High-Risk Nutritional Practices
High-Risk Nutritional Practices
Nutritional practices have continued to change rapidly all over the world with modernization playing an important aspect in influencing nutritional behaviors (Purnell, 2013). Nutritional practices are attributed to psychological, biological, and social aspects, which may originate from cultural backgrounds. Culture plays an important role in different aspects, which largely impact individual’s behaviors which include religion, cultural practices, and nutritional practices (Purnell, 2013). Nutritional practices are important as they influence individuals’ health, which determine the quality of life in a given community. Some of the nutritional behaviors positively impact the health of individuals through different health promotion practices while some are high-risk practices which negatively impact the health status of individuals in a given community setting (Purnell, 2013). These practices are attributed to historical perspectives, which are passed down through generational aspects. This paper will explore different high-risk nutritional practices in different cultures.
High Risk-Nutritional Behaviors in the Amish Culture
The Amish group is unique in that this group has set itself apart from other worldly religious beliefs and practices, which are attributed to the commonly shared nutritional practices. This community promotes good nutritional practices with research indicating a low rate of nutrition-related illness among the Amish (Purnell, 2014). However, obesity was higher among the Amish women in this community. Nutritional practices among the Amish culture have been attributed to historical perspectives, which have been passed down to modern populations. The Amish group largely gets their food products from their farms where they avoid using technology, as they believe this has negative impacts on their health (Purnell, 2014).
This group also relies largely in religion to make most of the important decisions, which include the selection of food products. This has led to the group being reluctant to adopt some of the health promotion measures, which are attributed to advanced technology (Purnell, 2014). Consumption of these food products is a risk to their lives, as they have no control over the amount of fat in their food. According to the Ohio State University, this community’s eating customs involve social gatherings where the members prepare special meals as a way of celebrating each other (Purnell, 2014). This could lead to unhealthy foods due to their lack of a proper control over their fat and carbohydrate volumes, which might be attributed to the increased obesity among this group.
High Risk-Nutritional Behaviors in the Appalachia Culture
This group focuses on acquiring its ingredients locally, which is a sign of belonging and a reaffirmation of their cultural ties to their homeland. This group also relies on culturally appropriate foods, which they believe should be included at home, and social gatherings (Schoenberg et al., 2013). This has led to the community to make unhealthy food choices. Other factors impacting this community to make unhealthy food choices include social, economic, and geographical aspects. From an economic perspective, this group has made unhealthy food choices with a shift from farming to the service industry resulting in individuals from this community to have an increased dependence on fast foods (Schoenberg et al., 2013).
Due to the low economic levels of this community, most of the members are unable to access quality foods products, which have resulted in individuals to depend on fast foods as their main diet (Schoenberg et al., 2013). This is a risky nutritional practice, which has been attributed to most of the chronic illnesses. Social and geographical aspects also shape nutritional practices of this group where most of the individual prefer foods, which are easy to prepare. This group has been associated with a low socio economic status, which limit them from accessing quality food products as well as make appropriate decisions related to their nutritional practices (Schoenberg et al., 2013).
High Risk-Nutritional Behaviors in the Hindu Culture
This group has a high rate of diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular diseases, which is attributed to some of the high-risk practices of this population (Mukherjea et al., 2013). Some of the beliefs and cultural practices from the Hindu community, which involve poor diet and inactivity, have largely contributed to this high prevalence to these chronic illnesses. It has become a big challenge to change this group’s cultural perceptions due to their increasing population number and different interpretations on health related matters (Mukherjea et al., 2013). Eating has been integrated to most of the rituals and social gatherings conducted by this group. Some of the foods involved in these festivals have also been integrated into the regular family meals, which has contributed to the development of illnesses associated with poor nutritional practices (Mukherjea et al., 2013).
High Risk-Nutritional Behaviors in the Hmog Culture
Most of the foods prepared in this community include herbs and spices with rice and soups being their staple foods. Research has also indicated increased food consumption among the Hmong refugees, which has been attributed to abundance of available foods (Wang et al., 2016). This has led to excessive energy and too much fat. Some of the unhealthy foods consumed by this group include eggs, milk, and meat, which is high in fat. Their arguments in low intake of vegetables include high costs of accessing quality vegetables as well as perceptions about reduced satiety of vegetables where the group goes for meat (Wang et al., 2016).
This has led to increased food-related issues due to their limited access to food information resource, which is attributed to the language barrier. Due to their low socioeconomic status, this group has a challenge in accessing quality food (Wang et al., 2016). Since majority of this group live in refugee camps, the group may lack adequate knowledge related to food aspects, which may lead to poor eating habits. This may also lead to overconsumption because of food insecurity to compensate for the different times the individuals did not have access to food. This has led to the development of obesity in majority of individuals in this group (Wang et al., 2016).
High Risk-Nutritional Behaviors in the Jewish Culture
This community’s culture is largely affected by religion, which is connected to morbidity and mortality. Religion has been attributed to overall health promotion for this community (Soskolne, 2016). Religion has an influence to nutritional behaviors with most of the religious women not participating in regular exercise. This has led to majority of the women in this group to have obesity and an increase in cardiovascular diseases (Soskolne, 2016). Religion has also been associated with high-risk behaviors, which include fasting, which may lead to poor health outcomes. Some of the negative health effects of fasting include increased stressed levels, dehydration, and sleeping problems (Soskolne, 2016).
