Influence Of Race, Ethnicity, And Culture On Childhood Obesity

1261 words - 5 pages

The National Center for Cultural Competence at Georgetown University defines culture as "an integrated pattern of human behavior that includes thoughts, communications, languages, practices, beliefs, values, customs, courtesies, rituals, manners of interacting and roles, relationships and expected behaviors of a racial, ethnic, religious or social group; and the ability to transmit the above to succeeding generations ("NCCC: Curricula Enhancement Module Series"). Culture is a significant factor in who somebody is, and what he or she enjoys. Culture tells one how to dress, how to talk, influences what you believe, and also influences one's role in society.
So how is physical activity related to culture? Science has shown that physical activity or physical inactivity levels are consistent among members of the same cultural background. For instance children of non-Caucasian racial backgrounds have a higher change of being over weight than children who are of Caucasian background ("Influence of Race, Ethnicity, and Culture on Childhood Obesity: Implications for Prevention and Treatment" 2212). Many cultures rely on physical activity as a part of their daily lives to survive, therefore these cultures participate in significantly more amounts of physical activity than most cultures in developed countries. Physical Activity can be a way for members of a culture to bond with other members, effectively strengthening the cultures cohesion. If physical activity is integrated into the actions and rituals of a culture, then that culture reaps the benefits. Cultures that do not strategically involved adequate amounts of physical activity are now being exposed to the detriments.
The kinds of physical activity required of a member of a culture can be determinant of what types of physical activity the people of that culture enjoy. In Kabul, Afghanistan, bodybuilding has become a large part of many young men's cultures, since the Taliban was ousted from power. (Afghanistan: Weight of the World). The men say that they feel a sense of strength when they are in one of the fifty gyms that exist now in Kabul (Afghanistan: Weight of the World). Since the country has been at war for over twenty-five years; therefore most of the population there is very poor (Afghanistan: Weight of the World). Shoib Satar spoke about how these aspiring bodybuilders could not afford supplements or to workout all day long, like Americans (Afghanistan: Weight of the World). He also mentioned that some of them could not even afford food, yet they are still determined to body build (Afghanistan: Weight of the World). Much of the equipment in the video has signs of heavy use, and they perform some exercises without adequate equipment, such as pull-up bars. There are no women in any of these video clips of the gyms, so I assume that it is not culturally accepted for women to fulfill their sense of strength and ability like these young men in the video. A stadium that was...

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