Health Issues Essay

945 Words 4 Pages
Health Issues

1. Physical activity

Data regarding physical activity among Puerto Rican individuals are sparse. It is clear that these individuals have relatively high rates of obesity, diabetes and heart disease, all of which are often accompanied by relative physical inactivity. However, this assumption must be regarded as no more than a hypothesis.

2. Overweight and obesity

Puerto Rican diet tends to be relatively high in calories, fat, complex carbohydrates, and sodium. It is somewhat deficient in calcium and vegetables. Younger individuals have abandoned the traditional diet for a more Americanized diet that includes a great deal of fast food, pizza, hot dogs, canned spaghetti,
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Only 5.8% of Hispanic women report smoking during pregnancy; the reported rate among Puerto Rican women during pregnancy is higher. However, smoking among young Hispanic women, including Puerto Rican women, is lower than for White or African-American young women.

Among women who smoke, Puerto Ricans were more likely to be heavy smokers than others (48.6% smoked more than 1/2 pack per day).

Overall, among Hispanic men, the smoking rate is 26%, as compared with 27% for White men. It is not clear whether the same rates apply for Puerto Rican men. Tobacco use is disproportionately promoted in minority and Hispanic neighborhoods, including Puerto Rican neighborhoods.

4. Substance abuse

A 1984 study of adolescent drinking in Puerto Rican communities suggested a lower rate of alcohol use and abuse in this population. However, problem drinking increased when adolescents left home. The same study found that problem drinking was substantial among mothers.

5. Responsible sexual behavior

In the continental U.S., Puerto Rican adolescents have a relatively high rate of pregnancy among unmarried mothers, higher than for other Hispanic groups or for white women. These women tended to be poorly educated, and to have limited access to early pre-natal care.

Puerto Ricans have been reported to be at greater risk of contracting AIDS through sexual
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