Becoming American

After completing the health equity quiz, I had answered 4 questions correct out of the 10 questions possible.  I was surprised by all of the questions asked and the statistics of public health around the world. I knew the difference in health between the rich and poor countries was substantial but some of the statistics provided were very shocking. For example, I was not aware that the United States only ranks 29th for life expectancy in comparison with the rest of the world; I would have thought we would rank relatively close to the top. I was also surprised by the fact that recent Latino immigrants have the best overall health of all those living in the United States. According to the quiz, the longer these immigrants live here, the worse they fare, known as the “Latino paradox,” a reality that is both sad yet true.

Development throughout a nation and globalization does not always have a positive outcome on the health of the residing population. According to the video, Becoming American, from the Unnatural Causes series, recent Latino immigrants in the United States prove to be the healthiest population, as I have stated before. Results of health data collected from a county in California mirror this idea showing that the Latino immigrant population had the lowest rates of death, heart disease, and all the major killers. A non-genetic explanation for these findings could be cultural aspects of the population, including the strong cohesive family ties that hold Latino families together through hardships. Unfortunately, maintaining these relationships becomes difficult as time is spent within the United States. According to the video, isolation is on the rise in the United States, and this characteristic increases the rate of aging and can be fatal. The influences of the American culture are proven to be stronger than a family’s bond in protecting their health.

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