Blood Pressure in Overweight Schoolchildren | Free Essay Example

Blood Pressure in Overweight Schoolchildren

Words: 1381
Topic: Health & Medicine

Research Critique

The authors’ research problem is the prevalent increase in hypertension cases amongst children aged between ages five and fifteen (Purushotham et al., 2014). The research question, which the authors seek to answer, is the possibility of a direct relationship between obesity and hypertension amongst children whereby the former is the root cause of the latter.

In order to make a conclusion, the authors used both quantitative and qualitative research methods aimed at giving answers to the research problem. However, the given age group was used as a sample size as adults present in the real population also suffered the same problem as the affected children.

The overview of the authors’ research problem, which is the prevalent increase in hypertension cases amongst children aged between ages five and fifteen, indicates that young children are at risk of suffering from hypertension across the world due to obesity. However, the cases are higher in the advanced world as compared to third world countries. For instance, studies have shown that a high population of children aged between 5-15 years in India is at a higher risk of suffering from obesity than in any other country in the world.

Obesity is normally a nutritional health disorder that causes abnormal increase in an individual’s BMI (Body Mass Index), thus making the victim overweight. The reason behind India and other advanced nations’ populations having a higher risk level of obesity is the modern adoption of fast foods available to the of majority population. These foods have high fat contents that cause obesity to the consumers. Consequently, India has recorded a higher level of hypertension cases among children than any other country, hence the authors’ hypothesis, viz. obesity is causing hypertension amongst children aged 5-15 years.

In addition, the authors support their claim by the WHO’s findings that diabetes, coronary heart diseases, hypertension, gall bladder defects, and cancer are the major health defects associated with obesity. The majority of people in the developed nations do not engage in tasking physical activities due to modern lifestyles where technology advancement has provided easy way of doing things, thus making bodies to preserve high mass of unused energies that cause abnormal body growth.

This claim is supported by medical findings carried out in both developed and developing nations. In the findings, children from developed nations were found to have higher risk of obesity as compared to their counterparts from developing nations. For instance, according to a study by Li et al. (2005), “Chinese children and adolescents showed that obese children have 2.9 times higher risk of developing hypertension as compared to their normal weight counterparts” (p. 402). The higher risk rate was attributed to low rate of physical activity engagement and higher consumption of fast foods amongst the populations of developed nations.

Secondly, looking into the authors’ initial hypothesis, viz. hypertension is caused by obesity, quantitative and qualitative research was used to validate this assertion. Medical research demands credibility of results and hence the authors were obliged to use the best possible research methods that would validate or nullify the hypothesis. Previous researches on the same field had shown a close relationship between obesity and hypertension, for instance, the findings of the WHO findings; however, a huge gap still existed and in trying to fill it, the authors had to incorporate quantitative and qualitative research to support their claims.

The authors provided a literature review in their research. Conventionally, researchers provide literature review, which gives proof of the researchers’ knowledge on the problem. In addition, literature review exposes the knowledge gaps from the previous studies on the topic under study. In this case, the authors looked into various researches carried out on the topic coupled with other materials on the same including books and other scholarly materials.

The main knowledge gap exposed by previous researches was based on qualitative analysis of the problem whereby researchers hinted at the possibility of obesity being a predisposing factor of hypertension. However, the previous researchers did not authenticate the claim, and thus the authors of this article sought to fill this gap.

The research paper is relevant to the today’s existing health issues. Hypertension is a health menace across the world, and thus every truth about it should be acknowledged. Reliable information indicates that hypertension is the major cause of cardiovascular diseases that cause death to many people across the world. On the other hand, the research found the obese children to have higher blood pressure based on BMI. Hence, it is certain that obesity puts individuals at a high risk of hypertension, and thus cardiovascular diseases. This assertion acts as a proof to the authors’ initial hypothesis and research relevant to the contemporary existing health issues.

