How can we change that as a society?

  • Tyler Hebert

    With every action you take, there will be risks, but you have to know and realize what risks are you willing to take. For example: You get home you have to decide if you want to take your dog on a walk. The risk of taking your dog on a walk could be getting ran over. BOOM. No more you and no more dog. The risk of not taking your dog on a walk could mean your dog not being very happy with you and not getting the lovin’ every dog deserves. There are risks for everything we do, but we have to decide what results could be worse or what results could be better.

  • Brady

    I don’t think you can as a society. The change can come only from an individual. Sure, things could possibly be done as a society, but I feel like it would just be a fad. If people want to change, it has to come from within the individual.

  • maxfunny

    I would agree. It is kinda sad to say that also. The worst is that we are just growing into a country that if they don’t see instant results it’s not worth it.

  • kgonyo

    I think the reason behind why we question things like the dangers of milk is because we know nothing about it. We could’ve just heard it in passing and are now afraid of the details behind the story – a story which could’ve been embellished from the beginning. Understanding the story before we freak out about it is a good way to put things in perspective and switch our worries to things that actual pose a threat to us.

  • McKennaKJ29

    I never understand college students. Some of my friends will say, “i want to start working out and eating healthy.” Then the next day they are drinking and eating mcdonalds. They make the assumption that they can make a slight change and it will negate all the other things they indulge in that are horrible for them. Being in Ann Garvin’s class has really put certain behaviors and mentalities that we have into perspective.

  • Brady

    Which is exactly why the country is spiraling down like it is. Its too bad.

  • Timothy Joseph Basaldua

    I agree. I feel like I can educate family members and friends about the material that I learn in my class. It is so interesting the way people think about certain products. I feel like it isn’t my job to change their minds, but I think it’s important for me to educate them. No one wants to be told that they are wrong and I think that there is a way of going about educating the person about topics. I’ve definitely made some lifestyle changes after learning the material in class.

  • Timothy Joseph Basaldua

    I see a lot of people making those mistakes; myself included at one point in my life. I hate those fad diets. They never work! I knew a person that did the juice diet. She lost over 30 pounds really fast! She gave up on the “diet” and gained all of the weight back! And then some! You have to be really determined to make a lifestyle change. It wouldn’t be a good idea commit to any diets. I think diets get boring after while and people cannot commit to them long term.

  • maxfunny

    It’s so upsetting eventually heart disease will end up being a number one killer in U.S and maybe that’s when that wake up call will happen on a national scale…

  • Brady

    I still don’t think so. Preventable diseases, like heart diseases, show scary enough nbers already. The change should already be being made. Unfortunately, I don’t see it happening any time soon.

  • Brady

    Hi Taysia!

  • maxfunny

    Yea, I see some things changing. A lot less smokers and fast food is going down slowly. Do you think it is because food deserts or other issues that people can’t get help in. Or just general ignorance of health facts and the inability to change there ways.

  • Jpl89

    Well I do think that milk is a dirty and relatively unhealthy product if not produced organically. It’s kind of gross. I’ve switched to chocolate almond milk….because I like chocolate.

    I do agree that there are much bigger areas for concern that should be addressed before your dairy intake. Alcohol abuse and tobacco use are two very harmful aspects of our culture that people undermine everyday, while at the same time being concerned about how ther milk was produced. But I don’t think that you should tell people not be wary of milk, or any of the food that they eat. Milk can be dirty and toxic and people should be encouraged to research and learn about how and where there food is produced.

  • Brady

    Ignorance. People know the facts, they’re all around. I just feel like they really don’t care, and that is so upsetting.

  • Bjackson5

    The interesting thing about this article is that it identifies the fact that the world we live in may not always offer a better of two options. Since this is true that means that people that are thrown obstacles must not panic, but slow down and choose what they know is best for them.

  • Sarah Reynolds

    I think we all make bad decisions when it come to our health some of the time and usually those decisions we think are safer than the other. I think we need to step back and look at our lifestyle choices before they get out of hand. I also think that we think we can avoid all problems and situations that could be bad for us but in reality sometimes you just can’t.