Culture

Surprise! People Who Live In Neighborhoods With More Immigrants Eat Healthier And Weigh Less

New research has emerged, showing that people who live in neighborhoods that boast a larger immigrant population eat better than those that don’t. For all of us who’ve lived in neighborhoods with a considerable immigrant population, this news is probably as startling as the revelation that water is wet. But, it’s important that bona fide research is conducted on the things that we already feel in our gut – in this case, literally – because it proves that, yes, we have good reason to think the things that we do.

Give us the highlights of the study.

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The researchers found three main things when they conducted the study. Firstly, that native-born Americans who live in neighborhoods with a higher immigrant population tend to eat less fast food and more fruit and vegetables than their less-immigrant-populated counterparts. Secondly, that those same native-born Americans have lower body mass indices, or BMIs. And thirdly, that these native-born Americans swimming in immigrant neighbors also have lower rates of hypertension. Okay, maybe we’re exaggerating that last part – there’s no swimming needed. But, the lower rates of hypertension still stand.

Whether you prefer Japanese, Korean, Mexican, Ethiopian – you’ll still see the benefits.

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The great thing is that it doesn’t matter what kind of immigrants set up shop in your neighborhood, native-born Americans still see the benefit. “In places with a high density of immigrants, whether it’s Latino immigrants or Asian immigrants, their native-born neighbors also go shopping a lot in those ethnic grocery stores, like those Mexican supermarkets or Chinese supermarkets. They buy fruits and vegetables at significantly lower prices than they would get at places like Walmart or Trader Joe’s,” Lu Shi, the lead author of the paper, said.

Okay but there could be a lot of other reasons for why people in immigrant neighborhoods are healthier!

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Here’s the beautiful thing: the study controlled, or took into account, things like socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, and the level of education the respondents had received. So when the next neckbeard trolling on social media tries to argue with the findings, you can confidently say that the researchers know their stuff, and have ticked the boxes when it comes to conducting a legitimate study. In fact, you can even throw in the phrase, “the healthy immigrant effect,” to show that you’ve really done your homework. Essentially, it’s the tendency for US immigrants to have better health than their native-born counterparts.

There is one caveat: the study was conducted only on LA neighborhoods.

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Now that being said, the study was conducted in Los Angeles County neighborhoods, so it’s possible that the findings have only revealed something that’s true for Los Angeles County. Chances are that the researchers will have to look into testing other neighborhoods before they can say for sure that they’ve truly stumbled onto a winner. But that’s not going to stop us proposing to the Trump administration that they need to reconsider their stance on immigration. Who’s to say now that stationing a few immigrant families in every neighborhood won’t improve the nation’s health?

Naturally, Twitter’s got the receipts: we’ve always known immigrants are good at eating healthy.

Twitter / @fabucat

Even though this savvy user was commenting way back in 2014, the statement still stands. If Barack Obama had gotten everyone on a diet of immigrant food, everyone would now not only be healthier, but also probably happier. We’re pretty sure it’s scientifically impossible to be unhappy after eating a delicious taco/dumpling/massaman curry.

This babe is on the money.

Twitter / @chloereichel

While the respondents for the study were still indulging in less-than-healthy practices, native-born Americans living in an area with a higher immigrant population had 67 percent lower odds of regularly eating fast food, and 64 percent higher odds of eating the recommended daily intake of fruit and vegetables, as per the guidelines from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It’s not just about the fact that immigrants eat healthier, they are healthier, too.

Twitter / @imthatholly

The interesting thing is that this commenter isn’t wrong. It’s not just about the fact that immigrants eat healthier, they are healthier, too. This is something that the paper’s lead author points out – on average, Latina women smoke at lower rates than their peers, so it stands to reason that they lead by example and create a culture of non-smoking. By extension, it’s these “contagious” social norms that may factor into why native-born Americans living in immigrant-dense neighborhoods in the study were healthier: they’ve caught the bug of living healthy, so to speak.

