The Hispanic population is the largest national-linguistic minority on the territory of the USA, which has a long and complicated history. The Hispanics living in the USA are the representatives of two unequal groups.
The first, which is rather small, is represented with the descendants of the Spanish, who had been living north of Rio Grande before the Mexican-American War when half of the Mexican territory was annexed by the USA. The rest 90% are the descendants of immigrants from Latin America. The main problems of the Hispanic community are the language and cultural gap and illegal immigration.
According to the United States Census Bureau, there are approximately 54 million Hispanics who live in the USA (Escarce, Morales, & Rumbaut, 2006). In such cities as Miami, Los-Angeles, San Antonio, and Houston, the Hispanics constitute an absolute or relative majority of the population.
Moreover, there is a tendency for the growth of the Hispanic population, which may be explained by immigration and by the natural increase. It is calculated that under such conditions in 2060, the Hispanic population will reach 128 million, counting 31% of the whole population of the USA.
In general, Hispanic adults have worse health conditions in comparison with the rest population. At the same time, overweight and the cases of diabetes are more frequent within this group. According to the survey conducted by the Pew Hispanic Center, the majority of the Hispanics are satisfied with the quality of the health care they receive. At the same time, it should be mentioned that 27 percent of the participants lack a permanent health care provider (Livingston, Minushkin, & Cohn, 2008).
The most common risk behaviors for the Hispanics are smoking, alcohol use, bad nutrition, and a rareness of a medical check. As a rule, men are exposed to these risks to a greater extent in comparison with women. Heavy smoking is typical for Cuban Americans, while alcohol abuse is most prevalent for Mexican Americans and Puerto Americans. The frequency of medical screening is lower for Hispanics with intense smoking and poor dietary practices.
The most common diseases for which the representatives of this group have genetic susceptibility are diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and obesity (Profiles of Latino Health: A Closer Look at Latino Child Nutrition, 2010). As a rule, improper feeding and low physical activity cause these disorders, which sometimes lead to metabolic abnormalities, especially among children and adolescents.
Millions of Hispanic families have no reliable access to healthy foods. The main reason for that is the low incomes of these families. Food insecurity may have drastic consequences on human health and may cause risks to the healthy development of a child. More than one of four Hispanics suffer from food insecurity. Approximately 21 percent of all the food-insecure families are represented with Hispanic households. This problem is especially vexed among families with children.
Religion and the sense of community are very important for the Hispanics. The majority of the Latina population identify themselves as Catholics. At the same time, this group is characterized by strong family relationships. Because of the fact that many Hispanics view the existing health care system as inadequate, they often resort to traditional healers. The recovery from that or this illness is often attributed to Gods will.
Death rituals in Hispanic culture are conducted in accordance with the Catholic faiths. There are such traditions as novenas, and a liturgy said for a decedent. As a rule, all members of a family are present on the ceremony.
Escarce, J., Morales, L., & Rumbaut, R. (2006) The Health Status and Health Behaviors of Hispanics. Web.
Livingston, G., Minushkin, S., & Cohn, D. (2008). Hispanics and Health Care in the United States: Access, Information and Knowledge. Web.
Profiles of Latino Health: A Closer Look at Latino Child Nutrition. (2010). Web.