Public Health Concerns of the Filipinx American Community

Title

Public Health Concerns of the Filipinx American Community

Creator

Lalaine Berube

Publisher

Bulosan Center for Filipino Studies

Date

March 19, 2019

Rights

Courtesy of Lalaine Berube. Copyright holders retain copyright ownership, granting a nonexclusive license to Welga Digital Archive and the Bulosan Center for Filipino Studies to publish the article, meaning that the author may also publish it elsewhere.

Document Text

Filipinx Americans constitute one of the fastest growing minority groups in the United States and the Philippines itself is “the fourth largest country of origin of immigrants to the United States” (Zong). This immigrant population is pertinent to some major labor forces here in the US especially in the areas of agriculture and nursing. In order for these people to keep being productive citizens within this country, it is important that we acknowledge the health issues facing this population.
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Contrary to other Asian American groups, the Filipinx American population suffers heavily from many chronic lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular diseases, mainly heart disease. In fact, “The leading causes of death among Filipino Americans are diseases of the heart, cerebrovascular disease (e.g., stroke) and diabetes”(Bhimla). The lack of conversation behind Filipinx community members suffering from these health conditions can be traced back to the model minority dialogue of other Asian American ethnic groups. Since other Asian American groups do not suffer as drastically from these chronic diseases, the Filipinx Americans get lumped into the overarching umbrella of health (Trinh-Shevrin). However, Filipinx Americans are a much more assimilated ethnic group in comparison to other Asian Americans dating back to imperialistic relations with the US which led Filipinx immigrants to “exhibit bicultural eating patterns”( Bhimla).
___________________________________________________________This means that Filipinx communities have adapted to western dietary eating habits while keeping their own traditional food alive in their homes. Both kinds of diets “include a high intake of fat and sugar…and high levels of sodium which are associated with an increased risk for hypertension” (Bhimla). Diets of this nature can ultimately lead to chronic diseases.
In order to combat these critical health issues there must be lifestyle intervention and educational programs that inform the Filipinx community about the importance of balanced diets and physical activity. This kind of health education, especially in underserved communities, can heighten an individual’s awareness of what these potential risk factors can lead to later on in life if not taken seriously. However, it is of utmost importance to acknowledge the cultural value that traditional Filipinx food holds in their communities (Domingo).
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One solution can be suggesting alternative ways to prepare food for everyday living, such as baking instead of frying, using leaner protein sources, as well as incorporating more fruits and vegetables into meals. The real authentic food and preparation can be left for special family gatherings and other significant life events. Because of the heavily family oriented values within the Filipinx American culture, when implementing these kinds of educational programs, family members and close friends should encourage one another to participate in these educational programs in order to better themselves and live longer healthier lives.
The Filipinx American community is an integral part of the larger functioning US society. Which is why it is imperative to address these public health concerns for Filipinx American individuals. Through education and reaching out to under served areas, we can make sure this community is around for a long time.

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Date Added
January 6, 2022
Collection
Bulosan Center for Filipino Studies files
Item Type
Text
Citation
Lalaine Berube, “Public Health Concerns of the Filipinx American Community,” Welga Archive - Bulosan Center for Filipino Studies, accessed July 7, 2022, https://welgadigitalarchive.omeka.net/items/show/770.