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High-Risk Nutritional Practices in the US and China

High-Risk Nutritional Practices

Nutritional behaviors or practices refer to the plans that are put in place concerning the habitual actions by different people on food consumption. In this case, it may include unique ways in which different cultures perceive the value of some foods in terms of preparation, intake, or storage. In the context of nutritional habits, it covers not only the health perspective but also the environmental, social, and economic production chains (Kittler et al., 2016). High-risk nutritional practices refer to the actions on food intake that put the life of the concerned group in harm, such as exposure to diseases like cancer, among other conditions. An example of high-risk nutritional behavior is trimming fats to separate from meat, the addition of oils and fats to food, and excessive consumption of alcohol. This paper explores high-risk nutritional behaviors associated with different cultures.

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Summary of High-Risk Nutritional Behaviors Practiced among Two Different Cultures

In the United States (US), the culture in food intake is known for more fatty meals, which has led to various nutritional problems. Generally, the US has most of its meals added fats during preparation or service. For instance, Americans like taking breakfast items such as portions of bacon, meatballs, and chicken wings. The mode of preparation that the three items involve before serving involves the use of oils and fats (Htun et al., 2017). The culture in the US in regards to lunch and dinner has foods rich in proteins, but they might have an accompanying dietary condition. During the main course, a typical American would choose to have wet fried chicken and forgo roasted beef. There is the notion that taking such foods is accompanied by class, and most people would have fatty foods to satisfy the stratification system in American society.

The US Department of Agriculture reports have suggested that Americans are eating many fats and sugars while taking few fruits and vegetables. Total fat consumption has increased by approximately 40% from 1990 to 2017, while animal fats, such as butter intake, dropped by 27% in the same period (Htun et al., 2017). Therefore, there has been an intake of too many calories, and the US requires sensitization to advise its citizens to swap saturated fats with unsaturated ones for a healthy lifestyle.

The other habitual perspective in the US concerning food intake is the frequent intake of wine after mealtimes. The behavior is risky to human health since wine is alcoholic, and taking alcohol every time can damage the liver (Htun et al., 2017). The culture of taking alcoholic substances has gained familiarity as many people in the US claim to boost digestion of food taken. However, when alcohol is taken for a long time, it influences many factors such as productivity levels during work and decision-making in sensitive fields such as driving and machine operation, among other issues (Kittler et al., 2016). Another culture that the US is known for in regards to food intake is smoking, where the victims of smoking addiction say they want to catalyze their bodies in performing their daily duties. 14% of American adults smoke cigarettes which translates to almost 34 million citizens who have the habit (Htun et al., 2017). Taking tobacco is associated with the prevention of Parkinson’s disease, but the harmful effects outweigh the benefits.

The paper also covers high-risk nutritional behavior practiced in Chinese culture. China is known for having unique and complicated culinary habits as compared to other regions such as Europe and Australia. For instance, the Chinese like seafood in most of their meals, and that means fish is included. However, the nutritional departments have not sensitized the public on the intake of some seafood that may contain poisonous vertebrae. An example is putter fish which is a common delicacy among Chinese societies (Yau, 2019). Though putter fish may not produce toxic elements themselves, they eat some items that do.

When people consume putter fish that may have toxicity, there is a possible buildup of the toxin within the liver, which may lead to death. High-risk behavior is common among the Chinese, especially due to their wide research on what is harmful and what is not (Kittler et al., 2016). The culture gives an impression that what is evil, buddha, their spiritual guide, will warn them against. Therefore, it may take time before researchers give society a clear warning about taking seafood that may have poisonous compounds. China eats about 10,000 tons of putter fish per year, and about 2% of people develop complications as a result of taking the dangerous fish (Zhang & Ma, 2020). Therefore, it is dangerous since many fatalities have been recorded in the country.

Additionally, the Chinese practices of eating traditional foods that may have a high risk of conditions like diabetes. For example, taking animal fat with too much salt is a practice that may have adverse effects on the health of people (Yau, 2019). Chinese also tend to consume preserved food excessively, such as cured meat and pickled vegetables. The above-mentioned practices may lead to health complications such as diabetes and hypertension diseases. It is high time that Chinese culture starts advocating for natural foods that are prepared according to food and beverage preparation standards.