High Risk-Nutritional Behaviors in the Polish Culture
The polish diet largely consists of meat with pork being the most popular meat around this community. Other types of meat, which include beef and sausage, are also common among this culture (Coulston, Boushey, ; Ferruzzi, 2013). This group also takes their food late at night, which is associated with some of the negative health effects. This culture allows individuals to take anything which they enjoy without any control or worry of the negative effects associated with these feeding habits (Coulston, Boushey, ; Ferruzzi, 2013). Individuals from this group have the freedom to choose whatever it is that they like with a majority of these individuals opting to please their own likes and food preferences.
Not eating proper foods as well as poor feeding habits has led to an increase in most of the chronic illnesses affecting this community (Coulston, Boushey, ; Ferruzzi, 2013). This culture’s feeding habits have been because of influence from other countries, which include the United States, which consume fast foods uncontrollably. This has been contributed to overworking which limits adequate time in preparing solid foods (Coulston, Boushey, & Ferruzzi, 2013). Polish individuals have largely been influenced by the American food habits, which involve having fast foods, which lead to the development of obesity.
High Risk-Nutritional Behaviors in the Russian
This culture has the same feeding habits as Poland, which includes a high intake of potatoes and meat. Food products are determined by the current season with fish being common in summer where else mushrooms are common in end of summer (Sucher, Kittler, & Nelms, 2016). The meat products are prepared through boiling. The consumption of vegetables is minimal due to unavailability and access of these products. This was attributed to the communist style agriculture, which provided many foods rich in starch and more milk and meat products (Sucher, Kittler, & Nelms, 2016).
Due to these foods, the fat intake is high which has resulted in a third of Russians having high cholesterol levels. Russians eating habits include passing around a plate where everyone helps him/herself with the host encouraging members with empty plates to eat more (Sucher, Kittler, & Nelms, 2016). Meals are not complete unless there are drinks and partying with a large population smoking during meal times. Drugs and alcohol abuse have been associated with most of the chronic illnesses, which are also related to poor feeding habits (Sucher, Kittler, & Nelms, 2016).
High Risk-Nutritional Behaviors in the American Indians
Research has indicated American Indians to have a 1.6 times likely hood to develop obesity compared to other cultures in the United States. This is attributed to the development of diabetes and heart disease, which is attributed to poor food and nutrition practices ((Purnell, 2013). This community has been identified as poor, which makes it a challenge for this culture to access quality and nutritious foods. Fresh fruits and whole grains which are associated with improved health are expensive to access which leads this group to indulge in unhealthy foods which they are able to access (Purnell, 2013).
This group has been associated with poverty from historical times due to their increased populations, which limit the available resources. This led to most of the individuals from this culture to gather food from their land as compared to getting these food products from the grocery stores (Purnell, 2013). Necessity has led to this group to make unhealthy decisions since these foods are the only foods available for them. Due to the influence from Western cultures, this group moved to highly processed foods. This group also changed their healthy behaviors of hunting and gathering fish to inactive lifestyles. This has led to an increase in diabetes and obesity in this group (Purnell, 2013).
High Risk-Nutritional Behaviors in the Somali
Food practices are major practices among the Somali community with influences from the United States culture. With their migration to the United States, some changes have been evident which include reduced physical activities, which lead to poor health outcomes among this group (Barton & Thaker, 2015). Malnutrition and nutrient deficiencies are a common factor among the Somali group in refugee camps. Changes in food habits also contribute to an increased risk of developing obesity, which leads to diabetes and cardiovascular diseases (Barton & Thaker, 2015). Due to the negative effects associated with wars and violence, the Somali immigrants may have low incomes, which is also attributed to low government benefits plus remittances which are send to family and friends in their country of origin. This has resulted in this group to have inadequate funds to access quality food products (Barton & Thaker, 2015).
Based on their traditional practices, this group has been exposed to a lot of meat, which originate from goat and camel with seafood being an inferior food to this group. With a majority if this group being Muslims, fasting is a common thing in Ramadan where all Muslims have meals only at night to compensate for the lost food during the day (Barton & Thaker, 2015). Muslims only eat Halal and no other foods or drinks are consumed during the day on fasting days including water. This can lead to digestive problems, which include bloating and dehydration (Barton & Thaker, 2015). After Ramadan, this group is involved in celebrations where they prepare different types of foods. This may lead to the body to store some of the foods due to the slowed metabolism during fasting. This may result in a lot of fats being stored, which may lead to the development of some of the chronic illnesses (Barton & Thaker, 2015).
High Risk-Nutritional Behaviors in the American Thai
This group prefers fresh food due to safety matters. This group also puts more focus on adequately preparing their foods to kill microorganisms, which may lead to food contamination. Thailand’s culture and feeding habits are largely influenced by Buddhism which is the religion adopted by most of the Thailand members (Purnell, 2014). This has shaped most of the traditions of this culture where they share their meals together. Most of their food preferences include seafood, pork, and chicken with rice. However, the Thai people have been influenced by the Western cultures to include fast foods in their nutritional practices, which have been largely incorporated into different celebrations (Purnell, 2014). Due to the adoption of modern lifestyles, this group has become more vulnerable to some of the nutrition-related illnesses, which include obesity. From research information, the prevalence of obesity for the Thai community has doubled with the women being largely affected (Purnell, 2014).
It is important for healthcare providers to understand high-risk nutritional practices among different cultures, which will help them in determining what best strategies can be implemented to address these negative effects, which affect their lives (Purnell, 2013). These nutritional habits have also been indicated to contribute to increasing costs in addressing the negative health effects associated with these practices. These practices have also been indicated as a threat to future generations where they will be passed onto these generations (Purnell, 2013). Some of the effective measures can include implementation of policies, which will address the spread of the risky behaviors. Health education can also be helpful to individuals in these cultures in understanding the negative effects associated with these practices. This will lead to collaboration with members from these cultures in developing suitable solutions to address these practices (Purnell, 2013).
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