High-Risk Nutritional Practices Paper

High-Risk Nutritional Practices Paper

High-Risk Nutritional Practices Paper 150 150 Peter

High-Risk Nutritional Practices Paper

Assessment Description

Examine the high-risk nutritional behaviors associated with different cultures. Identify the historical perspectives, belief systems, and other factors associated with these high-risk nutritional behaviors for each culture. Write a 1,500-3,000-word paper on your findings in which you accomplish the following:

1. Summarize the high risk-nutritional behaviors practiced among two or three different cultures.
2. Discuss the historical perspectives and belief systems of these cultures that influence the high-risk nutritional behaviors.
3. Discuss the role of the health care provider in caring for individuals with high-risk behaviors for each culture. These may include, but are not limited to (a) education, (b) family roles, (c) spiritual beliefs, (d) health care practices, and (e) drug and alcohol use.

This paper requires minimum of two outside resources in addition to the textbook. Be sure resources are current within the last five years.
Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required.

This assignment uses a rubric. Please review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.
You are required to submit this assignment to LopesWrite. A link to the LopesWrite technical support articles is located in Class Resources if you need assistance.

Sample Paper

High-Risk Nutritional Practices

Nutritional practices are habits that people embrace regarding what they consume. Ideally, they include their choices of foods and drinks and encompass other substances such as tobacco. Risky practices are those that present a health hazard to individuals or communities. Cultural backgrounds dictate nutritional habits, and hence the current paper investigates two cultures to determine how their beliefs and perspectives influence their dietary practices. First is the Hispanic American community. Hispanic/Latino Americans are USUS residents and citizens whose ancestral roots trace to Southern American nations, such as Mexico, Brazil, and Cuba. Over sixty million Hispanics live in the US, making them the largest ethnic minority (OMH, 2021b). Next, the review will focus on Native Americans. The term refers to the collection of USUS indigenous tribes. In 2019, their population was 5.7 million, representing 1.7% of the national tally (OMH, 2021a). The two cultures are ideal for the review since most members are keen to uphold cultural practices and beliefs. Also, there is adequate documentation of their health needs, facilitating a comparison with their nutritional habits. Therefore, exploring the high-risk healthy behaviors in the two cultures will illuminate the systematic cultural failings and trigger an inquiry on how healthcare providers can alleviate the arising health challenges.

Hispanic Americans

Overcash & Reicks (2021) explored the variations in dietary patterns between men and women in Hispanic communities. They found that women had a higher consumption rate of healthier foods than men. The men consume fewer vegetables and dairy but eat more proteins. The men also had more meals that were not home-prepared, leading to high consumption of fast foods and general imbalanced diets. They also consumed more frozen foods. One can also assess dietary habits per the Healthy Eating Index (HEI). The HEI is a scoring system that objectively rates an individual’s or community’s nutritional patterns. The overall compliance ratings vary for Hispanic subgroups, with Mexicans scoring a high of 71 and Puerto Ricans having a low score of 56 (Siega-Riz et al., 2019). However, all Hispanic Americans tend to consume a lot of sodium and fatty acids, with adherence rates as low as <2% and 7.4%, respectively. Finally, Hispanic Americans have an alcohol dependence rate of 5.3% and a binge-drinking rate of 24.6% (American Addiction Centers, 2019). Hence, their overall alcohol consumption rate is comparable to other ethnic entities in the United States.

Native Americans

Traditional foods are essential to Native Americans. Various fish species, tundra greens, and berries are integral to most tribes, but leader’s state that their consumption has declined over the years (Walch et al., 2021). Nowadays, many Native Americans are embracing processed, exotic foods to match the modern lifestyle of the larger American community. Next, Native Americans have a strong commitment to not wasting food. Hence, individuals may eat a lot more food than they need if the alternative is discarding it. This notion contributes to binge eating. Meanwhile, alcohol consumption is high among Native Americans, with over 54% taking alcohol within a year and 36% in the past month. The binge-drinking rate is 22.4% (American Addiction Centers, 2021). American Indians and Alaska Natives also report the highest smoking rates in the country. Over a fifth of all adults in these communities smoke, compared to the national rate of 13.7% (Truth Initiative, 2020). In addition to the commercial tobacco products, Native Americans also consume a significant amount of ‘roll-your-own’ tobacco (Odani et al., 2017). They are also the less likely group of smokers to use e-cigarettes.

