WHO/HBSC Forum 2009. Socio-environmentally determined health inequities among children and adolescents. Summary of outcomes, background papers and country case studies (2010)



2010, xiv + 174 pages
ISBN 978 92 890 0228 8

Ample evidence shows that young people living in poorer circumstances are more likely to be at risk of unintentional injuries and physical inactivity than those from more affluent families. Unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death in young people aged 5−19 years in the WHO European Region, with road traffic, drowning and poisoning ranking among the top 15 causes of death in those aged 0−19 years. Deaths in countries with the highest injury rates are almost seven times those in countries with the lowest rates, with five out of six child injury deaths taking place in poorer countries. Physical inactivity in childhood and adolescence is recognized to have profound negative implications for young people's health as they grow into adulthood, and to be subject to socio-environmental influences.

The WHO/Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) Forum 2009, the third in a series designed to promote adolescent health, was held on 19–20 October 2009 in Italy. It concentrated on action on socio-environmentally determined health inequities among children and adolescents. This publication presents the summary of outcomes of the Forum. It also features two background papers on injuries and physical activity and environmental inequalities among children and young people, which set the context and summarize the evidence, and 10 case studies describing countries' experiences in dealing with one or both of these topics.