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Global Commentary
Friday, 8 October 2004
US lifestyle worsens children's health
Topic: Health
A recent New York Times report stated what many people already think: A US life-style is not healthy.

Foreign-born children are healthier when they arrive in the United States than those of the same age who were born in the country, a study shows. But the longer immigrant children stay in the US, adopting the diet and lifestyle of their peers, the unhealthier they are likely to become, according to the report released this week.
The study is a synthesis of several national studies by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, a California philanthropy that studies the well-being of children.

The report suggests that a language barrier may ironically help immigrants.

"It's a bit of a twist," said Ms Kathleen Harris, director of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health...cited in the report. "Linguistic isolation is a protective thing because it slows assimilation, and most people think assimilation is good." But, she added, "in this case, assimilation means adopting unhealthy behaviour and risk factors from which they are protected in their own culture".
The report stated that among first generation of immigrant adolescents, there was less asthma, less obesity and fewer school days missed than was the case among the second generation, that is, those born in the US to immigrant parents. The foreign-born children were also less involved in substance use, sex, delinquency and violence.

Apparently, an American life-style is not what it's cracked up to be. Then again, I am sure there are many who never thought it was.

Posted by lim_cs at 4:30 PM JST | post your comment (0) | link to this post

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