Annali dell'Istituto Superiore di Sanità
Print version ISSN 0021-2571
MUSICCO, Massimo et al. A study of the Healthy Growth Charter in socially disadvantaged children. Ann. Ist. Super. Sanità [online]. 2011, vol.47, n.4, pp. 417-423. ISSN 0021-2571. http://dx.doi.org/10.4415/ANN_11_04_14.
The Healthy Growth Charter is an educational and health-promoting project aimed at an active involvement of the primary school children in health surveillance and protection. Being duly acquainted of the matter, scholars are asked to fill by their own a questionnaire on height, weight, sport attendance and other items of medical and demographic interest. According to the project, problems suitable of corrective measures, such as amblyopia, are signalled to the families and dealt individually. The project has been previously tested on about 1500 boys and girls from various Italian regions, showing that, despite the limits of self-reported data, it provides information in line with literature. Health inequalities in children remain an important problem also in Italy, and a second test of the Healthy Growth Charter was launched in a group of socially disadvantaged children. As reported in this paper, overweight, reduced physical activity, visual problems and other items markedly differed in this with respect to the previous study. These results provide some indication on the potential role of social disadvantage and poverty on health status of children. To better tackle the problem of health inequalities, the actual surveillance systems should be empowered, preferably with an active educational involvement of children, translating the information into public health intervention policies.
Keywords : children; health inequalities; body weight; visual problems; sport practice.