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Medicineworld.org: Field Laborers Eat Hamburger, Not Fruits

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Field Laborers Eat Hamburger, Not Fruits

Field Laborers Eat Hamburger, Not Fruits
In the middle of John Steinbeck country, the "salad bowl of America," most of the Mexican farmworkers who harvest the fruits and vegetables that feed the nation aren't eating enough of it themselves, as per a new study from the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Underpaid and overworked, Salinas farmworkers are eating at fast-food restaurants where the food is high-fat but low-cost. As a result, despite long hours working in the fields, the Latino farmworkers-especially those single, young men living in the agricultural labor camps-are facing a very American problem: obesity.

"They often eat someplace that's cheap and fast with high fat content," said Marilyn Winkleby, PhD, associate professor of medicine at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, who has spent years visiting farm laborers in the Salinas Valley in an ongoing partnership with the Monterey County Health Department. "Their jobs are becoming increasingly mechanized and less active".

Winkleby is the senior author of a study reported in the recent issue of the journal Ethnicity and Health that examines the changes in cancer-related health behaviors within the Salinas Latino population, most of whom are of Mexican origin, over the 10-year period between 1900 and 2000. The study surveyed almost 2,000 Latino women and men from both the community at large and the Latino population within 29 agricultural labor camps.

The goal was to detect changes in diet, physical activity, smoking and alcohol use as well as cancer health screenings in order to help design future public health interventions. Latinos, the country's fastest-growing minority group, suffer disproportionately from poor health exacerbated by poverty, poor education and a lack of health insurance and medical care, as per the study. Furthermore, they suffer disproportionately from some types of cancer and are 20 percent more likely to die from a malignancy than non-Latino whites.

Not all the news was bad. Among the positive behavior changes noted in the survey were continued low rates of smoking among both women and men and a substantial drop in alcohol consumption among men. But most striking among the results were the increasing obesity rates, especially within the labor camps. All populations, both men and women, had reached 60 percent rates of being overweight or obese by the year 2000. There was an increase in obesity of 90 percent within the labor camps.



Source: Stanford University School of Medicine

Posted by: JoAnn    Source




Did you know?
In the middle of John Steinbeck country, the "salad bowl of America," most of the Mexican farmworkers who harvest the fruits and vegetables that feed the nation aren't eating enough of it themselves, as per a new study from the Stanford University School of Medicine. Underpaid and overworked, Salinas farmworkers are eating at fast-food restaurants where the food is high-fat but low-cost. As a result, despite long hours working in the fields, the Latino farmworkers-especially those single, young men living in the agricultural labor camps-are facing a very American problem: obesity.

Medicineworld.org: Field Laborers Eat Hamburger, Not Fruits

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