Acculturation, but to what extent……

Acculturation is the process whereby immigrants incorporate or adopt the cultural patterns such as values, behaviors, norms, attitudes and beliefs of the host country. Acculturation can significantly impact the health outcome for minorities, particularly for minorities whose primary language is different from the host country such as older migrants to the USA, UK or Australia for whom English is their second language. Acculturation can help navigate the healthcare system including obtaining information on diseases preventative measures such as screening, physical activity and access to other healthcare resources.

However, findings including report from the United Nations indicate that while sub-Saharan Africans have among the lowest incidence on obesity on the African continent, upon migration to industrialized countries sub-Saharan African migrants have increased incidence of obesity and obesity-related diseases (Healthy migrant). Similarly, Japanese migrants have the lowest incidence of colon and prostate cancer in their native countries; however 2nd and 3rd generation Japanese migrants to the USA and who adopt the Western dietary pattern have increased cancer risk comparable to their European-American counterpart.

Therefore migrants must maintain some elements of their traditional cultural practices, particularly healthy dietary habits, active lifestyle and healthy body weight.

Food-our strongest contact with the environment

People are still amazed that diet (foods) has anything to do diseases including cancer. When we consider our contact with the environment (air, water and food), the 1000’s of different food substances that we ingest clearly makes food our most intimate contact with the environment. This is so obvious yet ignored. In 1964, Acheson and Doll (Cancer and diet ) were among the first to publish an association between cancer and diet: We now know that animal fat (and also vegetable fat) is directly correlated with increases in cancer- breast, prostate and colon. Is it any wonder that Rich countries with their high fat intake has high cancer incidence, whereas poor countries with low fat intake has lower cancer risks.

Can we therefore reverse or improve our survival chances of cancer by adopting healthier diets- you bet!

Cancer causes and controversies

Cancer Causes and Controversies- Understanding Risk Reduction and Prevention” is a book that talks about the risks factors associated with cancer (e.g., diet, pollution, body weight, immune system); preventative measures (exercise, the role of healthy diet), the importance of cancer screening (early detection is a priority); some of the controversies surrounding cancer (GMO foods, dietary supplements, cellphone usage etc etc)….but ultimately God is our healer. This book is available at Amazon.comCancer preventable risk factors