The Hispanic ethnic grouping (also known as Latino Americans), refers to a group of people who are defined by both their linguistic and cultural origins. Hispanic Americans originated in Spain and other countries in Latin America. Hispanic Americans are made up of a wide range of other ethnicities, including Chicanos, Tejanos, Nuevomexicanos, and Nuyoricans.
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Hispanics are considered a minority race in America. In the last census, Hispanics were found to consist of approximately 14% of the United States’ population (Amaro & De la Torre, 2012). Currently, Hispanics are among the fastest-growing ethnic groups in the country.
Currently, young people make up most of the United States’ Hispanic population. Consequently, the health practices of the youthful Hispanic population are likely to have a big impact on the future wellbeing of the entire group. The close-knit family structure of the American Hispanics makes it possible for members of this group to seek medical assistance. The issue of religion is also closely connected to health matters among members of the Hispanic population.
Hispanics have moderate dieting practices, and their overall fat and risk foods intake is lower than that of other ethnic groups. In the United States, Hispanics are also known for their low instances of smoking behaviors (Amaro & De la Torre, 2012). Data from the National Health Institute indicates that Hispanics smoke fewer cigarettes than non-Hispanic whites and other minority groups. Statistics indicate that Hispanic females are at a lower health risk because they are less likely to consume tobacco and alcohol.
Some of the risk behaviors that adversely affect the health of the Hispanic population include high rates of substance and drug abuse. This drug abuse practice increases instances of mental health disorders within the Hispanic population (Alderete & Aguilar-Gaxiola, 2009). The Hispanic population is also known for having low levels of physical activity across all demographics.
Nevertheless, the middle-aged Hispanic population is more affected by low rates of physical inactivity than the other demographics. Lack of physical inactivity subjects the members of the Hispanic ethnic groups to higher risks of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes (Amaro & De la Torre, 2012).
Hispanics are not exclusively susceptible to any chronic health conditions. Most of the chronic health issues that affect Hispanics also affect individuals of other races. Overall, the instances of chronic health among Hispanics affect approximately 10% of this group. In addition, there are high levels of obesity among Hispanics. A recent study indicated that 37% of the Hispanic population suffers from obesity (Morales, Valdez & Escarce, 2002).
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Instances of diabetes and cervical cancer are also usually high among members of the Hispanic population. The nutrition of the Hispanic population consists of both healthy and unhealthy cuisines. Some of the population’s favorite foods include guacamole and tortillas. Nevertheless, the intake of vitamins among the Hispanic population is quite low compared to the intake of carbohydrates and fats.
Most Hispanics practice Christianity, and most of them are members of the Catholic Church of the United States. Members of the Hispanic population are also known for being strict adherents of Catholicism, thereby incorporating its practices into some aspects of their health. Christianity is also used as a moral compass by most Hispanics. Furthermore, Hispanics have a deep connection to the spirits of the dead. Consequently, most Hispanics use burial ceremonies as farewell occasions for those who move on to the ‘after-life.
Alderete, E., & Aguilar-Gaxiola, S. (2009). Lifetime prevalence of and risk factors for psychiatric disorders among Mexican migrant farm workers in California. American Journal of Public Health, 90(4), 608.
Amaro, H., & De la Torre, A. (2012). Public health needs and scientific opportunities in research on Latinas. American Journal of Public Health, 92(4), 525-529.
Morales, L. S., Valdez, R. O., & Escarce, J. J. (2002). Socioeconomic, cultural, and behavioral factors affecting Hispanic health outcomes. Journal of health care for the poor and underserved, 13(4), 477.