Childhood Obesity Research Obesity Is Defined by Research Proposal

Excerpt from Research Proposal :

Childhood Obesity Research

Obesity is defined by WHO (2011) as the excessive accumulation of fats that can cause harm to the health of an individuals. This is measured using the Body Mass Index. This is the juxtaposition of body weight for body height. Simply put dividing the weight of an individual by the Square of the Height in Meters. For instance, an adult whose BMI is between 25 and 29.9 is said to be overweight, but when it goes beyond that then he is considered obese as observed by the WHO.

It would be interesting to research on the behaviors of the children who are obese and try to find the factors relating to childhood obesity. Due to the diverse nature of the condition that has to do with the habit as well as the lifestyle and the age of the subjects, it will be interesting to have a variegated approach in terms of the methods to be used in the research. The methods that will be used are qualitative approaches, quantitative approach as well as the case study.

This research will adopt the qualitative research studies more rather than quantitative nursing research studies because such studies capture a client's perspective of healthcare rather than mere figures that could mean little to the subjects who are to benefit from the results of the research (Polit & Beck, 2008).

Qualitative approaches are invaluable in primary healthcare research such as this when issues related to the behavior of patients and healthcare professionals need to be interrogated, a thing that cannot be interrogated in figures and numbers (Brookes, 2007). The approaches can also be used to assess the participant's feelings, meanings and experiences. Qualitative research studies help in highlighting the extent of a given problem by exploring why the problem has arisen. To this extent ideas can be generated to help solve the problem. Qualitative nursing research uses unexpected ideas that arise during data collection. This makes it flexible. Its flexibility can also be attributed to the prompts that are allowed during interviews. The research also produces data without harming the participants. After a research has been done, full disclosure can be made to the participants so that they can make informed decision on how the data obtained from them is to be used.

The use of quantitative research approach will also be involved though to a lesser extent. This approach will help in getting the figures that are of historical significance in trying to explore the trends the menace of childhood obesity has taken.

Case studies will help in depicting the peculiarity of each case that is studied and therefore giving room to explanation of why some intervening factors could make a research sample stand out from the rest that have a uniform trend.

Research methods

In order to get the most reliable data from within the sample of teenagers and students in particular, three main research methodologies would be appropriate to employ. For each methodology chosen, there is a sound reason as to why it was chosen and the reasons are given as below:

Focus groups: this is the best method in getting the deeply rooted attitudes and beliefs that existed among the underage drinkers. Since the issues and habits associated with obesity are at times very personal it would be fundamental to capture the feelings and the attitude of the youth towards some of these habits and these can best be tapped through focus groups (Jody Temkin, 2011). This information collection is to be done orally and no writing is expected of the participants hence free will participation.

Interviews: is the other significant method that will be used to get the personal views that the teenagers hold about obesity and this way the researcher can get the effects that obesity has on the individual. This method has the advantage of personal contact so the kinesthetic responses will be observed and recorded as well.

Surveys: these are to be used in collection of numerical data (quantitative approach) from the relevant offices, departments and participants. This will give data in terms of numbers and percentages on obesity, the academic performance and the change in performance and other pertinent data. Online and physical data that are to be considered then the data collected is to be used to populate the pie charts and graphs for the aid of the research and is the best method to use in a large population as the one in this research (Colorado State University, 2011).

These are the main research methodologies that will be used to collect data and information for analysis.


The research mainly deals with childhood obesity; the participants will be drawn predominantly from the young children and the teenagers. This is step towards ensuring there is credibility in the information and data that will be collected since it has to entirely do with the population under study and contributed by the same population. There will be need to also involve a few adult particularly the parents who will be instrumental in delivering the information on the home-based habits like eating.

The population that will participate will be picked at random from a group of students per class who will be willing to volunteer in the research. The sample will therefore not be based on targeted people like the obese only but a random selection that will offer suitable data for comparative data analysis. It is expected that a total of 300 pupils will be the target population of participants which is large enough to have the required qualitative as well as quantitative data.

Research design

The research design that will be employed here is the descriptive design that is a design geared towards finding out what is happening in the obesity study field and among the sample population (De Vaus D.A, 2001). Once the data is collected and the information known, the various analysis and explanations can then indicate why that could be happening.

Instrumentation and data collection plans

This will be one of the most important sections of the research since it is the stage at which the data that is needed is collected. There will be an announcement of the research and an explanation of why the research will be conducted and the benefits for the participants. This will be followed by a registration of the volunteer participants.

The questionnaires will be distributed among the participants and out of the 300 participants, 200 will be served with questionnaires while the rest are set apart for the interview. The case study will be done on all the participants since the researcher can get a wider variety of data concerning the behaviors and habits of the participants than through any other means.

Data analysis

This is the most important step in the data processing after the collection of the data. At this stage, the researcher will systematically organize the work that he will have collected; then get all the data on a spreadsheet form for it to be analyzed by the decision makers easily without any difficulties.

The most appropriate data analysis technique here would be the multivariate analysis method. This is a method that engages the statistical analysis of each subject results under investigation. This will be applicable in this research since values given by each subject on the duration of exercise, sleeping duration, quantity of food and such numerical factors will have to be subjected to independent statistical analysis. One should also draw the curves and the statistical data before handing it over to the decision makers to edit the work, code it and verify it because with the diagrams they will easily interpret it.


According to WHO (2011), the major causes of obesity are two; the excessive intake of energy-dense food which are too high in fats, sugar and salt yet very low on vitamins, mineral and the essential micronutrients. The other major cause is the docile or sedentary lifestyle that most Saudi people are leading due to urbanization, changing transport means, and various sedentary working conditions. Also, the causes of obesity in Saudi Arabia are numerous. They range from genetic, social, psychological, even cultural factors and social determents.

There are various other diseases that have long been associated with obesity among them being diabetes, shortness of breath and high blood pressure as noted by CDC (2010). Obesity has been noted to take toll on the social aspect of the girls in Saudi Arabia as it has been known to lead to mild depression among the obese youth (NHS, 2011).

The research methods

The method that will be used in the compilation of the information and collection of data will predominantly be from public health books, journals and the university database. The guiding aspects and the key terms that will be used in the compilation of the report will be the social determinants of health, teenage disease, community programs, teenage empowerment and the healthy diet aspects. The key words that will feature in this respect are definition of obesity,…

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