Historical Perspectives and Belief Systems Influencing the High-Risk Nutritional Behaviors


Hispanics have a history of being socially, economically, and politically disadvantaged. For instance, they face a higher unemployment rate than other American communities. Consequently, they have more people (17.2%) living at the poverty level (OMH, 2021b). The economic problems arise, in part, due to their immigration status. Most Hispanics in the US have migrated from their home countries to seek a better life. However, a significant portion lives in the country illegally. Of the 10.5 million unauthorized immigrants in the US in 2017, Hispanics accounted for 73% (Gonzalez-Barrera et al., 2020). This tally, in turn, represents more than 10% of the Hispanic American population. Political issues are also an important consideration. For instance, Puerto Rico is home to over three million residents. However, they do not enjoy the political benefits that other USUS regions have due to the region’s non-State status. Thus, the territory lacks representation and political advocates, lowering the overall quality of life for the residents. Therefore, Hispanics living in poverty tend to consume more fast foods and generally unhealthy diets. They are also less likely to adhere to a healthcare provider’s guidelines on a diet to improve their health.

Native Americans

Native Americans’ dietary patterns stem more from their belief systems. For instance, Native Americans emphasize the importance of traditional foods. They are usually plant products, such as vitamin A-rich fruits, fish, and an assortment of spices and condiments. They believe that these foods empower them physically and help them avoid diseases (Walch et al., 2021). However, the urge to adapt to modern communities and the increasing scarcity of indigenous food sources means fewer Native Americans adhere to this traditional diet. Thus, they are consuming more processed foods, resulting in nutritional imbalance. Meanwhile, tobacco is a culturally significant product since many indigenous tribes consider the plant sacred. Tobacco is a component of many cultural ceremonies. Hence, healthcare warnings about tobacco consumption are regarded as culturally malicious. Similarly, Native American history did not rebuke heavy drinking unless it led to laziness. However, the emergence of the firewater myth has suppressed their drinking habit. The firewater myth is the notion that Native Americans are more susceptible to the effects of alcohol due to an inherent biological vulnerability (Gonzalez & Skewes, 2018). While there is scientific evidence that there is a genetic component to alcoholism, none proves that is the case for Native Americans. Nevertheless, the myth has altered how some Native Americans perceive alcohol consumption, especially younger generations.

Healthcare Providers’ Role


Healthcare providers have an integral role in enhancing dietary awareness in both communities. First, they should raise awareness of the importance of maintaining healthy nutritional practices. Their educational intervention should also provide practical and culturally appropriate suggestions for food sources. For instance, among the low-income Hispanics, the care providers should seek to enhance their health literacy levels since the community members have adequate access to such services and information. They should highlight some healthier and affordable food types to reduce reliance on fast and frozen foods.

Meanwhile, healthcare educators among the Native Americans would have two major tasks. The first is to encourage the younger generations to resume consumption of indigenous foods. Most of those food sources were highly nutritious, contained fewer artificial additives, and were unprocessed. Hence, consuming them would improve the overall dietary habits and outcomes. Next, the caregivers should educate the older generations about the challenges of some of their behaviors. For instance, they can inform them about portion control in food preparation to avoid the routine need to overeat to prevent wastage. Thus, they will help them establish a consistent dietary routine, improving their health outcomes.

Family Roles

Healthcare providers should seek to understand and influence various family members’ roles in influencing eating habits. For example, among Hispanics, senior family members contribute to the children’s dietary patterns. Busy work schedules mean that the younger ones often rely on fast and pre-cooked meals. Therefore, exploring these family dynamics will help them collaborate with clients from the culture to create effective dietary improvement strategies. On the other hand, healthcare providers dealing with Native Americans should urge parents to perceive traditional foods positively. This approach will increase the desirability of these healthier options, lowering the demand to embrace a less healthy modern dietary pattern and cuisine.

