Feb 24, 2020
category: Medicine

The Hispanic population of the United States is growing faster than it was expected. This phenomenon is rapidly changing the population structure of the country. According to the census of 2010 published on March 24, more than a half the country’s population growth over the last 10 years took place because of Hispanics. Experts predict that soon the number of Hispanic residents in the USA will exceed 50 million (Passel, Cohn, & Lopez, 2011). This ethnic minority requires the improvement of health standards and the provision of high-quality healthcare services. The Hispanic population of the United States majorly suffers from obesity and the obesity-related diseases resulting from self-discrimination.

Hispanics, who live in the United States, have a higher risk of death from diabetes and liver disease than the Whites, according to a nationwide report published by the US health authority. When compared with Whites, Hispanics are 50 percent more likely to die from diabetes and liver cirrhosis, according to a report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition, they are vulnerable to the most common causes of death in the United States, which include heart disease and cancer: four out of ten Hispanics die from cardiovascular disease or cancer. However,  not smoking and engaging in physical activity may reduce the risk of these chronic diseases. Furthermore, the report also highlights the key differences in health status between those who are born within and outside the United States. The health of the immigrants from Latin America is usually better than of those individuals, who were born in the United States. The researchers note that this is the result of the environmental factors influence, including poor diet and the consumption of junk food (Hispanic Health, 2015).

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Social psychologists from Rutgers University compared the lifestyle and nutrition habits of the citizens of the United States, who have European origin with the lifestyle of ethnic minorities. The researchers discovered that the latter are more likely to suffer from obesity because of the existing racial stereotypes in American society. Hispanics unconsciously associate their image with the negative opinion about their appearance, behavior, and eating habits. It makes them consume harmful food and gain extra weight. When the individuals are constantly subjected to the influence of negative stereotypes, they can unconsciously shift their dietary preferences toward junk food, refusing from food that is useful for their health. Moreover, their attitude towards counting calories may become less positive. People may start eating more fast food and spend less time doing fitness and sports to correspond to the stereotype (Forman, 2014).

The data provided by experts confirm the belief that, on average, African Americans and Hispanics are more likely to suffer from obesity, especially from more severe forms in the comparison to the American citizens, whose ancestors came from Europe. According to the statistics, over 53% of Hispanics in the United States suffer from excess body weight or obesity. Consequently, self-racism is the main reason why an abnormally high part of Latin Americans suffers from obesity and overweight.

No other factors, such as economic and social status or the level of education, are associated with obesity to such extent as the tendency of people to feel belonging to the stereotypical consideration of themselves as “Latinos.” Thus, the most important factor that influences the health of the Hispanic population is the race, as it changes the self-perception of the group, and makes them pay less attention to personal health care. On average, Hispanic Americans are nearly four times more likely to suffer from obesity than are the representatives with the European roots with the same income (Forman, 2014).

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The primary prevention of obesity should include the sufficient physical activity and a healthy diet. A person should avoid junk food and consume the products that contain a certain needed amount of proteins and elements. The secondary prevention includes the consultations with a physician for the recommendation of a diet and possible medical treatment. The tertiary level includes the treatment of the side effects caused by obesity, such as sugar diabetes or heart disease (Obesity/Overweight Prevention/Treatment, n.d.).

At the same time, it is necessary to provide the representatives of the minority group with the necessary psychological support. The individuals should increase the level of self-evaluation. In this case, they will have a higher respect towards themselves that will make them take care of their bodies. It is not possible to conduct the treatment of obesity without sufficient psychological motivation. Besides, it is recommended to do the educational work with the American population to overcome the bias that exists in the society. Moreover, it is necessary to cultivate the positive features, such as ambitiousness and the desire to achieve the best results. In this case, the population will concentrate on achieving the vital success and health of their bodies. The best way for the prevention of diseases is self-care.

Nowadays, we face a rapid growth of Hispanic population in the United States. It is necessary to guarantee the provision of adequate medical aid for the representatives of this group. One of the most widespread diseases is obesity that causes the appearance of sugar diabetes and heart disease. According to the research, the disease is a result of the self-racism of the representatives of the minority group. In the comparison to other groups, the Hispanic population has a more negative relation to healthcare and healthy diet. That is why the Hispanic population is more likely to suffer from obesity and related diseases than the rest of the population of the United States. To overcome the problem, it is necessary to provide the psychological support in order to increase the level of self-esteem of the Hispanic population.

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