Mexican Immigrants in Better Health than Mexican-Americans

Friday, July 20th, 2007
This post was written by Melanie Matthews

In this week’s Disease Management Update, we spotlight culture-specific health issues. A recent study by the University of Southern California concluded that Mexican immigrants living in the United States are healthier than their Mexican-American counterparts. The study noted that the latter group is more likely to suffer from high blood pressure, high cholesterol, higher Body Mass Indexes and diabetes.

Given the culture we live in today where everything is super-sized — including many of our bodies — and the only exercise many Americans get is extending their arms to pay the drive-through fast food cashier, it’s not really surprising that Mexican-Americans are worse off in the health department than their native-born cousins.

The element that should hit home, however, is that this study goes beyond the health status of Mexican-Americans; it is sad commentary on the health of all Americans, regardless of country of origin. The study offers reasons for this difference in health, suggesting that the generations of Mexicans born in the United States have adopted the “American” habits of eating fast food, smoking and not exercising.

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