A with them their cuisine but also the

A successful nutritional assessment and intervention provides a holistic view of the client; mind, body and spirituality. It is important to include culture and religion in the nurse’s plan of care in order to provide an individualized patient-centered care for the patient. This is because culture and religion affects food choices and nutrition. This paper would discuss the Asian-American culture, more specifically, the Filipino-American culture and Catholicism. The Philippines is a country in southeast asia with more than 7,000 islands (CIA, 2017). Filipino cuisine is influenced by several countries. Neighboring countries like china, malaysia and indonesia played a major role in influencing Filipino, and therefore Filipino-American, cuisine. Furthermore, the Philippines has been colonized by the Spanish for 350 years (Edelstein, 2011). The Spanish conquistadors not only brought with them their cuisine but also the Catholic religion that still permeates the Filipino and Filipino-American culture till this day. The United States have also colonized the Philippines for 50 years, bringing with them fast food products and carbonated drinks (Edelstein, 2011).Rice is a staple food for Filipinos that is eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner. A typical Filipino diet consists of 220 grams of rice, 42 grams of fish and a half a cup of vegetables (Alano, 2016). Moreover, celebratory events are accompanied by big heavy meals. Traditional foods served in these events include pancit (stirfry noodles with vegetables, shrimp and meat), lumpia (fried spring rolls with carrots and pork or beef), lechon (roasted pig), adobo (slow cooked chicken) and other desserts mostly made of rice such as puto (rice cakes), bibingka (rice cake with milk cheese), sapin sapin (glutinous rice with coconut), etc. The pansit dish is noteworthy and is usually present on birthday parties because the long noodles are said to symbolize long life. These savory dishes are usually prepared with soy sauce. According to the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology of the Philippines, soy sauce and salt are among the usual miscellaneous food items that filipinos use on their dishes (Capanzana, 2012).According to the 2010 census, Filipino-Americans are the second largest Asian-American ethnic group in the United States after Chinese-Americans (Hoefell et al, 2012). Johnson-Kozlow et al’s study showed how acculturation affected food choices and intakes of Filipino immigrants which lead to changes in their health outcomes (2011). They posit that this change can be attributed to changing food resources; from food scarcity in a third world country of the Philippines to food abundance in America. Serafica et al’s study on Filipino-Americans posits that immigration is connected to rapid weight gain and obesity (2013). Furthermore, the adaptation of American lifestyle, which includes a sedentary lifestyle, increased intake of refined carbohydrates, meat and fatty foods and decreased intake of fruits and vegetables are also reasons in declining health outcomes for Asian-Americans in the United States (Dela Cruz et al., 1998)(Serafica et al., 2013). Therefore, these factors are said to be implicated in the increased incidence of chronic diseases, such as obesity, diabetes and hypertension, in Filipino Americans. Another study stated that Filipino immigrants valued “fatness” by eating rice and fatty foods as a means to maximize disease resistance (Farrales and Chapman, 1999). In fact, many of the participants in Dela Cruz et al’s 2013 acculturation study revealed increased BMI, waist to hip ratio and waist circumference (Dela Cruz et al, 2013). Several studies have shown that the prevalence of overweight and obese Filipino Americans are higher (78%) compared to African Americans (64.9%), Hispanics (69.7%) and non-Hispasnic Whites (53.8%) (Vargas, 2017). The information provided above is important because abdominal obesity is linked to diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.As a future nurse, the author would follow the Healthy People 2020 guidelines posited by the Department of Health and Human Services, in order to promote health and well-being for is Filipino Americans (Whitney and Rolfes, 2016, page 25). Since rice, which falls under a high glycemic load, is a staple food for Filipinos, educating them about eating rice in moderation is a key health promotion act.  In order for our patients to adhere to health promotion teachings, they need to be able to follow through with it for the rest of their lives. Telling them to stop eating rice would not be feasible because it is part of their culture. The use of soy sauce is also a problem since soy sauce has 879 mg of sodium per tablespoon which is already 38% of the total daily recommendation of 2,300 mg. More than 2 tablespoons of soy sauce per day would put their sodium intake over the recommended level. It is important to discuss this with the patient since a high sodium consumption is a risk factor for hypertension. Other health promotion teachings include including fruits and vegetables in their diet, doing aerobic exercises for 30 mins at least 5 times per week and decreasing intake of saturated fats and added sugars. Therefore, an individualized plan of care that takes into consideration the patient’s culture and religion provides a holistic patient centered care.In conclusion, Filipino-Americans are the second largest Asian-American ethnic group in the United States with more than 86% of the population are Roman Catholic. It is therefore important to understand traditional food choices, effects of acculturation to health and health promotions in order to promote well being. Following the guidelines set forth by the HealthyPeople 2020, nurses are in a powerful position to aid in increasing the proportion of adults with healthy weight, reduce proportion of obesity and overweight individuals, increase consumption of fruits and vegetables while decreasing consumption of sodium, saturated fats and added sugars, increase physical activity, etc. through education and advocating for the patients.


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