The childhood obesity epidemic is a social, economic, and public health challenge (Wechsler, et al, 2004). It constitutes a critical threat to the health and well-being of our nation, as rates have risen dramatically over the past decades. The United States now has the highest rate of childhood obesity among all developed nations (Kluger, 2008). Its mitigation requires a multi-disciplinary strategy, as it has become a serious public health concern, not only in the U.S., but also worldwide. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that, over the last thirty years, the number of overweight children has doubled, while the number has almost tripled among adolescents (Ogden and Carroll, 2010). The main issue is that children and adolescents are eating unhealthy high calorie, high fat, processed foods, and are not getting enough physical activity.
Children, in contrast to adults, are treated as unable to weigh the future consequences of their actions. Children may have a poor understanding of the long-term health consequences of overeating or lack of physical activity. In the case that they have adequate information, they may assign minimal importance to problems in the distant future. Therefore, government actively regulates the decisions of children more strictly than those of adults. Additionally, when children are enrolled in the public school system, the government acts in loco parentis; thus, it is important to consider the relationship of school policies, especially regarding nutrition and physical activity, to the childhood obesity epidemic (Acs and Lyles, 2007). Continue reading
The public education system in America is underfunded and this is bound to cause repercussions for future generations and the future of America. Continue reading
“The pursuit of happiness” is a saying that is ingrained in Americans as one of the unalienable rights of man. Stemming from the United States Declaration of Independence, this term has been around our country for quite some time. What is this happiness that we are inclined to pursue and how do we generate it? Well, throughout this semester, I have been studying those questions, among many more, while completing my psychology independent study on Positive Psychology. This subject topic stems from the belief that psychology, which essentially studies human mind and its functions, place too much emphasis on the negative workings of the mind. Therefore, this new area of psychology was born to focus on how to model those who lead happy, successful lives. Thus, positive psychology seeks to make normal life more fulfilling.
Based on much of the research that I came into contact with over the semester, cultivating an attitude of gratitude is one of the easiest ways to become a happier individual. Gratitude is an interesting emotion, as it is not neurologically hardwired into our brain, yet the comparisons we innately make when cultivating gratitude help us be thankful for and satisfied with our position in life. The process of experiencing gratitude must intentionally be sought after, and, just like any learned skill, practicing gratitude allows one to experience the feeling easier.
(start at 3:30)
After searching the library database with key words such as “Japanese Whaling”, “Eco-terrorism” and “Sea Shepherd”, I found two hits for books. The first book was “Sea Shepherd: My Fight for Whales and Seal” by Paul Watson (President of the Sea Shepherd Conservation group). I found this book first and flipped through it, but it failed to provide much more than a narrative of his early experiences as a conservationist. Although the information is interesting, I do not think it will be much use for my white paper.
Having chosen childhood obesity as the topic for my white paper, I have had no trouble finding information as there is a wide variety of research and literature on the subject. In the library, I was pressed for time, but I uncovered several books in the sciences and medicine stacks within a matter of minutes. The title that I found most interesting was “Generation Extra Large: Rescuing Our Children from the Epidemic of Obesity”. Given last week’s discussion regarding Generation We, I found the labeling of our same generation as “Extra Large” was worthy of comment.
