Immigrants from Asia and the Pacific Islands include Chinese, Japanese, Filipinos, Koreans, and several other nations. They vary greatly in their cultural level. In the book Asian American Communities and Health, it is noted that “Asian American are an extremely heterogeneous population varying by country of origin, culture, language, and faith” (Trinh-Shevrin, Islam & Rey, 2009, p. 445). The demographic profile of Asians and Pacific Islanders includes over 40 distinct cultural groups. At present, a great number of people from Asian countries live in the United States and are considered the fastest growing racial group in the country. It also should be noted that Asian Americans have good health and suffer a smaller number of diseases. The purpose of the paper is to study the state of health of Asian Americans and compare it with the current condition of native population.
In general, the state of health of Asian Americans is considered better than that of native Americans. They also have fewer complaints about multiple chronic diseases or serious psychological problems. It should be noted that they are less hospitalized with mental illnesses than other ethnic groups living in the United States (Leon, 2011).
American Asians constitute approximately 5% of the US population (Trinh, Rho, Lu & Sanders, 2009). Scientists collected data of Americans of Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Korean, and Vietnamese origin in the period from 2010 to 2014, when a national survey was conducted. It was attended by more than 170 thousand American adults (Loue, 2013). It was noted that the American Chinese had better health in all dimensions compared to the US residents as a whole.
Asians lead a healthy lifestyle. Scientists have also noted that, in general, the Asian traditional daily diet and lifestyle are healthier than the ones of a general representative of the US population (Yoo, Le & Oda, 2012). Nevertheless, it is true only for people who have moved to the United States not long ago or form the first generation of immigrants (Yoo, Le & Oda, 2012). Representatives of the first and second generation of immigrants from Asia eat traditional meals mainly consisting of rice and vegetables, which helps them remain in a good shape. Moreover, they are active and energetic and do not suffer from a large number of chronic diseases. According to statistics, Asian Americans suffer less from breast and prostate cancer than other citizens of America (Yoo, Le & Oda, 2012). In this respect, there is a number of scientific theories regarding the given issue. According to one of them, the Asian diet consists of a little quantity of animal fat (Yoo, Le & Oda, 2012). It is known that animal fat increases the cholesterol level. In turn, it promotes the development of malignant tumors. In addition, fat is a source of high calories, namely it contains 9 calories per gram compared with 4 and 5 grams of carbohydrates and protein, respectively. According to another theory of proper nutrition, Asians eat food containing healthy fats, such as fish that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids (Yoo, Le & Oda, 2012). Some studies indicate that omega-3 fats in contrast to omega-6 fats have anti-cancer effect. However, the most common explanation for good health of the Asian American population is based on the fact that they consume a large number of soy products (Yoo, Le & Oda, 2012). Soy isoflavones are considered to protect against cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Moreover, they are structurally similar to estrogen and can affect its level in the body. It explains their anti-cancer properties. Breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men are associated with the increased levels of estrogen (Yoo, Le & Oda, 2012). However, it only concerns Asian Americans of the first and second generation. It should be noted that Asian Americans in the third and fourth generation completely adopt Western eating habits and are more likely to suffer from obesity, diabetes, and other chronic diseases (Yoo, Le & Oda, 2012). In the book Handbook of Mental Health and Acculturation in Asian American Families, it is written that “studies have reported on the possible relationship between adopting Western attitudes and values about physical appearance and eating disorders” (Trinh, Rho, Lu & Sanders, 2009, p. 9). Consequently, proper nutrition is essential for good health.
On average, representatives of Asian Americans in the United States live up to 70 years (Loue, 2013). It is also caused by the fact that Asians lead quite healthy lifestyle as they make long walks and eat simple and useful products. Besides, they do not approve of drinking alcohol. Actually, Asians drink alcohol but it is condemned and considered a bad manner. They drink herbal infusions and teas instead, which allows them to prevent various ailments.
It should be noted that the primary level of health promotion prevention is the most suitable for Asian Americans. It is associated with the fact that Asian people are in general healthy. However, American lifestyle and food have a negative impact on their health. Thus, it is better to prevent disease conducting lectures about the usefulness of traditional Asian food among Asian Americans.
Asian Americans are generally much healthier, live longer, and better retain youth than other representatives of the American population. It is associated with several factors. However, the most significant factor is a habit of health nutrition. People from Asian countries eat a great number of vegetables and fish. However, those Asian Americans who live in the United States for a longer period of time and, especially people belonging to the third and fourth generation, have a worse state of health compared to people who live in the United States recently. It is caused by bad nutrition habits typical for the United States citizens.