W2 Activity: Becoming American

On the Health Equity Quiz, I got six out of ten correct.  I’ve already studied similar questions to this before, but as I was answering the questions I was shocked and confused at some point by some of the stats the United States has on the health care system.  The statistics that shocked me most were how much the U.S. spends per person on health care compared to other countries.  Knowing that we were in the top 5 in life expectancy 50 years ago and now we are ranked #29 didn’t make much sense to me because of how much is being spent on health care.  After doing a little research, one of the few reasons why there is an increase in the amount being spent on health care in the United States is because of people that are already sick and are getting sicker and the people moving into the U.S. who are already sick.

I watched the unnatural causes episode; “Becoming American”, and it made me realize why the healthcare system is the way it is today and everything is going on in the political system now.  Like many immigrants that come to the United States with low money and hope for better future for them and their families, Mexicans which is not shocking are truly very hard workers.  As I watched this episode, I seen nothing new or surprising to me except for how the new generations of the immigrants are becoming less and less healthy.  The new Mexicans that arrive to the U.S work very long and hard hours to earn very low income compared to an average American.  I was actually a bit shocked from the video when the father of the family (Bernald) said he earns $9.03/hour at the mushroom farm.  My father owns a construction company and when it comes to demolishing and building walls the company hires Mexicans who are willing to do all the hard work for pay as low as $5/hour.  Now I understand why they’re willing to do any job for such low pay, its all because of their families.  Most Mexicans come here in hope for a better future by working everyday of the week and saving as much as possible to bring their entire family to the U.S.  As far as health goes, it makes sense to me now why the immigrants that come here are healthier than the average American.  Unlike an average American family who need a car per every household and a bedroom, immigrants like Mexicans use one car and are more than happy to share rooms and save money.  With that being said, it causes the family to be closer and form a strong bond which makes them happier and healthy rather than an isolated person who works a lot and not have a social life.  New studies show that five years later after arrival, Latino immigrants’ health begins to decrease.  It made more sense to me on why that is after watching the episode.  I believe that the non-genetic factors that can explain these observed health disparities is that the immigrant parents work long hours and no longer get to spend time with their families like they used to and that leads to stress and depression and other conditions.  As far as the children, they begin to feel isolated and be around other children in the area and slowly begin to live the American life style, which leads to eating fast food, lack of exercise, and losing the old cultural bond the family had.

One thought on “W2 Activity: Becoming American

  1. Hi Zaid,
    I really liked your blog post because you added a personal perspective on the issue with your input about how the strong family bond is what drives many immigrants to work long hours for such low pay. If working for $5 an hour was your only option to be able to finally be reunited with your family, the work would seem very daunting and hard on your mental health, but worth it in the end. I also agree that the reason many Latino’s health decreases approximately 5 years after they move to the United States is most likely because of the oppressive conditions and because they are succumbing to the fast food and unhealthy lifestyle of living in America. In order to change this health disparity among incoming hardworking Latino’s, my suggestion would be a political and economic one. First, the government or community manager should implement community centers that could provide basic health screenings and assessments as well as programs to help them integrate into the community and properly use and understand its resources. Allowing individuals a local place to go to seek resources for education, health, or any number of things would positively affect their mental health status and in turn their physical well-being.

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