Nevertheless, the book that I actually chose to look at more in depth for this particular blog post was entitled “Obesity in Youth: Causes, Consequences, and Cures”. I decided that this book might be the most helpful as it was the most recently published (2009) of the books I discovered in my less-than comprehensive search. I assumed that this book may have more reliable data and statistics and therefore it would be more helpful than the others in contributing to my white paper. Continue reading
Onslaught of Green
Consumers are finding it more and more challenging to differentiate goods and services that are advertised as environmentally friendly. According to a 2010 study by TerraChoice, an independent testing and certification organization, there are 73% more green products on the market today than in 2009.1They also revealed that roughly 95% of green products are being greenwashed to some degree (based on their seven sins of greenwashing).1 While this study focused on home and family products, the purchasing power of greenwashing is evident across many industries. Greenwashing can be defined as the act of misleading consumers regarding the environmental practices of a company or the environmental benefits of a product or service.2 Additionally, Wikipedia defines green washing as a term describing the deceptive use of green PR or green marketing in order to promote the perception that an organization’s policies or products are environmentally friendly.3,4 While most organizations do not outright greenwash, any exaggerated behavior is inappropriate: greenwashing is “an extremely serious matter…it is insidious, eroding consumer trust, contaminating the credibility of all sustainability-related marketing and hence inhibiting progress toward a sustainable economy,” stated in a report by Ogilvy & Mather, a huge advertising firm.5 The Federal Trade Commission does provide guidelines for environmental marketing claims, but these are not enforceable.6,7 It has been the responsibility of corporations to not jump on the green public image bandwagon, spend resources on environmentally sound practices, and inform the public about the truthful environmental impacts of buying and using their products.
A helpful document for corporations is Ogilvy’s guide on brand management: “From Greenwash to Great: A Practical Guide to Great Green Marketing (without the Greenwash).” The guide presents a framework that speaks to an honest green story starting from inside the company, not from a marketing idea that is created and spun for consumers.8 A company that has started in an honest place is Levi Strauss & Co. The company was founded in San Francisco, California in 1853 and created the very first pair of blue jeans in 1873.9 The Levi’s brand has become one of the most widely recognized brands, positioned as the original and authentic jeans brand. It’s merchandising and marketing seeks to reflect the brand’s core attributes: original, definitive, honest, confident, and youthful. It is obvious the company is proud of its history and heritage: “People have worn our products during the seminal moments of social change over the past 150 years.”10 The company has a long lineage of corporate social responsibility: shorter work weeks were implemented to mitigate the massive lay-offs happening during the Great Depression; factories were racially integrated prior to the Civil Rights Act; was one of the first companies to take action in the fight against HIV/AIDS, as well as remaining committed to the pandemic; established a set of Global Sourcing and Operating Guidelines; and joined the Federal Labor Association (FLA) efforts to improve working conditions around the globe.11,12,13 According to Ogilvy’s brand management guide, environmental improvements and benefits need to be measurable, verified and significant to the product’s real footprint.14 Beyond their corporate social responsibility, Levi’s is considered a pioneer in sustainability, making efforts to minimize their environmental footprint in all levels of their operations. Continue reading
Today, regional airline carriers account for more than half of all domestic flights in the United States, as major airlines have been outsourcing more of their flights. According to the U.S. government Accountability Office, the regional airlines are responsible for the last six fatal commercial airline accidents (Dillingham). Thus, their business operations, especially with respect to safety standards, implicate a variety of ethical dimensions and perspectives.
THE STORY OF THE REGIONAL CARRIERS IN THE AIRLINE INDUSTRY
Over the past thirty years, a major transformation has been occurring in the United States airline industry. It began in the late 1970s when the U.S. government deregulated the airline industry, which inevitably led to increased competition among the major airlines to offer lower airfares (Cunningham, et al). In response, the airline companies created the regional industry and developed a new business operating strategy called the hub and spoke model as a way of lowering costs. Basically, the major airlines created central hubs in large cities or metropolitan areas and began relying on small regional carriers or commuters to feed their domestic network system (Wei & Yanji). (See Appendix A) Continue reading
Social media and social networking sites are becoming more and more popular in today’s world as a means of communication and marketing. The most used social media site that has emerged is Facebook which is used by all groups of society. Approximately 45% of employers (who the exact employers are is inaccessible due to confidentiality issues) are using Facebook as a means for screening potential job applicants (Rosen). Employers have recently started asking candidates for their username and passwords as part of the job hiring process (Castillo). If candidates say no, they are immediately eliminated from the job pool which is detrimental in a time when unemployment rates are relatively high. The process of employers viewing candidate’s profiles and now even requesting their user name and password has brought up ethical and legal questions concerning privacy rights. While employers “believe they have the right to obtain as much information as possible about applicants” by using social networking sites, many others feel it is an invasion of privacy (Byrnside, 458). The legality of the issue is being explored in the courts but the ethics of the employer is still in question. By utilizing Robert Nozick’s Entitlement Theory to understand the ethical issues that stem from this dilemma, I feel as though the employers are not entitled to access candidate’s Facebook profiles. Continue reading
Since I am an accounting major, I have gained a major interest in government policies that may affect my future. I also have enjoyed learning about many accounting frauds that have taken place (especially since some companies went to great lengths to cover up what they were doing, check out ZZZZ Best for example). One of the major policies that has been passed and we have discussed in class is the Sarbanes Oxley Act of 2002. The article that we read for class analyzed the effects of the act shortly after it was implemented. As a result, I want to see if any results and analyses have changed.
