Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Health behaviors in the Chamorro community: Beliefs and practices in nutrition and physical activity
by Torres, Linda Therese, M.A., California State University, Long Beach, 2011, 148; 1493062
Abstract (Summary)

This ethnographic study examines the health beliefs and practices within the Chamorro communities located in the Long Beach and Los Angeles areas. This study explores Chamorro health behaviors in the context of cultural and historical influences. This study is based on ethnographic data collected during the months of July 2008 to December 2009. The Chamorro people are a part of the Pacific Islander (PI) population who are the indigenous peoples of Guam. PIs are usually categorized into one group in medical and academic journals because they share similarities in disease patterns, yet they are a heterogeneous group with differences in culture, historical influences, ecological environments and biology. In the Chamorro community the prevalence of health problems such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension and obesity has increased since the westernization of Guam and their migration to the United States.

Based on the findings, my conclusion is that the dietary patterns on Guam and in the States are similar; however in the States there is a greater variety of fast foods and processed foods which leads to the consumption of more nutrient poor foods. In the context of historical influences, which includes the mistrust of Western Doctors and their medical advice, it is interesting that the most significant difference between the health behaviors on Guam and in the States is not their diet but their lack of engaging in physical activity. In the States, the attitude towards engaging in physical activity is that it is either unnecessary or inconvenient.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Loewe, Ronald
School: California State University, Long Beach
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 49/05M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Cultural anthropology
Publication Number: 1493062
ISBN: 978-1-124-61485-4
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