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Obesity and How It Can Cause Chronic Diseases


Nowadays, obesity represents a considerable public health issue due to changes in people’s lifestyles. Numerous studies support the idea that obesity is associated with increased cardiovascular diseases and cancer risks. The measures to prevent weight gain qualified as unfavorable is considered a high priority by public policies. The modifications in nutrition patterns and physical activity involvement are recognized as effective methods to manage obesity-related diseases. Therefore, the investigation on the advantageous effects of exercise and diet could be valuable in developing guidelines for patients with obesity struggling to prevent cancer and cardiovascular diseases.

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This paper’s purpose is to present the literature review from the previous assignments and analyze how this literature supports the following PICOT statement: In adults from 18 to 80 years of age suffering from obesity (P), will the implementation of a diet and physical activity program (I), as compared to those patients who are treated without any changes in their nutritional and physical activity habits (C), reduce the risk of the development of obesity-related outcomes such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases (O) during the year after the implementation (T). The comparison includes the literature research questions, sample populations, and limitations of the study with the recommendations for further research in the conclusion.

Research Questions Compared

The authors of the articles used in the research look at the problem of obesity from various perspectives. Some of them state that excessive weight could increase the risk of cardiovascular disease (Riaz, 2018), the probability of cancer (Fang et al., 2018; Roslan et al., 2019). The work by Frank et al. (2019) outlines obesity-related comorbidities and could be used in the research to measure the changes in metabolically dangerous fat distribution in people who changed their habits compared to the control group. Some articles provide evidence of the advantageous effect of physical exercises (Cleven et al., 2020), diets (Bales & Porter Starr, 2018), or both (Hsu et al., 2019; Roslan et al., 2019). The article by Pearce et al. (2019) shows that some intervention methods such as implementing a diet and physical activity for preventing obesity could be performed in a clinical setting. Hence, the pool of articles gives valuable information that should be compared and synthesized to shed light on the problem stated in the research.

Sample Populations Compared

A sample population indicates a group of people presented for measurement in the study. The majority of the articles are dedicated to investigations among adults (Frank et al., 2019; Roslan et al., 2019; etc.). However, the work of Bales and Porter Starr (2018) focuses on the older population (people aged ≥60) as well, as Riaz et al. (2018) provide analysis of studies with participants from 50 to 64 years old. Several studies were conducted on patients without diseases (Cleven et al., 2020; Hsu et al., 2019) and one – on patients suffering from them (Roslan et al., 2019). The studies were performed as qualitative analysis, meta-analysis, or review of existing studies.

Limitations of the Studies Compared

To characterize the studies’ limitations, researchers focus on study methods or other features that could influence the findings. Some of the utilized articles describe data from longitudinal, prospective, follow-up studies (Cleven et al., 2020; Fang et al., 2018; Frank et al., 2019; Pearce et al., 2019), but several studies investigated by Bales and Porter Starr (2018) last only twelve weeks, and ones reviewed by Hsu et al. (2019) lasted ten weeks which permits making only preliminary conclusions. Some authors introduce their data with the quality indicators (Cleven et al., 2020; Fang et al., 2018; Hsu et al., 2019) to prevent the study limitations.

Several works present a striking number of studied cases (Cleven et al., 2020; Fang et al., 2018; Riaz et al., 2018), while some of the investigations give a relatively small sample of data. For example, Hsu et al. (2019) provided only a few studies that show the effects of physical activity or diet on inflammatory and metabolic biomarkers in the population with obesity and studies examining the supplementary effects of exercise on nutrition. The limitations of Cleven et al. (2020) review is connected with the small number of involved analyses, but they are large in sample size and have a long follow-up time. In Fang et al.’s (2018), Cleven et al.’s (2020), and Pearce et al.’s (2019) studies, there is self-reported information instead of precise data. The limitations of Riaz et al. (2018) study are associated with a lack of tools to avoid the risk of bias and unfair assumptions in mendelian randomization studies. In addition, Pearce et al. (2019) mention that limiting the review to references written in English may have ignored some valuable evidence.


In conclusion, the paper introduces eight studies that support the PICOT statement stated in the introduction. The studies could be included in the final capstone project as they focus on a related topic with slightly different research questions. During further research, the writer intends to continue studies of implementing a diet and physical activity to decrease the risk of developing cancer and cardiovascular diseases in adults to present a new project with guidelines based on research findings. The recommendations for research articles are related to methods utilized in some studies: the researchers should avoid using self-reported questionaries and focus on longitudinal studies to thoroughly examine the impacts of lifestyle change. The studies could include publications on a variety of languages. In addition, some researchers who meet the limitations of data for examination could use the experience of their colleagues and include quality measurement in their studies.

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Bales, C. W., & Porter Starr, K. N. (2018). Obesity interventions for older adults: Diet as a determinant of physical function. Advances in Nutrition, 9(2), 151–159. Web.

Cleven, L., Krell-Roesch, J., Nigg, C. R., & Woll, A. (2020). The association between physical activity with incident obesity, coronary heart disease, diabetes and hypertension in adults: a systematic review of longitudinal studies published after 2012. BMC Public Health, 20(1), 726-741. Web.

Fang, X., Wei, J., He, X., Lian, J., Han, D., An, P., Zhou, T., Liu, S., Wang, F., & Min, J. (2018). Quantitative association between body mass index and the risk of cancer: A global Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. International Journal of Cancer, 143(7), 1595–1603. Web.

Frank, A. P., de Souza Santos, R., Palmer, B.F., & Clegg, D.J. (2019). Determinants of body fat distribution in humans may provide insight about obesity-related health risks. Journal of Lipid Research, 60(10), 1710-1719. Web.

Hsu, K. J., Liao, C. D., Tsai, M. W., & Chen, C. N. (2019). Effects of exercise and nutritional intervention on body composition, metabolic health, and physical performance in adults with sarcopenic obesity: A meta-analysis. Nutrients, 11(9), 2163-2178. Web.

Pearce, C., Rychetnik, L., Wutzke, S., & Wilson, A. (2019). Obesity prevention and the role of hospital and community-based health services: A scoping review. BMC Health Services Research, 19(1), 453-469. Web.

Riaz, H., Khan, M. S., Siddiqi, T. J., Usman, M. S., Shah, N., Goyal, A., Khan, S. S., Mookadam, F., Krasuski, R. A., & Ahmed, H. (2018). Association between obesity and cardiovascular outcomes: A systematic review and meta-analysis of Mendelian randomization studies. JAMA Network Open, 1(7), 1-9. Web.

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Roslan, N. H., Makpol, S., & Mohd Yusof, Y. A. (2019). A review on dietary intervention in obesity associated colon cancer. Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention, 20(5), 1309–1319. Web.

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