SOX was implemented after the Enron and WorldCom scandals. It was the government’s quick response and solution to the mistrust the public was gaining of big corporations. SOX implemented many regulations on auditors and companies in order to make sure no more economic disasters would occur in the future (the financial crisis of 2008?). For my white paper, I want to explore the actual effects of SOX on society, companies, and auditing firms. Continue reading
I chose to explore Edwin Hartman’s article “Donaldson on Rights and Corporate Obligations” for this week’s cited reference search blog post. Just to recap, the article discusses Donaldson’s belief that certain fundamental human rights generate correlative duties for the corporation, including 1) the duty to avoid depriving people of their rights, 2) the duty to help protect people from such deprivation, and 3) the duty to aid those who are deprived. Hartman introduces a fourth category of duty to the list, which he refers to as the duty to avoid helping to deprive. He argues that the corporation is not obligated to contribute to protecting anyone from deprivation, but it needs to make sure that no action it takes helps the depriver succeed in depriving.
Since the article was published in 1991, I thought that it would be interesting to see what other publications have cited it since then. Using Google Scholar, I found that Hartman’s original article had only been cited by 3 other publications.
The one I chose to examine more closely is “La responsabilidad moral de la empresa. Una revisión de la teoría de Stakeholder desde la ética discursiva”/”The moral responsibility of the business. A review of the Stakeholder theory from discursive ethics”. It is a doctoral thesis presented by Elsa González Esteban and directed by Dr. Domingo Garcia-Marza of the Universitat Jaume I de Castellón. It was published in 2011, so it is rather recent information. In total, it has 576 pages and it is written in Spanish. Continue reading
For the blog posting this week I chose to use a “piece of knowledge” on Freeman. An optional reading for our session 4 class back in February was Edward Freeman’s Stakeholder Theory of the Modern Corporation. Ever since taking Management 101 the concept of stakeholders has interested me: how to identify who is a stakeholder, are their various levels, how does one encapsulate the needs of stakeholders and somehow make that align or fit within what the mission of the overall corporation is, etc.
I searched Stakeholder Theory and Freeman within the Web of Knowledge database. Since Stakeholder Theory of the Modern Corporation itself is within another piece of work, I browsed around a bit, checking out other pieces of work by Freeman regarding stakeholder theory. I spent some time searched within those for different terms, such as Wal-Mart, but did not come up with many results nor any I was particularly interested in. I eventually narrowed my focus onto Stakeholder Theory and “the corporate objective revisited” . This has been cited 76 times within the Web of Knowledge database! In settling on this document, I began sifting through the 76 items cited; I wasn’t really thrilled with this set of resources either. I eventually found an article that, from it’s abstract at least, appeared really interesting: Social Sustainability in Selecting Emerging Economy Suppliers by M. Ehrgott, F. Reimann, L. Kaufmann, and C.R. Carter. The source of the article is Journal of Business Ethics. I did a cited reference search on this article as well, but it has only been cited 3 times within Web of Knowledge.
