Melanie Sabado-Liwag on the Enduring Impact of Colonialism on Health Inequities in the US
Play • 28 min

There are more than 22 million people of Asian descent living in the United States. In the aggregate, Asian Americans have mostly better economic and health outcomes than other groups, including White Americans.

Yet within the broad category of Asian Americans, there are dozens of subgroups often with quite different health outcomes and lived experiences. This within-group heterogeneity is often lost, buried under the so-called model minority myth, which is used to deny attention to unmet needs among Asian Americans and to denigrate the experience of other minority groups such of those of Black and Hispanic Americans.

One subset of the larger Asian American population is people whose history traces to the Philippines. 

The relationship between the United States and the Philippines is unique and this history and present day status affect the health of Filipino Americans.

Melanie Sabado-Liwag from California State University, Los Angeles joins A Health Podyssey to discuss the paper she and coauthors published in the February 2022 issue of Health Affairs, an issue devoted entirely to the topic of racism and health. They wrote about the ongoing impact of colonialism and racism on the health inequities faced by Filipino Americans.

Sabado-Liwag and coauthors note that despite Filipino Americans high educational attainment and high employment rates, they still face significant health disparities. 

If you enjoy this interview, order the February 2022 Health Affairs Racism & Health theme issue.

Listen to Health Affairs Pathways.

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