Becoming American

On the health equity quiz I ended up getting 5 out of 10 correct. I think one of the statistics I found most surprising about the quiz was that in regards to life expectancy the United States only ranked 29th in the world. I thought we were going to be a lot higher than that due to the advancement of medicine here and technology as well. I guess I really didn’t take into account anything else. The next statistic I found interesting was that recent Latino immigrants have better health than the average American.

I picked an episode called Becoming American to summarize which was about Latino immigrants coming to America. In the episode they discussed how Latino immigrants have somewhat negative stereotypes in the healthcare field, such as they were unhealthy and dirty. A few doctors came to speak about this and said that they found that not only was this not the case, but in reality it was the exact opposite, that these immigrants had the greatest health they had seen among Americans. A psychologist was also interviewed where she spoke about how these immigrants also had very low instances of mental health distress. Unfortunately, the speakers talked about how the longer the immigrants stay in the United States, the more they get acclimated to our negative eating/ health habits and their health starts to decrease.

The reason for the good health amongst these people is not based on genetic factors necessarily, but some say the strong family ties of the people. Many times in the film people spoke to the fact that isolation can cause many health problems for people such as diabetes, mental health issues, and even death. The reason that these types of immigrants are in such good health is because of their hopefulness and their willingness to stay connected to their families. The speakers also said that not only do strong family connections play a big part, but strong community connections play their part too.

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