EPISODE 3 - BECOMING AMERICAN (29 mins)
Recent Mexican immigrants, although poorer, tend to be healthier than the average American. They have lower rates of death, heart disease, cancer, and other illnesses, despite being less educated, earning less and having the stress of adapting to a new country and a new language. In research circles, this is sometimes called the Latino paradox.
But the longer they’re here, the worse their relative health becomes, even as their socioeconomic status improves. After only five years in the U.S., they are 1.5 times more likely to have high blood pressure – and be obese – than when they arrived. Within one generation, their health is as poor as other Americans of similar income status.
In Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, about 40 miles south of Philadelphia, Mexican immigrants like Amador Bernal now make up a quarter of the town’s population. After almost 25 years in the U.S., Amador has never been to a doctor. And he’s not alone.
© California Newsreel 2008
Free and open to the public. Sponsored by UNH Manchester’s Communication Arts Program, Minority Health Coalition, and Southern New Hampshire Area Health Education Centers.
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