Before you get all excited and haul your butt to the Korean barbecue joint down the road with the justification that it’s healthy, we should probably point out Shi’s little caveat: “Ethnic food outlets, like the Mexican lunch truck, the Chinese barbecue that you see on New York streets, those are not necessarily healthier than McDonald’s, KFC.” Sorry babes.

People Are Torn On A California Church’s Political Nativity Scene Calling Attention To Immigration Crisis

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People Are Torn On A California Church’s Political Nativity Scene Calling Attention To Immigration Crisis

Claremont United Methodist Church

It is the holiday season so you know people and churches are getting their nativity scenes together. Most are just run-of-the-mill nativity scenes with the animals, wise men, baby Jesus, and his parents Mary and Joseph. However, one church in California used its nativity scene to call attention to the humanitarian crisis on the southern border with children in cages. Here’s how they did it and how people on social media are reacting.

Claremont United Methodist Church is using its nativity scene this year to highlight the immigration crisis on the southern border.

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The Methodist church has a statement on their website directly address the crisis of asylum-seeking children at the southern border. For months, we have seen images of children taken away from their parents at the border and put into cages.

Claremont United Methodist Church wants people to know that the asylum crisis is devastating innocent families.

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“We at Claremont United Methodist Church (CUMC) responded swiftly to the need of over 2,700 children of immigrants seeking asylum at the US/Mexican border. These children were forcibly taken from their parents and scattered throughout the United States in April and May of 2018,” reads a statement by Rose Schneeberger on the Claremont United Methodist Church website. “Our church raised over $10,000 to assist with the legal representation of separated children through Justice for Our Neighbors (JFON). The plight continues as more families have been detained in the last couple of months and the number of children separated from their family continues to grow.”

The church’s nativity scene is showing people what the fate of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph would have had to endure if they were migrants to the U.S. today.

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“In a time in our country when refugee families seek asylum at our border and are unwillingly separated from one another, we consider the most well-known refugee family in the world, Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, the Holy Family,” reads a plaque in front of the nativity scene. “Shortly after the birth of Jesus, Joseph and Mary were forced to flee with their young son from Nazareth to Egypt to escape King Herod, a tyrant. They feared persecution and death.”

“What if this family sought refuge in our country today?”

“Imagine Joseph and Mary separated at the border and Jesus, no older than two, taken from his mother and placed behind the fences of a Border Patrol detention center as more than 5,500 children have been the past three years.”

“Jesus grew up to teach us kindness and mercy and a radical welcome of all people.”

“He said: ‘I was hungry and you gave me food. I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me.’ – Matthew 25:35”

“In the Claremont United Methodist Church nativity scene this Christmas, the Holy Family takes the place of the thousands of nameless families separated at our border.”

“Inside the church, you will see this same family reunited, the Holy Family together, in a nativity that joins the angels in singing.”

“‘Glory to God in the highest on earth, peace and good will to all.’ – Luske 2:14.

People on social media are moved by the powerful image of the church’s nativity.

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It truly is a striking image to see the classic nativity scene turned into a powerful political statement about our immigration policy. Seeing baby Jesus in a manger separated from his parents into cages is something many people never thought they’d see.

People immediately saw the comparison of the nativity and our current immigration system.

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“In addition to the remaining separated children, there are over 15,000 youth and children at detention facilities throughout the United States,” reads a statement by Rose Schneeberger on the Claremont United Methodist Church website. “The CUMC Creative Peacemaking Committee has decided to keep our congregation aware of this urgent need and to encourage church members to continue to support the efforts of JFON by donating funds for the legal representation of separated children and asylum-seeking families currently in detention centers.”

Some people tried to argue with the church’s message to fit their political agendas.

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Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, according to the Bible, were forced to leave Nazareth and go to Egypt in order to avoid persecution. The family’s story of fleeing to a new country in search of safety and protection from a tyrant king seeking to persecute them is reminiscent of the families seeking asylum and peace in the U.S.

Others are showing the true conditions of the U.S. detention centers.

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The conditions along the southern border have been in the news for years. Reports of overcrowding, unsanitary conditions, and multiple deaths have highlighted the dangers of those in detention centers. Many of the facilities are housing more people than physically possible after the Trump administration’s crackdown on immigration.

