RESEARCH PROPOSAL: OBESITY IN THE UNITED STATES
OBESITY IN THE UNITED STATES
There is a worldwide concern about the growing prevalence of obesity in the society. It continuously rises into an alarming rate, which can be considered as being of ‘epidemic proportions’ (, and , 2001; , 2004). It is the most common nutrition disorder on both developed and underdeveloped countries. (2004) cited that the prevalence of obesity is supported by statistical evidences in some countries. For instance, statistics show that 61 per cent of the American population is obese and most of those obese people are women. Furthermore, 25 per cent of American children are either overweight or obese (, 2004). , and (1999) reported that 7% of the world adult population is affected by the disease. That number constitutes more than 250 million. However, there has been a shift in concern to its prevalence on children and young people, as 10 per cent of the world’s school-aged children are estimated to be carrying excess body fat, with an increased risk for developing chronic disease (, and , 2004). A quarter of them are obese (, and , 2004), which has more risks in acquiring more serious disease associated with nutrition disorders. Although this number is smaller than the prevalence of obesity of adults, epidemiological tracking showed that the risk of infants or preschooler becoming an obese adult was estimated to be 1.8 ( and , 1985). Basically, the relative risk of obesity in adulthood appears to increase with the age of the obese child or adolescent.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Because of the prevalence of obesity, specifically in the United States, many interventions have been designed in hope to battle this continuous epidemic that threatens the Western world. This study will try to descriptively identify the strategies in America to combat obesity, specifically those that are suggested by professional dieticians and health experts.
According to (2004), interventions of obesity in adults include pharmacological interventions and lifestyle interventions. Pharmacological interventions include sibutramine and orlistat, which usually take two years of treatment. Other options include phentermine and mazindol, which have similar effect, but only up to six months. Also, there are metformin, diethylpropion, and fluoxetine, but these have questionable efficacy and are more likely to have adverse effects (, 2004).
On the other hand, lifestyle treatments include dietary programs and physical activity programs. Dietary interventions include low-carbohydrate diets or low-fat diets, and meal replacement strategies. On the other hand, physical activity programs include exercises and workout programs (, 2004). (2004) stated that both dietary and physical activity programs usually come together.
The main aim of the study is basically to identify the strategies being used in the US among those that (2004) mentioned. The results cited above where from a study conducted in Britain. Being able to identify the obesity intervention strategies in the United States will offer opportunities for comparison with other intervention strategies in Britain and the rest of the world.
The study will focus on adolescent samples. Specifically, the following research questions will be explored:
1. What are the strategies to combat obesity that are currently being used in the United States?
2. What is the most recommended among the strategies being advised by dietitians and health experts?
3. What can be recommended to help patients decide which intervention will be right for them?
The research will be descriptive. A descriptive research intends to present facts concerning the nature and status of a situation, as it exists at the time of the study (, 1994). It is also concerned with relationships and practices that exist, beliefs and processes that are ongoing, effects that are being felt, or trends that are developing. (, 1970) In addition, such approach tries to describe present conditions, events or systems based on the impressions or reactions of the respondents of the research (, 1994). Dietitians and health experts will make up the total samples. They will be surveyed to the best of the researcher’s ability. The data will be analyzed with the use of the latest SPSS software.