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The good and bad: How an immigrant’s health can change

While immigrants often bring with them some health-related disadvantages, such as poverty and a lack of health insurance, plenty of data suggests that Hispanics, at least, have an advantage when it comes to lifespan — a phenomenon known as the Hispanic paradox. While experts have debated its existence, the Hispanic paradox got the backing of the federal government two years ago with the publication of the Hispanic life tables. But what happens when those immigrants — or their children — begin to adopt the sedentary habits and fast-food lifestyle Americans are famous for? And are those extra years of life necessarily healthy ones?

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