Becoming American

I thought that I would score higher on the Home Equity quiz but I only scored a 4/10. The statistics were really surprising. Out of all the statistics on the quiz, I found the statistic regarding average life expectancy for the United States the most interesting. It is really eye-opening that almost fifty years ago, our country was in the top five countries in the world for average life expectancy and now it has fallen to 29th place. The quiz brought to light that during those fifty years, the rich became richer while the poor stayed poor in the United States instead of making an equal distribution of wealth. In my opinion, I think that as technology advances and the gap in the distribution of wealth increases, the lower the average life expectancy will be. There are many lifestyle choices that we fail to realize are in fact, toxic.

In the video “Becoming American,” the video addressed how Americans have worse health compared to the newly immigrated, poor Latinos which is the contrary to what most would think. I’m sure one would believe that a poor person that has just immigrated from Mexico would be ill and carry diseases as well as be more susceptible to the diseases in America, but according to the video, Dr. Steve Larson found that most of them were young and healthy after working with several thousand Mexican patients. In the Kennan-Square Mexican community, it was found that they had the best health out of anyone in the country. But the longer an immigrant resides in the United States, in other words, becomes “more American,” it is more likely for them to have higher blood pressure, become more obese, have diabetes and heart disease than it was for them when they first arrived. In Mexico, the dynamic is very family oriented and almost always home cooked meals with fresh ingredients but while in American, they are trying to achieve this so-called “American dream” and to do this, they start working many long hours causing a lot of stress which negatively affects their health. In addition, Americans tend to eat out a lot, having access to fast food restaurants and consume very processed foods which unknowingly they could adapt to this lifestyle. These non-genetic factors play a huge part in the increasing number of cases in obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

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