PopulationCulture and how they Influence High-RiskNutritional Behaviors
PopulationCultures and how they Influence High-RiskNutritional Behaviors
Culture,which is defined as the beliefs, knowledge, habits, and customs thatare shared by people in a community significantly influence whatpeople eat and how they behave. Additionally, most of the ethnicgroups adopt their culturally based food habits and foods that arethe difference and unique. As a result, in most cases, the traditionsin one population is influenced and adopted through the use ofmainstream culture that is passed from one generation to another.Consequently, it is evident that the huge disparities in mortalityand morbidity that is prevalence in different populations cannot bevividly explained through biomedical factors. Rather, the disparitiescan be understood through the various patterns of lifestyle andcultures that are shaped by people’s behavioral and socialcomponents. As a result, this paper explores ten different culturesand how these cultures impact high-risk nutritional behaviors:
TheChinese culture forms a heritage that is difficult to exploreespecially when examining the nutritional and health risk factors.The Chinese culture allows men and teenagers to engage in smoking andalcohol consumption. Additionally, most of the Chinese are educatedfamilies believe that it is their duty to observe the nutritionalconcern. Their culture is based on beliefs that when offering thefood to their guests during the day or night, the food should be a"well-balanced" and healthy diet for human consumption.Moreover, Chinese believe that food is the most crucial thing tofocus on when serving the guests in a house.
However,alcohol consumption, especially among the 18 to 19 years old men andold women is not controlled by the Chinese culture. As a result,smoking and consumption of alcohol kill millions of people in Chinaannually (Kimuraetal.,2009).
Inthe recent past, the culture in the United States has changeddrastically due to population growth and inhabitation by manydifferent ethnic and cultural groups. As a result, in the UnitedStates, there are diverse ethnic beliefs, educated people, familypractices, and eating habits and food preferences. Kittler,Sucher, & Nelms (2011) argue that thefood mainstreams in America are not influenced by education or familypractices but by the presence of the ethnic cultures. Because of beenbusy in education and workplaces, Americans has adopted foods in thefast-food restaurants and other hotels that offer take-outrestaurants that offer a wide-range of food selections such asfalafel, pizza, egg rolls, tacos, hamburgers, and tandoori.
Thesebehaviors have highly contributed to the increased rate of diseasessuch as diabetes because there is no diet balancing in the foodsconsumed by most Americans.
Inthe United States, African Americans are treated as the minoritygroups and their cultures are difficult to understand. According toRenzahoand Mellor (2010),there is a need to have a nutritional intervention for the AfricanAmericans because their lifestyle, socioeconomic status, and eatinghabits have contributed to increased cases of diabetes, obesity, andhypertension. Among the African Americans’ culture, their level ofeducation and socioeconomic status influences their diet. This isbecause their diets are based on their health beliefs that are passedfrom one generation to the other and are still observed to date.
However,their beliefs and level of education are poor thus the maincontributing factor in the increased rate of communicable diseases.For example, corns, green leafy vegetables, starchy vegetables,breaded or fried meat, grains, and whole milk are foods that areoften consumed by African Americans. However, the culture supportshealth literacy because there is no adequate communication betweenthe African Americans and the health educators on food choices andthe impact created on their health.
AsianIndians is a group of immigrants that has continued to occupyAmerica. This group of people is so diverse based on their religiousbeliefs and the various religion practices. As a result, AsianIndians predominant in the Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism, Buddhism,Judaism, and Christianity which hinder or support various foods oreating habits. For example, the Asian Indians who are Muslims cannotconsume pork. This means that despite their high education andsocioeconomic status, the different religions observe varying dietarycodes and laws when feasting and fasting thus influencing theireating habits.
However,in the United States, Asian Indians immigrants are facing healthissues such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and cardiovasculardisease due to the complications in their eating habits created bytheir religious beliefs (Venkatesh,Weatherspoon, Kaplowitz, & Song, 2013).For example, based on their ethnic foods selection, Asian Indians’main meals revolve around doughnuts, cookies, traditional sweets andother western pastries this is not a balanced diet thus the rampanthealth issues among the Asian Indians.
Culturally,food is an essential part of the Mexicans’ way of life. However,because of the poor eating habits, the incidences of type 2 diabetesare very rampant both in the Mexicans and in Mexican-Americans.Socially, the Mexicans have wealth and well educated regardingnutritional and dietary. For example, the eating habits of theMexicans are based on their mainstreams and acculturation dietarypractices.