Basically, people are upset that a church would use a nativity scene to get people talking about the immigration crisis because it worked.

Credit: @1600PAave / Twitter

What do you think about the nativity scene at Claremont United Methodist Church?

READ: Mexican Government Makes It Illegal To Buy And Sell The Moss Families Use To Create Their Nacimientos

Another Member Of The US Military Has Been Arrested For Smuggling Undocumented People Across The Border

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Another Member Of The US Military Has Been Arrested For Smuggling Undocumented People Across The Border

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The U.S. military is going through a serious rough patch. Not only are they have issues recruiting new service members, but they’re also having problems retaining mental health workers, which is a really big deal because they help the people already inlisted. Now we’re seeing the ramifications of that.  Just this week a U.S. Navy sailor shot and killed two people at Hawaii’s Pearl Harbor military installation. The Navy sailor went on to kill himself. It all happened in the same week as the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, which the celebration is supposed to take place this Saturday. The issues the military is facing is not combatting depression and other mental health problems within their units, but some ethical ones that go completely against what the country stands for. 

On December 2, U.S. marine was charged for smuggling undocumented people across the border near San Diego, California.

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“On December 2, 2019, at approximately 1:30 a.m., a junior-enlisted Marine with Headquarters Battalion, 1st Marine Division was taken into custody by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) personnel for allegedly bringing in undocumented immigrants at the San Ysidro port of entry,” the Marine Corps said in a statement, according to ABC News. “The Marine is currently being held in civilian custody. The determination as to the adjudicating authority has not yet been made.”

The 20-year-old Marine has not been publically named, but the news station adds that they were not part of the “Trump administration’s southwest border support mission.”

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Additional reports say the Marine was pulled over in a 2007 Ford Mustang for “additional screening.” That is when border officials found two Chinese women in his trunk. 

“The Marine is currently being held in civilian custody,” Marine spokesman Lt. Cameron Edinburgh said in a statement to Fox News. “The determination as to the adjudicating authority has not yet been made.”

This latest charge comes on the heels of a slew of other military officials who have also arrested on similar smuggling charges.

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Just this summer, 19 Marines were arrested for various offenses. ABC News reports that the Marines were allegedly involved “in activities ranging from human smuggling to drug-related offenses.” All of the Marines involved in this case were stationed at Camp Pendleton in San Diego. The number of marines involved in this case gradually increased from 16 to 19.

“1st Marine Division is committed to justice and the rule of law, and we will continue to fully cooperate with NCIS on this matter,” the statement said, according to the network. “Any Marines found to be in connection with these alleged activities will be questioned and handled accordingly with respect to due process.”

According to Stripes.com, the Marines were all arrested in front of their peers during their morning formation and that was done purposely to make an example out of them. 

“It was a public display for the entire unit to see,” 1st Marine Division Spokesman 1st Lt. Cameron Edinburgh told the online news site. 

As for the reason to not disclose the names of the Marines arrested, Marine Maj. Kendra Motz said that is because “Out of respect for the privacy of the implicated Marines,” and added, “we will not release names or other identifying information until charges are announced.” Six out of those marines arrested have already pleaded guilty to human trafficking and drug charges. 

In related news, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced that detainments at the border continue to decrease.

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Mark Morgan said last month that in October, the trend of a decline of detainments at the border continues to show a decline. 

“The numbers show this administration has and continues to take bold action to address this crisis,” Morgan said, according to The Texan news. 

In May, however, it was a whole different story.  Back then, border officials said they saw 144,000 detainments in one month alone. From then until October, there has been a 70 percent. 

It’s certainly an odd predicament that the government and the military are facing because on the one hand detainments at the border are going down, which speaks positively of their security tactics. Yet, on the other hand, their own military workforce looks to be in quite the dilemma going against their own principals. 

READ: CBP Arrests A 16-Year-Old After Catching Them Using A Remote Control Car To Smuggling Drugs Across The Border