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WILL: Culture a key to healthier immigrant communities

 By Sean Powers/Illinois Public Media /The obesity epidemic in this country is running rampant, and it’s hitting Latinos especially hard. A program at the University of Illinois seeks to address that issue by focusing on the connection between culture and health.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, Hispanics have lower mortality rates due to stroke, cancer, and heart disease compared to non-Hispanics. However, deaths caused by diabetes are higher among Hispanics compared to non-Hispanics. Northwestern University Professor Aida Giachello studies health disparities in the Latino community.

“That kind of paradox is the one that we call the epidemical paradox among Latino,” Giachello said. “The paradox emerges about why people who have low levels of education and income may still do better in a number of health indicators.”

Giachello said the “epidemical paradox” can be seen with a variety of immigrant populations. She said Latinos are generally much healthier when they first come to the United States – they smoke and drink less, work out more.

Read more on Illinois Public Media


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