Poverty is the problem, not colour

A US computer-assisted interview survey of 10- and 11-year-old children in Alabama, Houston and Los Angeles state schools and their parents evaluated 16 health-related measures.[1] These were witnessing physical assault without a weapon, witnessing threat or injury with a gun, victimisation by peers, perpetration of non-physical aggression, perpetration of physical aggression, cigarette smoking, alcohol use, seat-belt use, bike-helmet use, experience of discrimination, worrying about terrorism, obesity, vigorous exercise, health status, psychological quality of life and physical quality of life. There were significant differences in all 16 health-related measures between black children and white children and significant differences in 12 of 16 measures between Latino children and white children. However, there were also significant differences in socioeconomic factors including income and education, and most health disparities disappeared or were reduced when socioeconomic factors were taken into account.

Reviewer: David Isaacs, david.isaacs@health.nsw.gov.au