One Surprising Health Disparity Among Latino Immigrants

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Research draft paper Amid American communities all over the country there is a hidden population of individuals who are particularly susceptible to the damaging effects of the inaccessibility of quality health care. An estimated 11 million people, Latino individuals and families who have entered the United States without documentation, live their lives under an inordinate amount of stress and fear (Sorrell). Undocumented Latino immigrants in the US are especially vulnerable when it comes to their health due to the various barriers and disparities they encounter such as a complicated healthcare system, inaccessible care, language barriers, cultural differences, perceptions of discrimination, and fear of deportation. The most difficult barriers …show more content…

One surprising health disparity amongst Latino immigrants involves integration into the American way of life. Upon arrival, most Latino immigrants are healthier than their American counterparts, a phenomenon termed the “Latino Paradox” by researchers at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health (Gordon). They noticed that when immigrants integrate into the US culture, their health starts to decline. This decline continues the longer they stay in the US. Part of this decline in health is thought to be caused by the addition of highly-processed foods to their diet that are cheap and more readily available than fresh, healthy foods. Their altered diet coupled with less physical activity leads to increased obesity rates, especially among children, and higher incidences of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer (Gordon,2014). A decrease in overall health quality coupled with the aforementioned barriers preventing access to quality healthcare means that undocumented immigrants with declining health go without primary care and may ultimately present to “Safety Net” or charity care facilities in much more acute

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