The abstract provides great insight into what the study was about Continue reading
Last spring semester I took part in the 1.5 credit program course Conflict and Peace in Northern Ireland. This program course during the spring prepared the class for a short-term study abroad program known as Bucknell in Northern Ireland (BUNI). The program is a collaboration of Bucknell, International Conflict Research Institute (INCORE), and the University of Ulster-Magee College. This service-learning program focuses on the histories and cultures of people in Northern Ireland. From mid-May to early June, we stayed in Derry/Londonderry. We briefly visited the Republic of Ireland as well. Despite the constant overcast and rain showers, it is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen! (my pictures don’t even do it justice)
Please note that Northern Ireland is part of the UK. It is not united with the rest of Ireland (the Republic) which is independent of British rule. As you may know, society in Northern Ireland is recovering from a period of sectarian conflict. The worst part of this conflict is referred to as “The Troubles” (late 1960s-1990s). This conflict between Catholics (Nationalists/Republicans) and Protestants (Unionists/Loyalists) was the spark of much violence in Northern Ireland during their history. When we, as Americans, think of these time periods, we see them as so long ago. To society in Northern Ireland, their history is still very much alive, like it was only yesterday. Continue reading
During Spring Break of my junior year, I participated in the A.C.E.S. Bucknell Service Trip to the Dominican Republic. The experience was truly eye-opening as it was the first time that I had witnessed extreme poverty firsthand. Some of the areas that the Bucknell group visited were more developed, especially the Colonial District and places closer to Santo Domingo. However, other small villages were extremely poor. The communities where we did the medical clinic and the food drive were rather shocking to me.
The medical clinic was set up at a school and all the participants, including doctors, nurses, and our student group, were volunteers. Many people, both young and old, came seeking medical attention. I remember being in the “dentist” classroom and seeing the instruments lined up on a table. Some volunteers were sterilizing them in bowls of soap and water. One part that I will never forget was holding up a young girl’s head to support it while she had a tooth pulled. She sat in a wooden desk chair and no Novocain was used. I had to look away when her mouth began bleeding and I sensed that she was in pain. After, all I could do was smile and tell her that she was very brave. I recall thinking to myself, “Wow, this is their health care.” Continue reading
The TV episode I chose to examine from a business, government, and society perspective is from the show Boy Meets World. I am sure many of you are familiar with the sitcom comedy-drama, as it aired for seven seasons on ABC from 1993 through 2000, but for those of you who aren’t, I will sum it up. Basically, the show chronicles the experiences and everyday life lessons in the world of Cory Matthews, your typical teenage boy from Philadelphia as he grows up from a young boy, through middle school, high school, college, and later married life.
For the post this week, rather than offer a particular personal experience tied to gender or race in America, I decided to talk about certain aspects of gender roles that have always bothered me. To be blunt, I don’t like the idea of men doing stuff for women. And while I will be the first to recognize that it is changing somewhat with our generation when you compare it to the extremes of the past, I still believe that there remain unresolved issues. For more on changing gender roles, click here!
First, I don’t like the concept that the man is supposed to pay the bill when on a date. Why can’t you split it or each pay for your own meal? (This is actually referred to as “go Dutch”.) Second, I don’t like the notion that men are supposed to drive women places. Let me guess…you’ve never thought about it, right? You see females driving cars all the time. But, how often do you see a man (of legal driving age) in a car that a woman is driving? I don’t understand why women have to be driven around. What’s the big deal? And finally, I disagree with the practice of men opening and holding doors (cars included) for women. While I will admit that it’s nice to have someone open the door for you and many women will view such an act as very “gentlemanly”, I believe that the underlying message is inherently wrong. Continue reading
Athleticism is one of the main components of my personal identity. I consider myself to be pretty athletic and very competitive when it comes to sports. I grew up playing three sports (water polo, swimming, and softball) and succeeded in all three. Over the past three summers I have been a beach lifeguard in Corolla, NC where I have participated in big lifeguarding competitions and placed in multiple events in the South Atlantic Region. At Bucknell, I am a co-captain of the women’s water polo team (where we just went 4-1 this past weekend!) and have started all four years. Sports have consumed and play an important component of my life.
