Obesity Reduction and Effectiveness of Interventions | Free Essay Example

Obesity Reduction and Effectiveness of Interventions

Words: 1104
Topic: Health & Medicine
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Introduction

Obesity has become one of the primary health-related concerns in the USA as the number of obese or overweight people has increased substantially during the past several decades. This health issue is also persistent among US youth as over 20% of American adolescents are obese or overweight (Davis, Wojcik, & DeWaele, 2016). Obesity is often associated with other disorders such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and so on. It is also stressed that obese adolescents are likely to become obese adults suffering from several health issues (Barr-Anderson, Adams-Wynn, Alhassan, & Whitt-Glover, 2014). It has also been found that race and gender are important variables that have an impact on the development of the disorder as well as the effectiveness of interventions aimed at reducing the level of obesity among American teenagers. The purpose of the project is to examine the effectiveness of interventions involving the increase in physical activity or the reduction of caloric intake among African-American children and adolescents.

Literature Evaluation

The reviewed articles focus on the association between obesity and increased physical activity or reduced intake of calories. At that, one of the articles stands out as it concentrates on the correlation between the availability of physical activity resources and obesity among the target population. McAlexander, Banda, McAlexander, and Lee (2009) note that the sidewalk connectivity had little or no impact on low-income African Americans’ physical activity. The researchers stress that sidewalks’ availability cannot be sufficient as other environmental factors such as crime rate or availability of parks and sports sites should be introduced to address obesity among African Americans.

The reviewed articles provide evidence supporting the conclusions. Quantitative and qualitative data support the conclusions made, and the resources under analysis reveal the association among variables. The authors try to identify the relevance of the variables mentioned above but tend to find no correlation between obesity and reduced caloric intake or increased physical activity when taken alone. It is also found that African American teenagers are much more vulnerable to the development of the disorder compared to adolescents of another race (Fradkin, Wallander, Elliott, Cuccaro, & Schuster, 2016). The major conclusion made by the authors is that an effective intervention will include a combination of the explored variables. McGee, Richardson, Johnson, and Johnson (2015) report that African American children and adolescents, as well as their parents, are aware of the benefits of healthy diets and healthy lifestyles, but fail to follow these rules, which affects their health conditions.

Moreover, Barr-Anderson et al. (2014) claim that developers of interventions aimed at reducing obesity among African American females should take into account such aspects as physical activity, caloric intake, cultural peculiarities of the target population, etc. It is noteworthy that none of the reviewed articles directly answers the research question. This project aims at comparing the interventions involving an increased physical activity or decreased caloric intake. At the same time, the articles under analysis often examine these aspects separately or in a combination, but no comparisons are made.

The reviewed articles are relevant to the present project as they provide valuable insights into different aspects of the issue. The studies involve sound methods and adequate sample sizes. For instance, Dwyer-Lindgren et al. (2013) use the data of more than 3.7 million people. Even the study using the qualitative research design includes the data obtained from the sample consisting of 70 people (McGee et al., 2015). One of the most valuable contributions of the articles in question is the finding that African American females are the most vulnerable group, and many interventions fail to achieve the set goals. Fradkin et al. (2016) also reveal the influence of race and ethnicity on school-aged children’s health and note that African Americans are more likely to develop obesity than other groups It is argued that socioeconomic status is one of the influential factors predicting the effectiveness of interventions (McGee et al., 2015; McAlexander et al., 2009). It is also emphasized that interventions should include a mix of activities including but not confined to increased physical activity, decreased caloric intake, discussions, training, and the involvement of families or even community.

Nevertheless, the sources under analysis also have certain limitations. One of the major shortcomings of the articles is their focus on a particular community. Only one article is characterized by the use of nation-wide data (Dwyer-Lindgren et al., 2013). Another serious demerit of the sources is the lack of evaluation of the factors that influence the effectiveness of interventions. The authors only unveil the most influential factors without evaluating them. Of course, it is crucial to expand the geographic boundaries and explore the effects of the developed intervention in different communities, cities, and states.

These gaps require further research that should evaluate the major factors influencing the effectiveness of interventions. It is necessary to identify the implications of the use of interventions involving increased physical activity or decreased caloric intake. One of the primary questions to ask is associated with the design. It can be beneficial to use more qualitative data when addressing the issue. It is essential to understand the reasons behind this or that behavior. The further step can involve the analysis of the role of nurses in the development and implementation of the intervention. McGee et al. (2015) emphasize that interventions can be effective if they involve encouragement. Therefore, it is necessary to check nurses’ readiness to encourage the target population to participate in the program and have healthier lifestyles.

The reviewed studies can help in the implementation of the present project. As has been mentioned above, the articles reveal some aspects of interventions aimed at reducing the level of obesity among African Americans. Therefore, to evaluate the major factors (body mass, diets, physical activity, and so on), it will be important to develop specific interventions. For example, this project can involve programs involving physical activity increasing or caloric intake reduction. However, it is possible to develop a more comprehensive intervention that could include the participation of African American children and adolescents as well as their family or community.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it is possible to note that the reviewed articles provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of different interventions aimed at obesity reduction. The major findings include the identification of the most influential aspects that include physical activity increase, caloric intake reduction, family or community involvement, socioeconomic status, gender, race, and others. These data can help develop and implement interventions for this project. At the same time, the project will address the existing gaps and evaluate the most influential factors. The project can also shed light on the role nurses can play in the process.

References

Barr-Anderson, D. J., Adams-Wynn, A. W., Alhassan, S., & Whitt-Glover, M. C. (2014). Culturally-appropriate, family- and community-based physical activity and healthy eating intervention for African-American middle school-aged girls: A feasibility pilot. Journal of Adolescent and Family Health, 6(2), 1-15. Web.

Davis, K., Wojcik, J., & DeWaele, C. (2016). A comparison of the fitness, obesity, and physical activity levels of high school physical education students across race and gender. The Physical Educator, 73(1), 15-31. Web.

Dwyer-Lindgren, L., Freedman, G., Engell, R., Fleming, T., Lim, S., Murray, C., & Mokdad, A. (2013). Prevalence of physical activity and obesity in US counties, 2001–2011: A road map for action. Population Health Metrics, 11(1), 1-11. Web.

Fradkin, C., Wallander, J., Elliott, M., Cuccaro, P., & Schuster, M. (2016). Regular physical activity has differential association with reduced obesity among diverse youth in the United States. Journal of Health Psychology, 21(8), 1607-1619. Web.

McAlexander, K., Banda, J., McAlexander, J., & Lee, R. (2009). Physical activity resource attributes and obesity in low-income African Americans. Journal of Urban Health, 86(5), 696-707. Web.

McGee, B., Richardson, V., Johnson, G., & Johnson, C. (2015). Perceptions of food intake, physical activity, and obesity among African-American children in the Lower Mississippi Delta. American Journal of Health Promotion, 31(4), 333-335. Web.