Childhood Obesity Research and Ethical Concerns

Ethical Considerations and Human Rights

Since the present study is focused on the exploration of a problem that affects children, it is logical that the sample is comprised mainly of children and their parents. In that way, research team needs to show maximum professionalism while taking into account ethical consideration applicable to this project. To be more precise, since this research is based on the inclusion of children as participants, it is important to protect their rights and ensure their safety.

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One of the main ethical procedures that need to be put into practice for this study to remain ethical is to obtain the informed consent of the participants in regard to their inclusion in this project. For that, consent forms are necessary. They would serve as documents proving that the participants officially agreed to become part of this research and were fully informed about its protocol and requirements. Consequently, the forms have to provide detailed information about the project such as its purpose, contents, and the included activities. All the necessary information has to be presented in a clear and comprehensible manner using simple and easy to understand type of language. Further, the forms have to contain short agreement messages which the participants have to sign. Even though children are regarded as minors, and the signatures will be required from their parents mainly, it is necessary that children are also fully aware what their roles would include.

Limitations of the Proposed Study

One of the major limitations of the proposed study will be its relatively small sample size. This will take away from the reliability and validity of the project as well as its findings. In order to increase the reliability and validity, the study could be replicated in a different location and with a different group of participants. After all, the cultural environments in the participating families play a significant role in the way the educational sessions are taken and how well the provided information is applied (Kelishadi & Azizi-Soleiman, 2014). In that way, a larger and a more diverse sample may be needed in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention in question on a more extensive scale.

Another limitation is a possibility of biased or distorted responses from the participating parents on which the data analysis will rely (Savin-Baden & Major, 2013). In other words, it is possible that parents may provide untruthful answers when inquired about the intervention. This may be the case due to the feeling that there is a “correct answer” or a “desired behavior”. In this regard, it would not be possible for the research team collecting the responses to determine which answers were honest and which were distorted. The only measure that can be taken in order to minimize this limitation is the ensured careful interpretation of the provided information.

Implications for Practice

The proposed project will have several implications for practice. First of all, it will provide data as to the effectiveness of education as compared to the pharmacological treatment. In case of the hypotheses of this study turn out to be true, the focus of the current practice may have to shift from medication to education. However, in this regard, it is important to notice that social marketing may be required in order to enforce change from the bottom and encourage parents to serve as its major agents. This way, a sense of helplessness would transform into the focus on the improvement of self-efficacy by means of consuming knowledge and stimulating self-improvement (“Orlando’s nursing process theory,” 2012).


Kelishadi, R., & Azizi-Soleiman, F. (2014). Controlling childhood obesity: A systematic review on strategies and challenges. Journal of Research in Medical Sciences: The Official Journal of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, 19(10), 993-1008.

Orlando’s nursing process theory. (2012). Web.

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Savin-Baden, M., & Major, C. (2013). Quantitative research: The essential guide theory and practice. London, England: Routledge.

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