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Upon initial thoughts I was slightly hesitant in regards to what I thought would be the most appropriate title for this post, then after pondering further, I came to the conclusion that the wording emphasize the concept of health and its abundance of components.
In society the word “health” is synonymous to a plethora of things and this varies depending on culture, gender, socio-economic group, age just to name a few. Now let’s look at health from a cultural perspective. I know from personal experience, and based on my Caribbean
upbringing, being healthy was tantamount to superficial aspects.
As long as you looked healthy, meaning not resembling a thin stature, which is often glorified by the western society, you were considered “healthy”. This notion of healthiness included eating all the “wrong types” of food and/or large quantities because as I mentioned before, there was an element of emphasis on the outer appearance. Although this culture belief was normalised it couldn’t be more further from the truth.
Your culture can shape your mindset
The reason why I highlighted this topic was due in part to something that I feel when observing people’s food habits, additional factors should be taken into consideration. Interestingly enough, on my travels I noticed an uncanny cultural similarity within the Polynesian ethnic group.
The Polynesian population also share a similar outlook where larger quantities of food are eaten indiscriminately, as food consumption reflects the social status of members in the community.
I believe when analysing health beliefs/behaviour various factors, cultural beliefs should be considered. The aforementioned is a perfect illustration of how cultural beliefs can impinge of on ones quest to embark a lifestyle change.
I’d love to know what your thoughts on this subject.
Were you raised with a certain cultural belief which may have an impact on your perception of physical health?
Do you think culture truly influences the definition of physical health?