Obesity and overweight among the Roma minority in the South Region (Grant Project 280-COST-LD1411

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Country/partner countries
Czech Republic

Project lead partner/organization and contact person (e-mail, links) project website
Faculty of Health and Social Studies of University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice

Project information – start and end date (if available)
2014 - present

Summary (goals and purposes of the project)
The objective of the correlation study was to compare the selected indicators of overweight and obesity in Roma and non-Roma (majority) populations in the South Bohemia Region or the Czech Republic.
The following indicators were chosen for the evaluation of overweight and obesity: body height and weight, waistline measurement, waist/height index, waist/hips index, BMI, total fat and blood pressure. 600 participants were examined and interviewed in total, including 302 Roma and 298 non-Roma participants. Each of the participants had a personal examination performed by a general nurse, under hygienic-epidemiological conditions. The criteria for the inclusion of participants into the study were a consent for examination and age higher than 18 years.

Results of the project
The statistical analysis showed that at a level of significance of p < 0.001, the following values differed between the Roma and non-Roma population of the South Bohemia Region: waist/height index, waistline, total fat, body mass index (BMI), systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Differences in the incidence of the waist/hips index were significant at p < 0.01. The correlations of incidence with the indicators of overweight and obesity in the Roma population were registered in relation to both the age and gender of participants. The results show that overweight and obesity indicators were recorded more frequently in Roma female respondents. Although the results are unique, the conclusions cannot be generalized for the Roma throughout the Czech Republic.

Who will benefit from this project (target group)
Health condition of minorities, particularly of the Roma minority, has not been sufficiently researched in the Czech Republic. For successful interventions leading to reduced prevalence of obesity, it is primarily necessary to know its causes, both external and internal. The distribution of important polymorphisms of obesity genes is not known for the Roma population in Central Europe. The output was used for the community care of the Roma population in the Region of South Bohemia.

Sources of funding
Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports within COST (Cooperation on Scientific and Technical Research)