Ethnic Minorities and Han Nationality in China

Health-related behaviors in children of ethnic minorities and Han nationality in China

Authors: Sun, Yu; Cao, Qian; Zhang, Rong; Chen, Lu

Objective: The purpose of this study was to understand the health-related behaviors in children of ethnic minorities and Han nationality so as to provide a basis for formulating a health promotion plan, reasonably allocating health resources, and improving health conditions of the entire population of children.Methods: The selection and processing of study subjects, as well as health-related behaviors, were based on the 2009 Chinese Health and Nutrition Survey (CHNS) data. A total of 867 children were involved in this study, including 762 Han children and 105 minority children. Comparative analysis was conducted on the reported ratio of health-related behaviors, including society and family variation, as well as dietary habit variation, and health condition scores.Results: A comparison on health-related behaviors between ethnic minority and Han children indicated the following: with respect to society and family variation, statistical significance (P<0.05) existed between the two groups in health-related behaviors influenced by parents who did or did not stay at home, level of education, and medical insurance status; and with respect to dietary habit variation, statistical significance (P<0.05) existed in the differences of dietary habits between the two groups. Moreover, differences in the weight-for-age Z score (WAZ), weight-for-height Z score (WHZ), and body mass index-for-age Z score (BAZ) between the two groups were statistically significant (P<0.05).

Conclusion: Health-related behavioral norms and health conditions of ethnic minority children should be further improved. Increased health awareness of families with children and health care system development should be stressed to elevate the health level of the entire population of children in China.