36739 Hispanic Millennials: Attitudes Towards Health and Wellbeing

Roy Eduardo Kokoyachuk, Partner, ThinkNow Research, Burbank, CA

Background: The Hispanic Millennial Project is a joint research study developed by market research firm ThinkNow Research and ad agency Sensis. The study develops a better understanding of U.S. Hispanic Millennials. The research delves into health and healthcare topics to identify key points of contrast between Hispanic Millennials and their non-Hispanic cohorts and focuses on attitudes towards stress, diet, exercise, social connections and other health related factors.

Program background:  For example, non-Hispanic White millennials reported overall stress levels 27% higher than their Hispanic counterparts. Hispanic culture may play a factor in their overall health since having close family ties and large, supportive social networks, hallmarks of Hispanic culture, correlates with lower levels of stress. Other pro-health behaviors Hispanic Millennials engage in include a 10% greater likelihood to watch their weight and a lower likelihood to consume alcohol or smoke than non-Hispanic Whites. Hispanic millennials were also 20% more likely to say they exercise regularly. When seeking out healthy foods “organic” seems to resonate more among Hispanic Millennials as they’re 25% more likely to research them online and are willing to pay more for organic products than non-Hispanic Whites. This matches Hispanics’ overall preference for less-processed, more natural food. Overall, Hispanic Millennials are more concerned with food healthfulness while non-Hispanic White Millennials are more concerned with ethical farming practices.

Evaluation Methods and Results:  A nationwide online survey was conducted in June 2014 with a total of 908 respondents: 302 were Hispanic Millennials (ages 18- 34), 305 were Hispanics 35 and older and 301 were non-Hispanic White Millennials (ages 18-34).

Conclusions:  The research indicates that Hispanic Millennials: 1) have sophisticated health attitudes; 2) are cautiously optimistic about health; 3) are engaged in healthy lifestyles; 4) embrace health technology; 5) trust doctors to a degree; 6) are widely insured; and 7) predominantly favor the Affordable Care Act.

Implications for research and/or practice: On the one hand, the data suggests that Hispanics Millennials are at the forefront of the well-documented health “craze” sweeping the nation. On the other hand, Hispanic Millennials’ cultural views about health are rooted in traditional ideas inherited from their older Hispanic cohorts, while they clearly diverge from these conventional notions. While they clearly diverge from these conventional notions, they are reinventing them at the same time. The research identifies points of tension for Hispanic Millennials where Hispanic culture or expected behavior conflicts with actual behavior.