Social Determinants of Health & the Impacts of Health Among Cultural Groups in the US : Jessica Jauregui-Lopez
Image: Instagramer FierceFat Femme Source: Institute for Clinical - Systems Improvement. Going Beyond Clinical Walls Solving
Complex Problems ( October 2014).
Social Determinants of Health:https://youtu.be/WJEWyZAj6TI
"The healthcare industry must not only deliver clinical excellence and efficiency, we must hone in on how we can act as catalysts, innovators and leaders to improve the health of our entire communities."
– Randy Oostra, President and CEO, ProMedica
What does a BMI really mean in our Health?
A BMI is a numerical value of your weight in relation to your height, so it depends on an individual spectrum in structure to get a guidance of where a person stands in their health. According to Medicine Net, “ between 18.5 and 25 kg/m² indicates a normal weight. A BMI of less than 18.5 kg/m² is considered underweight. A BMI between 25 kg/m² and 29.9 kg/m² is considered overweight (Shield, 2018). We want to see the correlation that a BMI can have when guiding possible health concerns and prevent labeling in shaming an individual’s figure. As health professionals, we need to prevent fat phobic labeling of patients by identifying this idea of social determinants of health. This has to do with economic and social conditions that impact individuals within a community among their differences in their health status. Meaning that if struggles are not identified then we cannot determine ideal choices that could benefit the overall community.
Culture vs. Individuality Spectrum with health
Cultural backgrounds get reflected in the change of body perspective when migrating to the US because their eating habits get judged or influenced by their overall health which can lead to disease in the long run. This is not always the case of personal will and perspective on eating habits but the involvement of social determinants of health which leads to these influences, such as being exposed to a new environment (US). Latina women that immigrated to the United States during their adolescence with positive regard for their body size become acclimated to unhealthy lifestyle changes that correlate with higher rates of obesity and contracting type 2 diabetes. (Tung, 2015).
The perspective of the Americanized lifestyle interference with overall health
Many Latino communities after immigrating to the US have adapted certain environmental habits that are very different from their hometown which leads to the idea that a larger figure is associated with being at risk of disease. According to, Overweight and Obesity Among Hispanic/Latino American Women go over the lifestyle changes that Latino people experience ever since they moved to the United States and how that has led to lower their physical activity. By stating, “In addition to dietary changes, Hispanic/Latino participants were aware that since immigration, their level of physical activity decreased and made it difficult to keep a healthy weight. The participants reported that they were less physically active due to relying heavily on cars for transportation and due to lack of safe places to walk and bicycle”(Wei-Chen Tung, 2014). From this, we can see that these individuals are facing limitations in resources when wanting to main a healthy weight and they have many barriers that lack them in being able to maintain better habits. We want to keep in mind that their eating habits have not changed when immigrating and the main concern is the way that food is processed in the US compared to their home country. This leads to how their eating habits were never a concern towards their health because they were still able to maintain themselves very active when working a lot and walking and that started to lack when moving to the US without them realizing.
Social Determinants of Health shaping the meaning behind Cultural Norms
Cultural norms within this community have been that being thick is just considered to be attractive and beautiful when in reality this standard has been developed through US norms that thin and skinny is considered to identify being in a healthy state. From these cultural values within the Latino community, social norms of bad eating habits have been associated with whether or does it have any involvement with being US-born or not? What’s the real truth from you might ask well according to the ,Nativity is associated with sugar-sweetened beverage and fast-food meal consumption among Mexican-origin women in Texas border colonias, correlate certain eating habits of fast food meals and sugar-sweetened beverages to be part of Latino culture which is leading them to be below the spectrum of being healthy according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) and how it has to do more with the environment they are exposed to. This is further explained by stating, “ Research suggests that geographic location (greater access to convenience stores and fast-food restaurants) household composition (children in the home) , an individual or family characteristics (age, employment status, household resources) were associated with unhealthy eating behaviors, such as SSB and FFM” (Joseph R Sharkey, Cassandra M Johnson, Wesley R Dean,2011).
These cultural traditions or ways of eating were influenced through the struggles that these people are facing on a regular basis in their environments as well as how they never actually consume food this way in their home country. Johnson elaborates on the concept of health risks among Latinos and how not necessarily it has to do with being US-born or not. Many other dynamics can influence the concept of disease among this community such as the “ Acculturation is a multidimensional process affected by country of birth, age of arrival, years living in the United States, and contextual factors such as neighborhood composition, regional history of migration, and social networks” (Johnson,2011). This is where doctors tend to focus on individual cause and effect when being identified as being healthy or not and how that influences the individuals’ confidence acceptance of their body and this ties into the idea that BMI is a limitation of overall understanding of health and improvement in society.
Oostra, R. 2012, January 1. Social Determinants of Health, Promedica.org
Shiel, W.2018, December 11. Definition of Body mass index
Femme, Fat. Fierce. 2019, May 27. #FatAndFree download Instagram hashtag photos and videos.
Tung, W.-C., & McDonough, J. X. (2014, December 23). Overweight and Obesity Among Hispanic/Latino American Women - Wei-Chen Tung, Jiani Xie McDonough, 2015.
Sharkey, J. R., Johnson, C. M., & Dean, W. R.,2011, September 30. Nativity is associated with sugar-sweetened beverage and fast-food meal consumption among Mexican-origin women in Texas border colonias.
The Digestible; a site for easy to understand food, nutrition, health, and energy balance information.