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Research and Global Health: Obesity and Overweight

The article “Overweight and Obesity among Children: An Evaluation of a Walking Program” by Zuraikat and Dugan (2015) reveals that indeed obesity is a health issue that needs to be addressed with urgency not only in the U.S. but also globally. The two authors confirm that a walking program may contribute significantly towards reducing or eliminating cases of obesity and overweight among children aged 6-11 years.

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Study Question

Many scholars include one or more questions in their studies. The goal is to ensure that the data collected is sufficient to respond to the question(s) posed. In other words, the inclusion of research questions helps to eliminate the gathering of redundant data. In the current study, although Zuraikat and Dugan (2015) do not explicitly provide a study question, it is implied in the article’s introductory paragraph. If the researchers included the question in the study, it would probably have read, “Is walking as part of physical activity programs efficient in reducing or treating obesity and overweight issues among 6-11-year-old learners in Pennsylvania?” The authors appreciate the fact that one of the major causes of overweight and obesity is the lack of enough exercise in the wake of the rising consumption of high-calorie diets.

Study Participants

Collecting data through an interview, observation, or a survey implies the need for participants, who the researchers expect, will respond to questions concerning the subject under investigation. Responses from participants facilitate the analysis of data qualitatively or quantitatively depending on the research approach selected. The current study involved 5158 learners whose age ranged between 6 to 11 years (Zuraikat & Dugan, 2015). In collaboration with parents and health professionals, participants were requested to take part in the study where information concerning their level of obesity and overweight was to be taken and analyzed before the introduction of the walking program as an intervention. The objective was to find out whether the selected physical activity would have any impact on the observed obesity and overweight levels.

Study Setting

The study involved children from a remote region in Western Pennsylvania where cases of obesity and overweight were viewed as rampant (Zuraikat & Dugan, 2015). Hence, it was possible and convenient to collect the required data from the sampled participants in this region. In addition, this setting was appropriate since the introduction of the walking program was expected to yield better results.

Period of Conducting the Study

Although Zuraikat and Dugan’s (2015) article was published in 2015, the data provided therein was recorded in phases for 6 years beginning from the 2005-2006 academic calendar. Three different schools were involved in this process. However, according to Zuraikat and Dugan (2015), the final phase of data collection in the last school was done during 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 schooling periods.

Study Design

The research adopted participant observation as the study design. Nurses observed and computed each child’s BMI level to gauge whether he or she was obese and overweight. The results were also shared with parents to enhance their collaboration during the intervention program.

Answer to the Study Question

According to Zuraikat and Dugan (2015), 6-11-year-old children in Western Pennsylvania were indeed obese and overweight. Consequently, the introduction of the walking program was indisputably fruitful in helping to address the targeted health issue.

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The rate at which people in the United States are becoming overweight and obese is alarming. Poor eating habits are expected to continue to the extent that more than half of the American grown-up population will be obese in the next 10-15 years. Similarly, the number of children associated with obesity is on the rise. Hence, as revealed in the article under study, the introduction of a walking program will help to reduce cases of obesity and overweight among 6-11-year-old children in Western Pennsylvanian remote regions.


Zuraikat, N., & Dugan, C. (2015). Overweight and obesity among children: An evaluation of a walking program. Hospital Topics, 9(2), 36-43.

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