Sample Essay on Culture and Health Attitudes

My Meaning of Being Healthy.

According to me, being healthy refers to a complete state of social, mental, and physical wellbeing of an individual. Being healthy also incorporates a state of absence of a disease in a person or the general absence of an infirmity (Huff, 1999). Physical health refers to a good state of the body health wise. Physical health is achieved through physical exercises, enough rest, and good nutrition. On the other hand, mental health refers to a person’s emotional and cognitive wellbeing. The person is free from mental disorders, and he/she can cope with the normal life’s stresses. He/she also realizes his/her capabilities, and can contribute in his/her community through productive and fruitful work.

Things that I keep in mind or activities that I do to maintain my good health regularly.

  1. Physical activities. These activities include jogging, playing soccer, brisk walking, and lifting weights. Physical activities prevent several diseases including high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and mental disorders e.g. stress and depression (c).
  2. Eating right. This entails eating the precise foods and at correct amounts. Many illnesses, such as heart disease and diabetes can be controlled or even prevented by eating right. Eating right is enhanced through eating a variety of foods such as whole grains, vegetables, fruits and dry beans (Huff, 1999).
  3. Weight control. A person can develop health problems as a result of too much or too little weight, and this fact motivates me to keep a check on my weight. Weight control can be achieved by being physically active and by consuming healthy foods (Kazarian & Evans, 2001).

The meaning of being healthy to a person from a different culture.

I am interviewing a Mexican woman by the name of Martha. She moved from Mexico to the US eleven years ago. Martha is thirty-seven years old, and she resides in the state of California, where she serves as an accountant in a renowned company.

Martha defines the state of being healthy as a measure of reports of one’s physical body conditions, education, ones behaviors in life e.g. smoking, functional status, depression, cognitive tests of performance, and pain (Kazarian & Evans, 2001). According to Martha, the measurement or degree of these aspects could be used to describe a person’s health status at any given time.

Things that Martha does to maintain good health regularly.

  1. Exercising safe sex. Martha suggests that the only safe sex is one between two people who are free from any sexually transmitted diseases. There is a need to have protected sexual intercourse when one has no information about his or her partner’s health status.
  2. Limiting vices. Martha limits her vices, for example, drinking and smoking. Smoking causes diseases, such as throat, mouth, and lung cancers, and heart disease, which are hazardous to one’s health.
  3. Eating healthy. Martha ensures that she takes a healthy diet and at the correct amounts. Healthy food choices enable one to lower his or her cholesterol level in the body, and it enables people to lose weight.

Martha’s attitudes and behaviors in terms of health have changed. She has upheld the United States health standards as she found it necessary to adapt to the nation’s standards.

Similarities and differences between my definition and Martha’s definition of being healthy.

Some similarities in definition of being healthy are evident in the soberness of the mind (Huff, 1999). My definition explains that one is healthy when he/she is mentally sober. This is connected to Martha’s definition as she touches on depression that affects the mind. There is yet another similarity in definition of being healthy when it comes to the physical state. Both definitions acknowledge that the physical wellbeing of the body can measure the health status of a person (Matsumoto & Juang, 2012). The difference in the two definitions is that in my definition, being healthy ensures complete mental, social, and physical wellbeing of the body while Martha’s definition focuses on a measure and not complete wellbeing.

Similarities and differences between my responses and Martha’s attitudes and behaviors on keeping good health

A major similarity is evident on healthy eating. Both my partner and I uphold the issue of healthy eating to enhance our good healthy conditions. Some differences can be figured out where I uphold the attitude of physical activities as opposed to my partner who does not consider physical activities as very important in maintaining good health (Matsumoto & Juang, 2012). On the other hand, Martha sees limiting vices as important in maintaining good health, but according to me, there should be total abstinence from these vices rather than limiting their use.

There is a reflection of some cultural values in both my responses and my partner’s responses. Knowledge of differences in culture may enlighten health care social policy through training in cultural diversity (Matsumoto & Juang, 2012). This kind of training is important in today’s society as it helps to minimize many barriers to healthcare. Another way in which cultural difference knowledge could enlighten health care related social policy is through cultural competence. This cultural competence enables people to see the complete picture, and improves the health outcomes and the quality of care.


Huff, R. M. (1999). Cross-cultural concepts of health and disease. In R. M. Huff & M. V. Kline (Eds.), Promoting health in multicultural populations: A handbook for practitioners (pp. 23–39). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Kazarian, S. S., & Evans, D. R. (2001). Handbook of cultural health psychology. San Diego, Calif: Academic Press.

Matsumoto, D. R., & Juang, L. P. (2012). Culture and psychology. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.