The research utilized experimental methods in finding the observations, which were then analyzed using statistical methods for validation. The observations on BMI and BP (blood pressure) of individuals were taken as statistical variables whose correlation was determined by Pearson correlation coefficient determined at p-value 0.05.

Hence, the research was well done since the method is known to produce valid results in experimental studies where two variables are involved. In evaluating the sample used, 100 children was a good sample size, which was large enough to reduce the margin of error in the findings. By lowering the margin of error, the researchers increased the chances of validity by approaching the real figures in the world populations. Research was biased as it was one-sided where the focus was on the obese population as the sample size.

The research work is practical in the real life situation as it was based on real observations and it produced valid correlation results of the variables. The researchers’ objective was to prove that obesity is a cause of hypertension, and this objective was proven. The results are used for creating awareness and sensitization to all stakeholders. However, from the researchers’ opinions, parents and guardians should keep their children’s health under check by ensuring that they do not become obese (Kaur et al., 2013).

The study could have been improved in order to provide results that are more credible. The researchers cited lack of work force as a limit to the study. This aspect indicates that experiment was not carried out patiently as it ought to have, hence the possibility of some observations being biased especially those of BP as children could have been tested while highly tensed (Wang et al., 2008). Hence, improvement of the study could have been achieved by increasing work force and increasing time taken to carry out the study (Singhal, Agal & Kamath, 2012).

The writing in the article is double edged in terms of clarity to the readers. The majority of the readers can understand the introduction and conclusion part very well, but fail to understand the results and the discussion part since it has complex statistical explanations. In most cases, researchers do not exhaust a research problem as the method and discussion sections open gaps to be filled in other researches.

In addition, human lifestyles are dynamic, which underscores the constant changes from which new researches can be conducted. In addition, other research methods can be used to improve the validity of the findings by using larger samples coupled with carrying out the research over a longer timespan to increase chances of observing BP results that are more valid, which this research failed to offer.

In conclusion, the authors’ work was done incredibly regarding the field of research and the purpose to which it was intended. Medical researches on lifestyle diseases are mostly intended to sensitize the stakeholders and advising them to change some behaviors for better health outcomes in society. However, this research went a step ahead to prove the relationship between obesity and hypertension as the root cause of cardiovascular diseases, and this information serves medical practitioners with novel knowledge.

The initial hypothesis indicated the existence of unknown knowledge in the medical field and the discussion part emphasized the truth of the hypothesis. Therefore, the researchers filled a knowledge gap in the medical field, which is the purpose of a credible research in any field. In addition, the research method used was credible as it provided the best possible results for the research coupled with enabling the authors to incorporate both quantitative and qualitative methods.


Kaur, S., Sachdev, H., Dwivedi, S., Lakshmi, R., Kapil, U., & Sareen, N. (2013). Association of obesity with hypertension amongst school-age children belonging to lower income group and middle-income group in national capital territory of Delhi. Indian Journal of Community Medicine, 38(3), 175-179.

Li, P., Yang, G., Zhai, Y., Piao, H., Zhao, H., & Zhang, J. (2005). Disease risks of childhood obesity in China. Biomed Environmental Science, 18(1), 401-410.

Purushotham, D., Siddalingappa, G., Girish, G., Narayanappa, D., Sunil, B., & Rajanish, K. (2014). Study of blood pressure in overweight and obese schoolchildren between 5-15 years of age. International Journal of Research in Health Sciences, 2(2), 438-443.

Singhal, V., Agal. P., & Kamath, N. (2012). Prevalence of elevated blood pressure and the association of obesity in asymptomatic female adolescent offsprings of hypertensive and normotensive parents. Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research, 6(7), 1158-1161.

Wang, N., Young, J., Meon, L., Ford, E., Erlinger, T., & Klag, J. (2008). The blood pressure changes and the risk of hypertension which are associated with parental hypertension: the Johns Hopkins Precursors Study. Archives of Internal Medicine, 168(6), 643-648.