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Historical Perspectives and Belief Systems of these Cultures

In the US, the culture of fatty foods is believed to have increased with globalization levels where companies have many units of producing refined products. The competition between who can take the market share has led to some firms skipping some healthy practices during the initial processing hence leading to risky items in the market (Htun et al., 2017). Additionally, there is the belief that taking the mutilated genetic elements is a practice of real science in the American community. The desire to make the US a great country has enabled many people to have misleading misconceptions about dietary functions where typical people get influenced to take the foods (Kittler et al., 2016). Alcohol consumption after meals relates to the emancipation period during the civil war, where masters of the slave trade used to take alcohol after meals to help in relaxing from busy days.

The argument that alcohol helps in digestion is right though the application of the concept is wrong. In the US, most people like class, and foods that are associated with high status generally have more fats during preparation. For example, American movies tend to cover incidents when people are eating chicken, hamburgers, and pizza (Htun et al., 2017). Therefore, the majority of people in the US have the desire to follow and fit in the classic clicks in society. Additionally, the reason why they’re a wide range of stereotypes about wine and other alcoholic consumption is that the US produces large volumes of world-recognized wines. The depiction in movies that every American citizen contributes to the continued practice of high-risk nutritional practices (Kittler et al., 2016). Most people seem not to care about the cost because they believe health insurance covers shall cater for medical expenses in case of any emerging health issue.

Historically, China has had a raft of experiences with eating seafood in unique and special events. The preparation and eating of putter fish date back around 1700 years ago, when servants used to grace the tables of the Tang dynasty emperors with such seafood delicacy (Zhang & Ma, 2020). Mostly, most Chinese used to mark some events such as tomb sweeping festivals by eating putter fish. The generations which came later followed suit, and they believe it was purified by the ancestral parties. In that way, they would love to eat seafood product, especially that comes from the Yangtze River in China (Zhang & Ma, 2020). Taking animal products with too much salt is perceived as one way of purifying the item as the Chinese believe that was one of the initial practices to make something fit for consumption.

Role of Healthcare Provider

In caring for individuals with high-risk behaviors in the American and Chinese cultures, healthcare providers have a role in ensuring there is the correct way of food consumption that does not distort cultural beliefs. Healthcare practices that do not pose huge risks to the health of people are the major focus for healthcare providers (Kittler et al., 2016). Therefore, it means nurses and doctors can assist American citizens in knowing the need to minimize the intake of fatty foods by taking alternatives such as roasted chicken that is prepared without adding oils.

Healthcare providers have to give clear information on the rate of deaths as a result of cholesterol and obesity-related cases. If the public is enlightened, they will focus on consuming foods that have natural fats without adding them during preparation. Similarly, the provider has to educate the citizens on the adverse effects of taking alcohol on someone’s health. For example, there could be statistics that show the number of patients suffering from alcohol-centric conditions (Yau, 2019). By recommending healthy practices and educating people on the need to have safe nutritional habits, there would be few cases of people dying from obesity, diabetes, or liver cancer.

For Chinese cultures that pose a high nutrition risk, healthcare providers must research the toxicity level of putter fish and how it can be reduced. Other measures would be rearing fish in safe conditions where food for putter fish is determined, therefore, reducing the chances of taking the poisonous elements when feeding (Htun et al., 2017). Similarly, medical research can be done to ascertain the effects of taking a high amount of salt in animal products in Asian regions. The findings can help in discouraging people from using excessive quantities of animal products that are mechanically preserved.

Generally, prescribing patients with drugs that lower the levels of cancerous and diabetic diseases would work in this case. However, health care providers must warn the users not to continue taking harmful food items while taking the drugs. It would be a gesture to other individuals who have the habit of practicing unhealthy nutritional habits (Htun et al., 2017). The role of nurses and doctors can work effectively if citizens will volunteer to be tested for various conditions and the rate of conditions when one is living. It is high time that the current generation stops practicing unhealthy food-eating habits just to satisfy the social stratification system. Food should be taken carefully by considering the impact on the well-being and not the status of the person.

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Htun, N., Suga, H., Imai, S., Shimizu, W., & Takimoto, H. (2017). Food intake patterns and cardiovascular risk factors in Japanese adults: analysis from the 2012 National Health and nutrition survey, Japan. Nutrition Journal, 16(1), 23-32. Web.

Kittler, P. G., Sucher, K. P., & Nelms, M. (2016). Food and culture. Cengage Learning.

Yau, E. (2019). In China, eating pufferfish is a dance with death? South China Morning Post. Web.

Zhang, N., & Ma, G. (2020). Nutritional characteristics and health effects of regional cuisines in China. Journal of Ethnic Foods, 7(1), 33-36. Web.

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