Forexample, Mexicans are used to varieties of pork and beef cuts, fish,and poultry that are consumed together with tripe, oxtail, andgrains. Traditionally, Mexicans are used to roasted meat, buttermilkthat is used when making biscuits, better and cornbread. As a result,Americans consume a lot of cholesterols from the fatty componentsthat subject them to obesity, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes.
Pakistanis mostly inhabited by Indians whose behaviors include consumption offast foods, physical inactivity, and smoking. These behaviors haveincreased drastically in Pakistan due to the increased urbanizationand influence from the western cultures. Additionally, most of theyoung people in Pakistan are staying a sedentary lifestyle despitetheir high levels of education and socioeconomic status. According toIshtiaqetal.(2011),30 percent of the Indians in Pakistan consume fast foods, 10 % usetobacco products, and around 7 percent smoke cigarettes.
Additionally,almost 35% of the people in Pakistan consume soft drinks on a dailybasis. As a result, there are increased unhealthy behaviors such asconsumption of soft drinks and fast foods from one generation toanother. The culture and behaviors created to threaten the life andhealth of the people of Pakistan.
Accordingto the German Health Organization’s updates in 2014, the peopleliving in Germany are used to taking fruits, vegetables, smoking, andtaking alcohol as a lifestyle. Additionally, people engage inpractices that support environmental pollution thus hinderingeffective healthcare outcomes. Moreover, the high-risk nutritionalbehaviors in German is contributed by the risky alcohol consumptionand smoking among the young generations.
Familiesand people from German believe that low consumption of fruits andvegetables on a daily basis contributes to gastrointestinal cancer by20 percent. Additionally, ()affirm that 33% of the ischemic heart problems and stroke are causedby lack of taking adequate fruits and vegetables every day. However,only 56 percent of men and 72% of the Germans consume fruits everyday. This decreases the high risk of contracting heart problems,stroke, and other related diseases.
Hispanics or Latinos’ culture
Renzahoand Mellor (2010)suggested that economic and social factors are the main determinantsof health. However, most of the Hispanics who are staying in theUnited States are facing poor access to health care, less education,and higher poverty rates yet, their cultural diversity is betterthan that of the non-Hispanic whites. As a result, the eatingbehaviors practiced in the Hispanic cultures are based on theireconomic and social status and not on their level of education,families, or political power. Consequently, Hispanics include ethnicor racial groups that are growing very fast in America (Kulkarni,2004).
Additionally,because of inadequate socioeconomic status that includes low personaland family income, lack of employment, higher poverty rates, and loweducation attainment their eating habit is also poor. As a result,most of the Hispanics are suffering from diseases such as obesity,diabetes, malnutrition, and other diseases caused by dietaryimbalance.
Kenyais a developing country whose cultural diversity cannot be comparedwith that of the America. Due to lack of immense cultural diversity,Kenyans are restricted by poverty and poor socioeconomic development.According to a report that was released by World Health Organization,it is evident that mortality rate is high due to poor access tohealth care, lack of proper diets, and due to diseases resulting topoor nutrition.
Althoughmost of the Kenyans are educated, their eating behaviors show thatthe fat and cholesterol level of intake in very high. Additionally,the carbohydrates and protein intakes are high among the Kenyans. Asa result, the high intake of cholesterol subjects the Kenyans toobesity, heart problems, and hypertension (Barrett,Ilbery, Brown, & Binns, 2009).Kenyans` level of alcohol consumption is low compared to thedeveloped countries. However, 16.5% of Kenyans (this include both menand women) are smokers this subjects them to tuberculosis and lungscancer.
TheEuropean culture is diverse because of westernization andglobalization that has taken place. The Europeans uses a dietarypattern provided by the European government on human health andnutrition. The dietary guideline is crucial because the Europeans arecommitted to changing it to fit the modern eating habits after everyfive years.
Consequently,most of the Europeans use balanced and adverse eating habits thatinclude consumption of fresh fruits, whole grains, nutritious dairy,and vegetables they also consume lean animal products (Koopmans,2005).However, 7% of the Europeans are smokers and 12% use alcohol thissubjects them to diseases such as heart attack, stroke, or deathscaused by car accidents. The main aim of the eating guideline is tohelp the Europeans reduce the high rates of the obesity epidemic andother related diseases.
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