Overview of Asian American Public Health

“For many generations in America, the predominant experiences of Asian Americans reveal an alternative immigration history: one where voices fell silent, hopes were dashed, and dream went unfulfilled.”

– Winton Tseng “Social, Demographic, and Cultural Characteristics of Asian Americans”

Health is unquestionably an important part of living a happy life. Health allows one to do the activities we desire, to live to see friends and family grow, to simply live with less struggles then life already gives, but it can be neglected. We are told to exercise daily, eat our fruits and veggies, and to avoid consuming large amounts of sugar, but not everyone does this.

Let’s focus on the United States, a country where people are often perceived privileged enough to be able to ignore health concerns. Ignoring health is often viewed as a personal choice in the contemporary world, but there are those who “ignore” health simply because they cannot afford care or are not given equal access. This is  where public health comes in. Public health studies the health of communities by tracking diseases, health access, poverty, etc. This lesson will focus on the public health of Asian Americans within the U.S., a rising field as the population of Asian Americans continually increases. We will learn about the basis of Asian American public health and why it is important, and the health issues and barriers Asian Americans face. This lesson is intended to be a brief introduction to Asian American public health and a starting point for those who would like to learn more.

Suggested readings will be provided, but serve only as supplementary material.


1. Understand a basic background on Asian American public health within the United States.

2. Examine the necessity of Asian American public health.

3. Investigate the health issues and barriers Asian Americans face within the United States.

4. Analyze the importance of language access for Asian American healthcare in the U.S..

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