From my personal experience, I still see a large part of American society being sexist towards women’s athletics. For example, during high school gym class, we would play all sorts of co-ed sports including softball, basketball, handball, volleyball, and tennis. When it came time to the team sports, I would always become very frustrated. During handball for example, the boys would never pass me the ball even when I was wide open, in a scoring position, and calling for the ball. It was discouraging and frustrating and I ended up just walking back and forth on the court since there was no hope for me to get to participate. I have not only experienced this discrimination on the field but also by the attendance to female sporting events versus men. The men’s water polo team here at Bucknell will have the stands packed during their home games while the women’s team will have maybe a quarter of the attendance (mostly family). Continue reading
One thing you may not know about me is my passion for the Spanish language. I have taken Spanish courses since I was in eighth grade, and it is my second major here at Bucknell. Last spring I studied abroad in Granada, Spain, one of the most beautiful cities I have ever seen. One of the things that attracted me to the Spanish language was how widely used it is, especially in the United States. In fact, Spanish is the second most used language in the U.S, and there are more Spanish speakers in the U.S. then there are speakers of Chinese, French, German, and Italian combined. I always thought that knowing a second language would be helpful, and I even considered learning Chinese (I’m pretty sure manicurists talk about me the whole time I get my nails done- how cool would it be to know what they are saying?)
(This picture shows the percentage of people in each of the states that speak Spanish)
Going abroad was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I have never felt so insignificant as I did when going to all of those amazing cities of cultural and historical importance. It is crazy to think about all of the different cultures there are in the world and how they are so drastically different from one another. Take Granada, for example. My host sister went to work at 9 am every morning and returned at 3 pm for lunch (the biggest meal of the day) and a siesta (nap) right afterwards. This is not to say that every working person has this same luxury, but I found it fascinating how slow the pace was in relation to the morning “rush hour” here in the U.S. It often bothered me how slow everything was there, but I learned that it is this way because Spanish people actually take the time to appreciate every encounter they have much more so than we do in the U.S.
(La hermosa Alhambra de Granada)
I found the story of Seth Maxwell, one of the 2011 Do Something Awards Finalists, to be particularly inspiring. Seth, a 22 year-old college graduate from Los Angeles, CA, learned from a friend that almost 1 billion people lack access to clean water and that water-borne illnesses account for more than 80% of all global disease. He found this information troubling and immediately decided to do something about it.
He began what became known as the Thirst Project in March of 2008. Seth, along with eight of his friends, was committed to making a difference. They invested all their cash – about $70 in total – and purchased 1,000 bottles of water. They distributed the free water on Hollywood Blvd. and began educating the public, through informal conversations, about the clean water crisis. In a single day, they raised awareness and more than $1,700 in donations! Continue reading
Now, more than ever consumers, investors and employees are placing increasing importance on corporate social responsibility and firms can take advantage of this by appealing directly to them. Demonstrating concern for the environment, human rights, community development and the welfare of employees has become an essential marketing strategy for companies in the global economy.
General Electric is one example of a company that is acting responsibly and living its values. It is pursuing environmental sustainability by working to protect and improve people’s current and future living environment.
For over 6 years now, GE has been branding its green, environmental, and sustainability efforts as Ecomagination. When it was first launched, the Ecomagination campaign asserted that GE, one of the world’s largest corporations, was going green and embracing environmentally-friendly policies. According to CEO Jeffrey Immelt, the new Ecomagination initiative represented “GE’s commitment to address challenges such as the need for cleaner, more efficient sources of energy, reduced emissions and abundant sources of clean water”. Continue reading
The Blog Council for week one (Lauren M, Chris, Jordi) met last night to discuss this week’s posts. As for general comments, we would like to see more of YOUR opinion as bloggers in the posts. For instance, this week you had some freedom in choosing the topic – we would have liked your post to have addressed the reason you chose a particular blog (personal interest, etc.)
Now, on to the awards: We were very impressed by a number of posts (and for different reasons), but we can only give out so many awards. That being said, we determined that the following posts deserve special recognition…
Where Siri Comes From (by Beth) – The Best Post Award
Hit the tag for more awards… Continue reading