High-Risk Nutritional Practices Paper

High-Risk Nutritional Practices Paper

Grand Canyon University: HLT-324V

High-Risk Nutritional Practices Paper


In many cultures, there are nutritional high-risk behaviors that healthcare professionals need to be aware of in order to treat and assess a patient in the appropriate manner. The point of understanding the high risk nutritional behaviors of other cultures is to know the root cause of a certain illness or onset of a certain disease. Many cultures hide these behaviors due to their own beliefs of satisfying their indulgences. If there was more awareness in these subgroups then it would be less people in the world with illness that aren’t overseen by a physician and also a decrease in the mortality rate. In the paper, it will discuss ten cultures and their high-risk behaviors associated with nutrition, what influenced these choices of high risk behaviors and additional influences on high risk behaviors; such as education, spiritual beliefs, drug and alcohol use. These factors are contributing to factors to understand more of the culture itself. 

High-risk Nutritional Behaviors of Ten Cultures

The first culture that will be discussed for their high-risk nutritional behaviors are African Americans. The African American heritage has been considered a culture that overeats certain food choices. The African American eating habits have been pasted down from generation to generation. The soul-food diet consists of a variety of meats including pork, beef, chicken; starches including macaroni and cheese, potato salad, mashed potatoes and vegetables collard greens, okra, kale and mustard greens which normally are cooked with meat in them like ham hocks, neck bones etc. (O’Neal, Wickrama, Ralston, Ilich, Harris, Coccia, Young-Clark, Lemacks, 2012). These foods are high in fat and can assist with clogging arteries, causing high blood pressure and diabetes if not eaten in moderation. Also, most African Americans consume dessert after eating meals which is considered high-risk after consuming a significant amount of fatty foods. The second culture that will be discussed is the Amish. The Amish culture are one of the many culture that believe in all home-grown foods which does create less of a high-risk behavior for this culture due to their nutritional intake. The types of foods they consume are a variety of different meats normally beef or chicken, noodles, bread, vegetables including red beets and some type of pickled vegetable. These foods that they consume are not common to be nutritional high-risk behaviors because they consume them with the right serving size portion. The next culture being discussed is the Appalachians which considers food intake to be more than just eating but a sign of wealth when they are able to share with family, neighbors and friends. Some of the foods they consume include a variety of wild game such as muskrat, groundhog, rabbit, squirrel, duck, turkey and venison etc. The low-fat game meat is usually fried in lard which can create health issues if too much is consumed. Also, they consume Kool-Aid and sweet tea throughout the year with minimal water which can cause early onset diabetes. The Appalachians also at one point in time believe in feeding babies as young as one month old being fed grease, sugar and coffee for hardiness. These types of eating habits especially for the children can increase the risk of diabetes and is consider high risk nutritional behaviors. The next culture that will be discussed is the Arab culture. The Arab culture regarding high-risk nutritional behaviors consume meats including lamb and chicken, a variety of different spies and breads. There intake of food also depends on the demographic region like most cultures and the less availability of food the less nutrition they have in their diets. The Arabs are considered to have a healthy nutritional diet because they try to consume less fatty foods. The next culture that will be scoped for their high-risk nutritional behaviors is the Chinese culture that consumes a variety of different foods including rice, noodles, a variety of different seafood and meats, lightly sautéed vegetables in oil. The Chinese culture does not consume as much bread and starches as other cultures. Their food intake consists of a high salt diet due to the salty fishes and sauces they use to complement their food not knowing the severity of a high salt diet which can cause nasopharyngeal, stomach and esophageal cancers. The next culture up is the Cuban heritage which foods means more to than just the consumption value. The Cuban culture consumes chicken or pork, yucca, Malanga, plantains, grains, sofrito and many other food varieties. The consumption of food can take place as late as 10 or 11pm which can create an unhealthy digestive system and thin the stomach lining depending how heavy the food intake will be. The vegetable intake in the Cuban culture is lessened due to it not being as available as other foods which can reduce their nutrition in their diets. The next culture that will be discussed European American heritage which really does not have any traditional foods and they normally eat from the variety of other cultural foods. The European American culture intake of food shown in the book is based on the food pyramid. The unhealthy factors of the European Americans culture are the overeating and gluttonous nature of starches and fatty foods which has created an increase of patients with diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. The next culture that will be discussed is the Filipino culture. The Filipino culture has a belief that food is more than just to eat but to nourish and cleanse the state of being. Spanish, Chinese and American culture foods are what makes up the Filipino culture (Johnson-Kozlow, Matt, Rock, de la Rosa, Conway & Romero, 2011). The nutritional deficiencies of the Filipino culture are affected by the socioeconomic factors. Due to the shortage of food in the Philippines the infant mortality rate is increased. Their diet is made up of rice because of the availability and cost, seaweed, edible roots, leaves, tendrils and many other foods (Johnson-Kozlow, Matt, Rock, de la Rosa, Conway & Romero, 2011) The German heritage is considered to be one of the highest-risk for nutritional behaviors due to their age of drinking is at 16 years of age and the driving age is at 18. The German heritage food is mostly made up on one-pot dishes such as cabbage and potatoes stew, chicken pot pies, sausages and high in fat condiments such as mayonnaise and sour cream. Many of their foods are high in fat and they eat minimal vegetables which causes concern for clogged arteries, strokes and heart attacks. The next culture being looked at regarding their nutritional beliefs are the Haitians. The Haitians believe that Lunch is the most important meal of the day and it consist of polenta, clude rice, beans vegetables, stewed beef, boiled plantain and a salad made with watercress and tomatoes. This culture believes that certain foods are used for certain things like not consuming white beans after giving birth it causes hemorrhage or not eating soursop while menstruating. The Haitian culture does not have many high-risk nutritional behaviors except based on the rural areas were they barely get the proper nutrition. All these cultures have seemed to have a significant amount of high-risk nutritional behavior that would be useful for the provider to know before examining the patient or placing the patient of certain medication regimens.

