Cultural Influences On Health

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Cultural behaviors and/or practices tend to greatly influence one’s health. A specific race/ ethnicity can have health factors that are common to them based off their culture. These health factors can be detrimental or beneficial to one’s health. Being aware of your cultural behaviors allows you to see how it specifically influences the health of your race. It gives you a better understanding of how certain elements has caused a decrease or increase in the health of your race.
Detrimental Cultural Elements/ Top Health Issues As an African American, my culture has a plethora of habits that are detrimental to our health. The dominance of high blood pressure in my community is one
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It could be due to genetic factors putting African Americans at risk for hypertension. However, this commonness of hypertension is also a result of high sodium intake. A regular cooking habit in many black households is heavy seasoning, which includes salt. A lot of the meats we consume, like curries, catfish, or fried chicken are all meats that are salted. When people are at risk of high blood pressure they should be extremely careful with their salt intake. Therefore, having cooking practices that have been passed down through generations that include heavy additions of salt explains why heart disease and strokes are two of our leading causes of deaths. High blood pressure increases one’s risk of heart disease and strokes. As well as high blood pressure being a cause of our leading health issues, obesity is an additional cause. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, 56.9% of black women aged 20 and older suffer with obesity. The common cooking habits of African Americans tie into that statistic. Fatty…show more content…
A major element of black culture is participation in physical activities. American culture as a whole greatly thrives off watching sports like football and basketball. Many young African American children admire these sport figures. Many black parents also encourage them to play sports hoping with talent and consistency it will lead to other avenues. Therefore, this leads them to join a local youth sports team or join their school team. This desire results in them being physically active and ultimately improves their health in the long run. This commitment to regular exercise at a young age often follows one into their adulthood. Along with physical activity, there are other elements that positively affect health. One element that I noticed growing up as an African American from the south was watching my grandparents grow their own produce. This is common because it is more cost effective to have a vegetable garden than to buy vegetables. Growing squash, greens, or tomatoes from your backyard is also a lot healthier than non- organic vegetables. Non- organic foods contain hormones and pesticides. So, this behavior that I am sure was due to costs in return improves the health of families. Having healthy options right in your backyard also encourages one to include vegetables in their daily

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