To most, it’s probably not a big secret that a large proportion of Americans are unhealthy and overweight. According to heart.org, 157.4 million Americans over the age of 20 are overweight or obese. This staggering percentage presents a problem not only for natural citizens, but also immigrants.
According to an article by the New York Times, the average foreign-born American lives about 3 years longer than the average native-born American. Heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes is becoming more and more common among immigrant families. this leads many to believe that the American lifestyle, although a dream to many, isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.
With fast food restaurants popping up on street corners daily, the allure of the delicious, convenient, and unhealthy food grows. Many immigrants claim that when they came to the U.S., fast food was something exciting and enjoyable.
“I thought, this is really a country of opportunity,” said Esther Angeles, an immigrant who arrived in the United States 15 years ago. “Look at the size of the food!”
In the same New York Times article, Robert O. Valdez, a professor of family and community medicine and economics at the University of New Mexico, was quoted saying, “All the things we tell people to do from a clinical perspective today — a lot of fiber and less meat — were exactly the lifestyle habits that immigrants were normally keeping.”
With a healthcare system like we have, many would think that the health of Americans wouldn’t be worsening at such an alarming rate. However, it’s blatantly obvious that our smoking, drinking, and particularly eating habits are getting way too out of hand. If America is to become healthier, we need to start trying to keep away from our addictions, even if they are convenient and tasty.