Because childhood obesity presents the greatest challenge to the community and the sphere of healthcare, it is important to outline a solid theoretical framework, on which the research will be based. Development of obesity in children can emerge from multivariate factors such as parents’ cultural perceptions or genetic predisposition, so it is important to incorporate a theoretical framework that would take all factors into consideration. For this reason, it was chosen to incorporate the Health Belief Model, which is a motivational theory that promotes the message of behavioral changes to overcome health challenges or threats (Jones et al., 2015). This model states that the key stakeholders of a health intervention consider benefits and disadvantages of physical activity and health diet to engage in healthy behaviors and overcome obesity. The model also suggests that the adoption of a healthy lifestyle is encouraged by individuals’ perceptions of how vulnerable they are to developing a severe health problem. Moreover, it proposes that in order for an obese child to become healthy, there should be a catalyst to set his or her physical activities into motion.
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The Health Belief Model can be applied to the study for discovering the children’ and their parents’ perceptions of obesity along with teaching them about the negative implications they can experience in the future if no healthy changes were implemented. Thus, the stage of education is crucial during a health intervention for children and their parents to appreciate the benefits of a healthy lifestyle and stay away from risks associated with childhood obesity. A researcher can use this theory during research to determine various types of catalysts suitable for assisting children and their families in adopting a healthy diet and becoming more physically active in their daily lives.
Sample and Setting
The research sample will include 60 children aged 4-12 diagnosed with obesity by their health care provider. Criteria for inclusion apart from age and the obesity diagnosis will be informed consent from their parents to participate, the absence of mental health co-morbidities as well as other conditions that may prevent children from participating in the study. The research setting will include primary day care facilities, which children visit for their check-ups. A healthcare setting is considered the most suitable because it will encourage parents to be truthful about their children’s habits and will facilitate the collection of relevant data.
Stratified random sampling method will be the most appropriate; it will allow the researcher to obtain health data from a healthcare provider to create a list of patients aged 4-12 diagnosed with obesity and then randomly select 60 participants from the list (Research Methodology, n.d.).
A field experiment will be used in the research to identify the impact of a healthy lifestyle intervention on children diagnosed with obesity. Children’s BMI will be measured before the implementation of a healthy intervention and after it to determine whether any progress was achieved. Because the rationale for the research design is solving a specific problem of childhood obesity, a field experiment will allow the researcher to get a better understanding of the most and the least effective health interventions. Furthermore, the study will focus on educating children and their parents about the importance of a healthy lifestyle through the application of the Healthy Belief Model.
Jones, C., Jensen, J., Scherr, C., Brown, N., Christy, K., & Weaver, J. (2015). The Health Belief Model as an explanatory framework in communication research: Exploring parallel, serial, and moderate mediation. Health Communication, 30(6), 566-576.
Research Methodology. (n.d.). Stratified sampling. Web.
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