Cultural and Spiritual Beliefs on Childhood Obesity Discuss cultural beliefs and influences relative to the health issue Culture defines a human being, it is the unique experiences that each person goes through as they continue to age and most importantly, it is a learned behavior. “Culture is a dynamic construct in that shared understandings change over time as they are shaped or Informed by the experience of Individual members of a group or the entire group” (Captor, Daniels, Eiderdowns, Kaufman, &: palings, 2008. P. 2215).
Different types of culture include: religious institutions, clubs, community or family- eased associations, and ethnic backgrounds. As cultures continue to merge in the United States (U. S. ) efforts to promote cultural change as it pertains to obesity can be accomplished through making changes to “globalization, a social process in which the constraints of geography on social and cultural arrangements recede, can affect obesity through the promotion of travel (e. G. , migration of populations from low- Income to high-income countries), trade (e. G. Production and dilutions of high-fat, energy-dense food and flow of investment in food processing and retailing across orders), communication (promotional food marketing), the increased gap between rich and poor, and the epidemiological transition in global burden of disease” (Capri, Daniels, Eiderdowns, Kaufman, & Palings, 2008, p. 2215). When changes are made to globalization It can result in acculturation (the change that occurs in the cultural pattern of a group when they come In contact with different cultural group and learn from one another).
For example, when a group Is taught about guidelines for engaging in healthy behaviors such as diet and exercise and the disadvantages to ever indulgence in leisure activities such as watching television or playing video games, the members of the ethnic group/culture begin to appreciate the new information and can begin to slowly wean from traditional practices. As acculturation and globalization begins to shape the cultures In the united States their desire for particular foods and types of leisure/physical activity change, in addition to their educational and economic opportunities.
A good example would be the first-generation Asian and Latino adolescents, who consume more fruits and vegetables and less soda than whites. As Asian populations generally continue to be prosperous the consumption of these foods remains relative. On the other hand, the fruit and vegetable consumption by Latino has been decreasing and their soda consumption has been Increasing. It is estimated that by the third generation, Latino will have Inferior nutrition to that of whites. Acculturation In the U. S. Incises with the decreased physical activity seen in 7th-grade Latino and Asian American adolescents. Acculturation and globalization has resulted in the abandonment of whole food diets, rich in fruits and vegetables and has been replaced with high-fat and energy- ensue diets. Less and less Americans are finding time to cook homemade meals and consumption of whole foods has left consumers hungry and snacking in between meals and has left the body so tired that there has been a decrease in seen in physical activity which has increased the risk of obesity in children and adults alike.
Culture also plays a vital role in how a person views an acceptable body image. For example, African American and Latino women view an ideal body as vastly larger than that of a white American woman. In addition, African American and Latino men nearly display a preference for a larger woman. Due to the fact that women traditionally take on the commitment of caring, feeding and educating their children as well as sharing cultural beliefs, the views that women have in relation to their body image has significant implications for what they deem acceptable for their children.
An example of this would be that non- Hispanic white mothers tend to pay close attention to the risks of their daughter becoming overweight while Latino mothers generally would like a thinner figure for themselves but prefer their children to be plump. There are a multitude of factors that contribute to how children are fed as it pertains to a particular cultures beliefs, values and behaviors. Examples are: “affordability, availability of foods and ingredients, palatability, familiarity, and perceived healthfulness” (2013, p. 1).
These factors can either encourage immigrant families to preserve or disregard the traditional foods they are known for. “Mexican households serve as agents of dietary acculturation by rejecting the lower-calorie traditional foods prepared at home and favoring the higher-calorie foods, beverages, ND snacks they consume at school or see advertised on television and may resist efforts by their parents to restrict the availability of foods from the mainstream culture” (Capri, Daniels, Eiderdowns, Kaufman, & Palings, 2008, p. 2215). Culture also influences how families engage in physical activity.
This too, is a learned behavior from parents. Children tend to model the physical behaviors that their parents develop. If after work a parent disregards exercise for leisure activities such as watching television, the child typically models this behavior by watching television after school. On the contrary, if a parent engages in exercise after work, a child typically finds some form of exercise to engage in. “Compared with their white counterparts, African American adolescents have greater declines in levels of physical activity with increasing age and are less likely to participate in organized sports.
A study by the Kaiser Family Foundation found longer periods of television viewing among African American children than among non-Hispanic white children, with Hispanic children in between” (Capri, Daniels, Eiderdowns, Kaufman, & Palings, 2008, p. 2215). Differentiate any religious/spiritual beliefs and values relative to the issue Religion and culture feed off of one another and many cultures or groups form their relationships based off of their religion. This accounts for the various differences amongst religions and the prevalence of obesity.
For example, blacks engage in cooking “soul food” when a pastor is ordained, there is a baptism or when there are “photofinishing” (Confucian & Setter, 1997, p. 276). Soul food typically consists of dark meats (considered choice food), fried foods and foods high in carbohydrates such as macaroni and cheese. Religion certainly plays a role in of Preventive Medicine, followed over 2,000 adults for eighteen years and discovered that those who participated in frequent religious activities-?defined as at least once a week in this study-?were 30 percent more likely to be obese than those who didn’t” (Ginsberg, 2013, p. ). Jewish Action (2013) discusses possible reasons for the increase in obesity found in women who are frump; women who are frump are expected to be learning every spare minute that they have, leaving exercising to be an unachievable task. This is daunting to the women because the when they look to he Torah for assurance, they come across various sources that state that they need to make their health a priority. “Banishment mood longshoremen” (Deviate 4:15). “Health is a true value, a helical obligation” (Ginsberg, 2013, p. 1). Dry.
Singer suggests that the frump community work together on establishing was to incorporate even moderate activity into their lifestyle without having to compromise the devotion for their religion. Religious/Spiritual Beliefs and Values that Influence Childhood Obesity Religious beliefs can influence an individual’s choice in nutritional regime. Depending on their beliefs, it could positively or negatively influence their overall health and weight. “Studies have shown that diet and foods, for example, play a major role in most of the significant health problems of today’ (Deniers & Barker, 2013, p. 40). In Christianity, overeating or indulging in food is a sin (gluttony), according to the bible (Kohl, 2009). Muslim religion encourages “eating and drinking but not in excising (7:32) (El-Sash, 2012). There is also a fasting called Ramadan in the Muslim culture. Anyone age 14 or older is expected to participate. The individuals must completely abstain from food before the break of dawn till sunset, during the entire month of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic year (El- Sash, 2012). This “fasting” could lead to overeating after abstaining for a month.
Jewish religion encourages decrease in physical activity and encourage calorie intake on certain days of the month (Benjamin & Whitman, 2010). Religion is very influential in an individual’s way of living, including what and when they eat. Differences in Ideologies Related to Childhood Obesity In America obesity in children is identified as “a IBM at or above the 95th reconcile for children of the same age and sex” (Centers for Disease Control [CDC], 2013). Obesity and fatness are seen as a sign of wealth in Africa and in general are seen as positive (Crabs, Foot’s, & Chaos, 2009).
Different cultures view obesity in many ways. Identifying how one perceives obesity may help in the assistance of preventing or decreasing the occurrence. First Lady Michelle Obama has developed her first political initiative called “Let’s Move” (Wishes, 2010). This program is geared toward encouraging children to eat healthier and end the obesity epidemic in a generation (Wishes, 2010). The program has also removed soda machines from schools. Educating the public on the risks of obesity is important. Policy makers need to be more focused on prevention and assisting those in need.