A private sector view of health, surveillance, and communities of color.
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A private sector view of health, surveillance, and communities of color.

  • 1994 Jan-Feb

  • Source: Public Health Rep. 109(1):42-45
Filetype[PDF-723.48 KB]

  • English

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      Public Health Rep
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      The U.S. population is fast evolving into a patchwork of health behaviors, incomes, and ethnic backgrounds. Simple cultural labeling will not do. A growing number of Americans, now numbering about 10 million, cannot or will not describe their race in any one of the Census Bureau's standard categories--white, black, American Indian, Eskimo, Aleut, Asian Pacific, or Hispanic. They group themselves as a multicultural population rather than a single racial or ethnic category. To guide health interventions, the private sector now relies more on statistical clusters based on geography, lifestyle, behavior, financial status, and attitudes instead of on race. In marketing, the challenge is to reach diverse markets without stereotyping the product as one designed for only a certain ethnic group. The emphasis on athletics instead of on race is one example of how some marketers solve this problem of reaching minorities without giving the impression that specific products are only for blacks, or Hispanics, or Asians. Surveillance professionals can expand the way data are collected and publicized. Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and Native Americans should not be categorized simply by race; other variables of health, such as income and age, should be given careful attention.
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