Lege Artis Medicinae

[Health behavior of tattooed persons]

CZUPY Gábor, PONGÓ Gabriella, MIHÁLFFY Dávid, SUSÁNSZKY Éva

AUGUST 20, 2016

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2016;26(07-08)

[INTRODUCTION - In post-modern societies tattoo has become decidedly fashionable as acceptance have replaced negative attitudes towards it. We assume that body decoration is a fashion-conscious behavior in the present Hungarian society and thus their lifestyle and risk behavior would not differ from the average of the Hungarian population; also, that there would be no gender differences in the motivations of having a tattoo nor in the messages communicated by tattoos. SAMPLE AND METHOD - Information on tattooed persons was collected on the Internet. The online questionnaire was completed by 508 persons. For processing the data we used the SPSS PC statistical software package. RESULTS - The majority of our sample was under 35 years of age. Respondents have an average of 5-7 tattoos. The most preferred body parts for tattooing are the arms and legs. The primary motivations for having a tattoo are self-expression and the need of commemorating emotions and events. There are significant differences between the characteristics of tattooing of men and women, however, these differences are not related to the social body. The eating habits of men and women are similar; the average number of meals per day is higher than three; the majority of the respondents eats healthy foods and chose their food consciously. They exercise 4-5 hours per week. The proportions of the overweight and the obese are far greater than the nationwide age averages. More than half of the respondents are active smokers. The estimated proportion of heavy drinkers is especially prominent among the tattooed women. SUMMARY - The motivational background and message communication support our assumptions that tattooing is fashion rather than a deviant behavior. The tattooed persons in our sample are health conscious regarding sports and exercise. Appearance has a great importance for them. On the other hand, above average use of legal addictive substances (alcohol) is characteristic among them.]

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