In person interviews can be an effective research tool but for the purpose of this study it would not be the most effective tool. Asking children in person how many hours they watch of television may not get accurate answers or results. In addition, asking the parents how much television they allow their children to watch may garner inaccurate answers as they may not know for sure, or they may not want to be honest about the number of hours they allow the children to watch.
Another method of study that was examined and then rejected was case study. The case study can be an effective tool for the purpose of study because it allows the research team to become deeply involved with the subject and gather many facts. This is an excellent tool for research any time there are not a lot of participants required. For the purpose of this study however, the method was rejected because it will be important to gather a larger number of answers and participants for the purpose of this study.
The method that was chosen is the survey method. The survey method will allow the participants to answer without providing their identity. This method allows for complete honesty so which is important for the purity of the study.
The survey method was also chosen as it allows participants to be chosen from several geographic locations which will also allow a wider variety of participants to take part in the research.
The survey will be divided into three sections. The first section will address demographic information such as geographic area, age, weight, ethnicity and other issues that will be used for research purposes.
The second section will be for the child to answer. Smaller children will be able to have adults help them by asking the questions and accurately recording the child's answers, but older children will be asked to complete this section on their own.
The third section of the survey will be for the parents to fill out. The parents will be asked to answer questions and elaborate where they feel they need to do so in the hope that the researchers will better understand the answers.
The participants of the study will include 50 obese children as well as 50 non-obese children. The need for non-obese children to take part in the study is important so that the researchers can determine whether the television viewing has an actual impact or not. The participants will be drawn from pediatric offices in the area. The pediatricians will have the surveys and will be asked to approach their obese patients as well as an equal number of non-obese patients.
The children who agree to take part in the study will be assured that they will be able to remain completely anonymous.
The method of data collection will be as follows. The patients and their parents will be asked to fill out the survey in the doctor office. The purpose of this type of collection is to provide a better chance of more patients turning it in. If the patients and their parents are allowed to bring the survey home they may forget to return it. In addition, they will be able to analyze the answers that they are giving and possibly second guess and change the answers. The researchers want the first answers to be what they patient and the parent goes with as these are often the most accurate.
The patients will remain anonymous as their names will not be asked for. They will turn the survey in to the doctor or nurse before they leave the office.
The surveys will be collected from the doctor offices within two months of the initial distribution.
The information will be entered into a computer for the purpose of data retrieval at a later time.
The data will be divided into two categories and then each category will be divided into three sub-categories.
The two main categories will be obese children and non-obese children.
The data will then be collected and entered as follows.
Children who watch zero to 10 hours of television a week. Children who watch between 11 and 20 hours of television. Children who watch between 21 and 40 hours of television a week.
In addition the children will be divided into groups that depict the amount of physical activity that they get each week. This is an important factor because it provides information about how much the television impacts activity and whether activity can offset obesity caused by television viewing or not.
The research will be designed to determine what if any impact television viewing has on childhood obesity. The research team anticipates that television viewing does indeed have an impact of childhood obesity. It is anticipated that children who watch more than 10 hours a week of television are more likely to become obese than children who watch less than ten hours a week of television.
It is also anticipated that the children in the non-obese group will report watching fewer hours of television each week than the children who are obese. It is further anticipated that the children who are not obese report a higher physical activity level than children who are obese report.
In addition it is anticipated that the parents of the obese children will report allowing their children to be less active and to watch more television than will be reported by the parents of the non-obese children.
The following chart helps to address the decrease in activity in children compared to what activity levels they experienced years ago. http://www.ket.org/kidshealth/wellness/obesity_statistics.htm
Childhood Obesity: Defining the Problem
Cultural Changes: Busier but Less Active
The past 50 years have seen dramatic changes in the way children play, eat meals, and socialize. Look at the following chart and think about how your family life has changed and about how the time and opportunities for children to have fun physical activity have been reduced. Then see
Steps Toward Solutions for ideas for healthier lifestyle choices for your children and yourself.
Note: If you want to do this activity as a group, show the opening segment from the program as a discussion starter.
Then (circa 1950)
Children walked to school.
Children ride a bus to school or are driven by a parent.
Family meals were eaten at the table.
Meals are often fast food, often eaten in cars.
Portion sizes were smaller.
Portions are supersized.
Physical environment included porches, sidewalks in neighborhoods.
No porches, no sidewalks in modern subdivisions.
No air conditioning forced kids to go outside for cool air.
Air conditioning makes staying inside comfortable.
Children played neighborhood games, rode bikes, exercised large muscles.
Children play video games, use computers, watch TV, and use the remote to change channels.
Parents didn't worry as much when sending children outside to play.
Parents and kids are apprehensive of playing outside.
Physical education was a required class in school.
Physical education is not always offered by schools.
Athletes were expected to be smaller.
Athletes are expected to be larger and bulkier.
Intramural sports were available in school.
Competitive sports may be the only ones offered in school.
School food options were limited.
Schools have food courts, vending machines.
Few organized after-school activities, more time to play after school.
Frantic driving all over town to get to extracurricular activities, meals on the run.
Moms were often at home.
Moms are often in the workplace.
Two-parent families were more common.
Single-parent families are more common and are often strapped for time and money.
Kentucky Statistics on Obesity Among Youth and Children
According to a 2003 report by the Trust for America's Heath, Kentucky has the fifth highest level of adult obesity in the nation at 25.6%, the third highest level of overweight high school students, and the third highest overweight levels for low-income children ages 2-5.
2004 report by the Kentucky Department for Public Health titled the Kentucky Obesity Epidemic 2004 reported that almost 15% of high school students are seriously overweight, and an additional 15% are at risk of becoming overweight. More high school boys (20%) are overweight compared to girls (10%).
Slightly more than 20% of middle school boys and 12% of girls are seriously overweight, and an additional 18% are at risk of becoming overweight.
Almost 17% of children ages 2 to 4 served by the WIC program are already seriously overweight, and another 18% are at risk of becoming overweight.
Overweight children are more likely to suffer from Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, early maturation, and orthopedic problems. The long-term health consequences of childhood obesity include increased risk of diabetes; stroke; arthritis; heart attack; and cancer of the colon, prostate, and breast.
In addition to having physiological problems, overweight children are more often teased by their peers, suffer the consequences of negative social stereotypes, and are more likely to have low self-esteem.…