Historical Influences on High-Risk Nutritional Behavior

The African American culture started the traditions and the custom foods that they eat today. The African American culture has been taught by their grandparents that the food eaten comes from the soul that is why it is called soul food. The food African Americans eat come from their ancestors creating food from the scraps they were given from their slave masters and now are known as delicacies all over the world. The Amish culture was made aware of their eating habits and diet through their elders and the way they farmed, grew and raised animals for their diets. The Appalachians have been hunter since the beginning of time. Being in the mountains it made them use their surroundings to create their diets which has change over time due to climate change and the availability of the animals. The Appalachians also use a lot of fats and oils to make their food which came from the elders trying to make the food more flavorful without knowing the long-term effects. The Arab culture were mentored by their elders on how to prepare the food especially in rural areas without major change to the basics of meals (Musaiger, Hassan, & Obeid, 2011). The Chinese culture began many years ago and has not had the slightest change with traditional foods. The Chinese culture was not aware of the dangers of salt intake as well as the majority of other cultures and heritage when they first started forming their means of a nutritional diet. The Cuban culture has been traditionally eating for a belief that incorporates family and friends (Rodríguez-Martín, Innamorati, Imperatori, Fabbricatore, Harnic, Janiri, & Rivas-Suárez, 2016). The Cuban culture believes that eating is a fellowship with members of their same belief system which. The European American heritage did not have their own high-risk nutritional beliefs they picked up on other cultures and followed. The Filipino culture incorporates many other cultures in to their meals which created another way of experiencing an eating experience. The Filipino culture also historically came from the Asian culture which is where it started. The German culture historically believed that the foods they make are heavy by choice because of their alcohol consumption during the meals. The Haitian culture just as many culture eat what they can afford or find which created their means of survival pasted down through generations to generations. 

