Racial And Ethnic Disparities In Health Care

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Racial and ethnic disparities Before talking about racial and ethnic disparities, there is the need to explain the concepts of race and ethnicity by citing an example. If Miss A was born in Japan to Japanese parents, but as an infant, a Ghanaian family in Ghana adopted her. Ethnically, she feels Ghanaian: she eats Ghanaian food, she speaks Ghanaian languages, and she knows Ghanaian history and culture. She knows nothing about Japan’s history and culture. But when she comes to the United States, she 's treated racially as Asian. According to Hebert, Sisk, and Howell (2008), race is a social construct “based on phenotype and a marker for exposure to social factors that can influence health, including socioeconomic position, lifestyle habits, and …show more content…

This implies that disparities in health continue to exist despite the efforts of the health care systems to provide patients similar access to care, which according to Woolf, and Braveman (2011), suggests that disparities originate outside the formal health care setting. The authors concluded that environmental and social variables especially income and education are often the underlying causes of illnesses and are key to understanding health …show more content…

Acculturation is the acquisition of the cultural elements (language, food choice, dress, music, sports) of the dominant society (LaVeist & Isaac, 2013). The influence could either be positive or negative. According to Lara, Gamboa, Kahramanian, Morales, and Bautista (2005), among Latinos living in the United States, those who are highly acculturated are “more likely to engage in substance abuse and undesirable dietary behaviors and experience worse birth outcomes compared with their less acculturated counterparts” (P.374). The researchers on the other hand, the researchers also found that “more acculturated Latinos are more likely to use preventive services (e.g., cancer screening) and have a better self-perception of health than do the less acculturated Latinos” (P. 374). In addition, Unger, Reynolds, Shakib, Spruijt-Metz, Sun, and Johnson (2004), in an attempt to prove their hypotheses that acculturation to the US would be associated with an increase in obesity-related risk behaviors found that “among immigrants from many Asian cultures, adoption of Western diets typically results in increased consumption of fat, processed meats, snack foods, between-meal snacks, and fast-food, and decreased consumption of fish, vegetables, and whole grains” (P.469). In reference to income as variable, immigrants may desire to eat a healthy diet they are used to but they may find healthy foods too costly

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