Understanding the ethnicity, customs, and way of life, traditions, and mores of a specific society (multi-culturalism) important to today’s health and wellness professional because each is diverse and there are specific predispositions for health habits and diseases associated with each different type. Learning this information is vital to understanding patients and can help health and wellness professionals to pinpoint diagnoses and dispense treatments in a timelier manner.
For example, if we are to look at a major health epidemic plaguing America such as obesity – there is empirical evidence, which shows its occurrence to be more dominant within specific races, cultures and ethnicities. American culture has become a melting-pot of numerous influences and obesity has become a national issue – however, we can clearly see that its occurrence is more predominant in specific groups of the population. According to Grosvenor & Smolin (2006, p. 188), “The obesity epidemic affects both men and women and spans every culture in the nation. Among African Americans, over 60% of men and 78% of women are overweight; among Mexican Americans, over 74% of men and 71% of women are overweight. The problem is not limited to adults. Ten percent of children between 2 and 5 years of age are overweight, and 15% of children and teens 6 to 19 years of age are overweight.”
Knowing how multi-culturalism impact on health and wellness across the board can also help health practitioners to refine and develop better treatment as well as preventative health plans for patients pre-disposed to specific diseases
Grosvenor, M. B., & Smolin, L. A. (2006). Nutrition: Everyday choices. (p. 188). New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.