Immigrants Healthier than the Wealthiest?

In Episode Three: Becoming American (see video clip below) a startling fact emerges that recent Mexican immigrants have better health that most Americans! How can that be??? It is thought that immigrants are on the low end of the socioeconomic ladder, live in substandard housing, and lack health insurance.

Dr. Tony Iton, Director of Alameda County Public Health Department in California, says “They’re doing something right.” Think with me here . . . what are the possible factors that promote better health in this group? Could their cultural values and beliefs influence well-being?

Mexican Cultural Values & Beliefs

  •  Family first ~ includes extended family as well!
  •  Strong social networks ~ financial, emotional, physical
  •  A sense of hopefulness ~ a better life
  •  Faith ~ Religion ~ Virgin de Guadalupe
  •  Interdependece ~ always there for one another!

If these values were intertwined in your everyday life would that affect your health?

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