Additional Influences on high-risk nutritional behaviors- Education, Spiritual Beliefs and Drugs and Alcohol

In many different cultures, there are other aspects of their belief system that influences their eating habits. Many eating habits occur during stressful life situations. The gluttonous behavior is more prevalent during many life changing experiences. The reason for many unhealthy choices also depends on the environment the individual lives in which poverty and rural areas are on fixed incomes without the means to purchase the expensive healthy foods in the upper and middle-class neighborhoods. The education of many cultures determines the nutritional eating habits because if someone went to school to become an athlete then there eating habits are more focus of eating for strength and endurance (Dubowitz, T., Heron, Basurto-Davila, Bird, Lurie & Escarce, 2011). If someone went to school to be a computer technician their first thought about nutrition is trying to eat all foods groups without portion control. When the thought of education and nutrition come to mind the individuals that has been exposed to a higher education is more aware of what healthy eating habits are and with the more knowledge they are able to afford these healthier nutritional options. The spiritual beliefs of a culture can determine how often they eat throughout the day and what they can eat throughout the day. Most cultures do a period of fasting which allows their God to speak to them in that time (Dubowitz, Heron, Basurto-Davila, Bird, Lurie, & Escarce, 2011). In most fasting cultures, it is imperative that you follow the days and the times of what and when to eat because there is a limit to how long you can fast without the body weakening. In each culture, there is an epidemic of drugs and alcohol and it seems to be increasing in china and the Philippines with their youth which can be devastating for the future of their countries. The African American culture is within the epidemic as well because they are poverty stricken due to certain economic issues. There are many other cultures that fall in this category which are more of the rural areas. 


The high-risk nutritional behaviors for all ten cultures discussed have had pasted down from generation to generation. The traditions and eating habits have been known to slightly changed based on evolutions of cultures. The African American culture has been struggling with high risk nutritional behavior since ancestry which was not by choice. The Amish culture doesn’t change their eating habits often but when the do it is based on their environmental changes. In the Appalachian culture, they discovered ways to get around environmental changes since they primarily eat wild game. The Arabs continue to use what they have been taught to ensure they are meeting their nutritional needs. In the Chinese culture, they have been exposed to a way of eating since have not changed much about the intake of food. The Cuban culture have been consuming foods without proper knowledge of the food pyramid (Rodríguez-Martín, Innamorati, Imperatori, Fabbricatore, Harnic, Janiri, & Rivas-Suárez, 2016). In the European culture, they have continued to eat foods from other cultures which is why they don’t have traditions of their own. The Filipino culture has used other culture to make their diets more suitable and to ensure they are eating based on their environmental resources. In the German culture their habits are still concerned barbaric which increase the diseases they have. Lastly, the Haitian culture still deflects improper nutrition due the areas they live in. Each culture has been taught their behaviors either by their surrounding environment of cultures traditions. 


Dubowitz, T., Heron, M., Basurto-Davila, R., Bird, C. E., Lurie, N., & Escarce, J. J. (2011). Racial/ethnic differences in US health behaviors: a decomposition analysis. American journal of health behavior35(3), 290-304.

Johnson-Kozlow, M., Matt, G. E., Rock, C. L., de la Rosa, R., Conway, T. L., & Romero, R. A. (2011). Assessment of dietary intakes of Filipino-Americans: implications for food frequency questionnaire design. Journal of nutrition education and behavior43(6), 505-10.

Musaiger, A. O., Hassan, A. S., & Obeid, O. (2011). The paradox of nutrition-related diseases in the Arab countries: the need for action. International journal of environmental research and public health8(9), 3637-71.

O’Neal, C. W., Wickrama, K. K., Ralston, P. A., Ilich, J. Z., Harris, C. M., Coccia, C., Young-Clark, I., … Lemacks, J. (2012). Eating behaviors of older African Americans: an application of the theory of planned behavior. The Gerontologist54(2), 211-20.

Rodríguez-Martín, B. C., Innamorati, M., Imperatori, C., Fabbricatore, M., Harnic, D., Janiri, L., & Rivas-Suárez, S. R. (2016). Eating Behaviors in Cuban Adults: Results from an Exploratory Transcultural Study. Frontiers in psychology7, 1455. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01455

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 75, Issue 6, 1 June 2002, Pages 1098–1106, https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/75.6.1098