Socioeconomic status, health related behaviour, and self-rated health of children living in Roma settlements in Hungary

Attila Sárváry, Zsigmond Kósa, Renáta Erdei Jávorné, Anikó Gyulai, Péter Takács, J. Sándor, Andrea Sárváry, Ágnes Németh, Réka Halmai, R. Ádány

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective: The poor health of Roma is well documented, but there is only limited data regarding the health of Roma children. The aim of this study was to describe the socioeconomic status, health related behaviour, and health of children living in segregated Roma settlements, and to compare the data with that of non-Roma children. Methods: In March–April of 2011, a cross-sectional questionnaire-based survey among 11-year-old (211 boys and 252 girls) and 13-year-old (205 boys and 247 girls) children living in Roma settlements was performed (response rate: 91.5%). These data were compared with data from the Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children (HBSC) survey carried out in 2009/2010. Results: The parents of Roma children were substantially less educated and less likely to be actively employed, and Roma children reported lower material welfare than non-Roma ones. The prevalence of consuming sweets and soft drinks at least 5 times per week was 1.5−2 times higher among Roma children. The prevalence of regular intense physical activity was higher at the age of 13 years among Roma boys, while physical inactivity was substantially higher in both age groups among Roma girls. Almost one quarter of Roma children and approximately 14% of non-Roma children had tried smoking at the age of 11. More Roma boys tried alcohol at the age of 11 than non-Roma ones. One in ten Roma children was obese in both age groups. The self-rated health status of Roma children was worse than that of non-Roma children. Conclusions: Children living in Roma settlements reported poorer socioeconomic conditions, higher consumption of sweets and soft drinks, earlier smoking and alcohol initiation, and worse self-rated health, but with some exceptions do not differ in fruit or vegetable consumption and BMI from general child population. To promote health of children living in Roma settlements, a multi-sector approach, special health education, plus social and health promotion programmes are needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-31
Number of pages8
JournalCentral European journal of public health
Volume27
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019

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Roma
Hungary
Social Class
Health
Carbonated Beverages
Child Health
Age Groups
Smoking
Alcohols
Special Education
Health Behavior
Child Behavior

Keywords

  • Health behaviour
  • Prevalence
  • Roma children

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Socioeconomic status, health related behaviour, and self-rated health of children living in Roma settlements in Hungary. / Sárváry, Attila; Kósa, Zsigmond; Jávorné, Renáta Erdei; Gyulai, Anikó; Takács, Péter; Sándor, J.; Sárváry, Andrea; Németh, Ágnes; Halmai, Réka; Ádány, R.

In: Central European journal of public health, Vol. 27, No. 1, 01.01.2019, p. 24-31.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Sárváry, Attila ; Kósa, Zsigmond ; Jávorné, Renáta Erdei ; Gyulai, Anikó ; Takács, Péter ; Sándor, J. ; Sárváry, Andrea ; Németh, Ágnes ; Halmai, Réka ; Ádány, R. / Socioeconomic status, health related behaviour, and self-rated health of children living in Roma settlements in Hungary. In: Central European journal of public health. 2019 ; Vol. 27, No. 1. pp. 24-31.
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abstract = "Objective: The poor health of Roma is well documented, but there is only limited data regarding the health of Roma children. The aim of this study was to describe the socioeconomic status, health related behaviour, and health of children living in segregated Roma settlements, and to compare the data with that of non-Roma children. Methods: In March–April of 2011, a cross-sectional questionnaire-based survey among 11-year-old (211 boys and 252 girls) and 13-year-old (205 boys and 247 girls) children living in Roma settlements was performed (response rate: 91.5{\%}). These data were compared with data from the Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children (HBSC) survey carried out in 2009/2010. Results: The parents of Roma children were substantially less educated and less likely to be actively employed, and Roma children reported lower material welfare than non-Roma ones. The prevalence of consuming sweets and soft drinks at least 5 times per week was 1.5−2 times higher among Roma children. The prevalence of regular intense physical activity was higher at the age of 13 years among Roma boys, while physical inactivity was substantially higher in both age groups among Roma girls. Almost one quarter of Roma children and approximately 14{\%} of non-Roma children had tried smoking at the age of 11. More Roma boys tried alcohol at the age of 11 than non-Roma ones. One in ten Roma children was obese in both age groups. The self-rated health status of Roma children was worse than that of non-Roma children. Conclusions: Children living in Roma settlements reported poorer socioeconomic conditions, higher consumption of sweets and soft drinks, earlier smoking and alcohol initiation, and worse self-rated health, but with some exceptions do not differ in fruit or vegetable consumption and BMI from general child population. To promote health of children living in Roma settlements, a multi-sector approach, special health education, plus social and health promotion programmes are needed.",
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AU - Sárváry, Attila

AU - Kósa, Zsigmond

AU - Jávorné, Renáta Erdei

AU - Gyulai, Anikó

AU - Takács, Péter

AU - Sándor, J.

AU - Sárváry, Andrea

AU - Németh, Ágnes

AU - Halmai, Réka

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