Posted in coronavirus, Covid-19, food, Health, news, shopping

Food Rationing Is Coming

Image above, ration coupons from WWII

Multiple grocery store chains have announced they will limit food purchases in light of processing challenges that have occurred as a result of COVID 19.

Food shortages have begun as factories and plants have been plagued with employee COVID exposure and poor demand due to restaurants, casinos and food venues not being open.

In Texas, H-E-B is adding beef, pork and chicken to the list of items that can be sold sparingly to paying customers.

Various grocery stores in Rhode Island, Nevada, Pennsylvania and multiple other states are seeing restrictions on types of food one can purchase.

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Why the shortage if less people are eating out?

When shut downs and lock downs occurred, multiple food venues were forced to shutter thereby ceasing food purchases.  Grocery stores and food banks only had a finite amount of storage space for the redirection of the fresh food so much of it had to be thrown out.

Then this week we learned of 900 employees at a Tyson plant in Indiana testing positive for COVID. The plant was one of multiple who chose to close as a result of the pandemic to limit employee exposure to the virus.

This week Tyson Foods reported, “As pork, beef and chicken plants are being forced to close, even for short periods of time, millions of pounds of meat will disappear from the supply chain.”

If employees are exposed or furloughed they cannot return to the plant, decreasing production. If the plant has sustained losses and needs to maintain social distancing rules, their production will decrease even more.

And with the anticipation that demand will sink due to restaurants given new guidelines on capacity maximums once they are allowed to reopen, supply production may not be able to be implemented quickly enough to meet an uncertain future demand as Americans hesitantly leave their “shelter-in-places.”

A representative from Kroger told MSN that “There is plenty of protein in the supply chain. However, some processors are experiencing challenges.”

Encouraging more people to reach for fish or a vegetable….now that’s a challenge!

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, iHeart Radio and Board Certified Family Physician

 

 

Posted in Christmas, fashion, Health, news, shopping, smart devices

Compulsive Online Shopping: Are YOU at Risk?

Image above from misskyra.com

The fasting growing addiction in the US is online shopping.  Ads pop up on our social media, news feeds and email. Boxes pile up in your closet of unopened packages.  And then one day you notice you purchased the same item twice! Are you addicted to online shopping or any shopping for that matter?  Let’s break down this latest epidemic.

What is Compulsive Spending Disorder?

A “Compulsive Buying Disorder (CBD)” was first described in the early 20th century as a compulsive disorder that left the patient with debt.  Later in the century its classification was debated and eventually included with the personality disorders.

Compulsive buying is known as “oniomania” where one buys impulsively and excessively to the point that it leaves them in financial hardship.  And despite their financial issues they continue to make purchases.  We’ve used the term “shopaholics” to describe those addicted to shopping but compulsive buying connotes the lack sense of financial ruin that can ensue. The spending is an attempt to satisfy a need that never gets fulfilled.

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IMAGE ABOVE FROM SHUTTERSTOCK

 

Compulsive buying disorder may be seen in those who suffer from mania and bipolar disorder.  During manic episodes excessive spending may occur.  Additionally we may see CBD co-morbidly in those who suffer from eating, gambling, substance use, and mood disorders.

What is Compulsive Online Shopping?

Compulsive online shopping occurs when purchases are made online, without much thought or planning, and at a frequency where it may interfere with one’s life.  People who might have never become a compulsive shopper in a traditional store may become easily addicted to online shopping.  Those who are compulsive online shoppers may exhibit any of the following:

  • Preoccupation with when they can go online to search items
  • Anxiety when one cannot go online
  • Purchasing items they don’t necessarily need
  • Spending beyond their budget
  • Hiding their shopping behavior
  • Feeling guilt after shopping
  • Struggling at work or at home because of the time devoted to online shopping
  • Other addictive or impulsive behaviors such as binge eating, drinking, or substance abuse

So compulsive online shopping, as well as compulsive buying disorder, can affect relationships, employment, finances and health.

How many people suffer from Compulsive Online Shopping Disorder?

Various sources have put the range at 5-8% of the US population.

Why are people becoming addicted?

When one is able to shop in the comfort of one’s desk or work station, the “ease” factor drives more shopping.  Avoiding the need to leave work or home to battle traffic and weather and long lines, is one of the biggest draws.  Moreover, those who hate going into a store or dressing room, concerned others will see the sizes of clothes they are trying on, can now shop in the privacy in their own home.  Additionally shopping allows one to fight the boredom they have at work or home and give one a sense of accomplishment.  And once one has a successful and satisfying purchase, the reward centers of the brain are activated making one want to shop more.

Hence, shrewd marketing will appeal to the human psyche by any of the following:

  • Displaying or popping up attractive ads on your browser or social media
  • Disrupting your feed, reading material or game with above ads
  • Following your likes, searches or prior purchases and suggesting related products
  • Offering deals and coupons that can be used immediately
  • “Rewarding” the buyer with positive feedback after the purchase such as, “You SAVED 15%!”
  • Allowing the purchase to be done so quickly and easily that one has less of an opportunity to ponder the purchase
  • Sending reminders of a reorder

So how can one avoid becoming a compulsive online shopper?

Don’t give in to the ads.  People must realize they are being bombarded with some of the most creative marketing manipulation known to mankind.  We can’t fall for it.  Why are we letting our smart devices dictate to us what we need in our closets, pantries or garages?

But to fight the urge to shop online excessively, we must:

  • Budget expenditures and stick to it
  • Have hobbies
  • Avoid boredom, or going to the internet when bored
  • Limit internet time
  • Stop ads and unsubscribe on out tablet or smart phone
  • Deputize a family member to be our go-to when we want authorization to purchase something online.
  • Ask ourselves prior to purchasing:  Do I really need this item?
  • Seek counseling if unable to stop

If needed, compulsive shopping can be treated with therapy as well as medications including SSRI’s, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, which are efficacious in those with impulsive personalities or obsessive-compulsive disorder.

 

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Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, and iHeart Radio.