Spiritual Beliefs

Caregivers should be conversant with cultural and spiritual beliefs that impact dietary behavior. This consideration is crucial to healthcare providers dealing with Native Americans. Most of the community members highly regard tobacco as a sacred substance. Hence, when attempting to dissuade them from using it, one should ensure they are culturally sensitive (Ray, 2016). For instance, one can explore personal perceptions about tobacco, such as health experiences and whether the individuals attribute their condition to tobacco. The approach would reduce the antagonistic notion that healthcare practitioners are attempting to destroy their culture. Caregivers can use a similar stategy to promote healthier diets among Hispanics, especially where there is heavy carbohydrate consumption.

Healthcare Practices

Healthcare practices include regular medical checks (for BMI, lipid profile, etc.), exercise, and self-management of diet-related illnesses (such as diabetes). Healthcare providers should make these services more readily available since both communities have access challenges. The low-income Hispanics lack the funds to receive adequate medical attention, while many Native Americans live in rural areas where medical resources are scarce. Hence, caregivers should develop strategies to ensure that these services are available to influence their healthcare practices. For instance, subsidized, community-based programs would allow the low-income earners to undergo regular checks and receive treatment and follow-up for their conditions. Meanwhile, mobile clinics among rural Native Americans would bring the services closer to the community members, enhancing commitment and adherence to the healthcare improvement practices.

Alcohol and Tobacco Use

Caregivers should strive to address the alcohol and tobacco use challenges. Particularly, those dealing with the Native Americans should explore the prevalence of the firewater myth and implement measures to dispel it. Instead, they should teach that alcohol abuse is detrimental to everyone, regardless of their ethnic identity. They should also explore culturally competent ways of dissuading community members from heavy tobacco consumption.


Culture is an essential contributor to dietary behavior. Hispanics and Native Americans are some communities that maintain a heavy cultural identity that influences their nutritional habits, with some posing significant health risks. Hence, healthcare providers must understand the specific cultural inclinations to implement effective mitigations to alter the community members’ beliefs and perceptions of these high-risk dietary behaviors.


American Addiction Centers. (2019, Dec. 26). Alcohol and Drug Abuse Among the Hispanic Population. https://americanaddictioncenters.org/rehab-guide/addiction-statistics/hispanic-americans

American Addiction Centers. (2021, Oct. 26). Risks of Alcoholism Among Native Americans. https://americanaddictioncenters.org/alcoholism-treatment/native-americans

Gonzalez-Barrera, A., Krogstad, J. M., & Noe-Bustamante, L. (2020, Feb. 11). Path to legal status for the unauthorized is top immigration policy goal for Hispanics in USUS https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2020/02/11/path-to-legal-status-for-the-unauthorized-is-top-immigration-policy-goal-for-hispanics-in-u-s/#:~:text=As%20of%202017%2C%20Hispanics%20accounted,Hispanic%20adults%20in%20December%202019.

Gonzalez, V. M., & Skewes, M. C. (2018). Association of belief in the “firewater myth” with strategies to avoid alcohol consequences among American Indian and Alaska Native college students who drink. Journal of the Society of Psychologists in Addictive Behaviors, 32(4), 401–409. https://doi.org/10.1037/adb0000367

Odani, S., Armour, B. S., Graffunder, C. M., Garrett, B. E., & Agaku, I. T. (2017). Prevalence and Disparities in Tobacco Product Use Among American Indians/Alaska Natives – United States, 2010-2015. Morbidity and mortality weekly report, 66(50), 1374–1378. https://doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6650a2

Office of Minority Health [OMH]. (2021a, Nov. 1). Profile: American Indian/Alaska Native. https://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/omh/browse.aspx?lvl=3&lvlid=62