In addition, childhood obesity can adversely affect social and economic development and lead to adult obesity causing more adverse health conditions. The costs of treating obesity in the United States are steadily increasing. Estimates show the direct and indirect costs associated with treating obesity was near $139 billion in 2003 (Li, & Hooker, 2010).
The focus of this paper is to examine a peer-reviewed research article conducted by Ji Li, PhD. and Neal Hooker PhD published in the Journal of School Health, to show how the application of background and methodology of the research process can be applied to problems in health care.
By examining the purpose of the study, the hypothesis, the variables employed, and the framework used to guide the study, a better understanding of the research process will be gained.
Schools have been the subject of many research studies regarding childhood obesity. Surveys have examined issues such as race, ethnicity, and gender-specific differences relating to issues such as how television viewing affects weight gain and how physical activity effects academic achievement.
The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) School Breakfast Program (SBP) and have been the subject of many studies (Li, & Hooker, 2010). The studies examined food choices; comparing the nutritional content of program meals to other competitive food choices available in the cafeteria. A different study observed the effect of NSLP eligibility and food insecurities on child welfare. The results of the study indicated no evidence of benefit associated with participation in the NSLP and child well-being (Li, & Hooker, 2010).
Past research, associating childhood obesity and school-related programs and activities have been limited. The research did not differentiate between either public or private school types or were only composed of public school findings. Moreover, past research studies have employed only limited perspectives on the issue. The purpose of this article’s study is to delve further into the effects family, school, and community play on childhood obesity in hopes of understanding better the correlation (Li, & Hooker, 2010).
By doing so administrators of health care will be better equipped to advise parents, educators, and policies makers of the importance of wellness and nutrition among school-aged children.
Many questions are posed in this study. The main question asked is, what is the correlation, if any, between school type, physical activity, participation in the NSLP, and other independent variables on body mass index (BMI) of children living in the United States? In addition, does the type of school, public or private, make a difference in the BMI of children?
Last, does the physical activity level of the parents have an effect on a child’s BMI (Li, & Hooker, 2010)? Hypotheses This hypothesis of the study is not clearly stated within the article although the reading suggests there are several. The study suggests that children living in lower socioeconomic households and qualifying for the NSLP have greater chance of becoming obese. Children who attend public schools are more at risk of becoming overweight than those who attend private schools. In addition, children whose parents are physically active have less chance of becoming overweight.
Last, parental education levels, smoking habits, and employment status can affect a child’s weight (Li, & Hooker, 2010).
To analyze how various factors effect childhood obesity, information was gathered about the children’s schools, families, communities, and daily activities from the National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH). These sociodemographic independent variables include such information as the child’s age, gender, race, primary spoken language, physical activity level, television use, time spend playing computer games, extracurricular ctivities, and participation in the free or reduced lunch program (Li, & Hooker, 2010). Information about parental activities such as smoking practices, employment status, and education, economic, and activity levels were also included. The dependent variable body BMI was used as the measure of obesity. BMI can be defined as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared. This method of measurement is widely used by health providers to determine physical development (Li, & Hooker, 2010).
The conceptual model used to understand the results of the study and to determine its empirical and scientific effectiveness, studies the relationships between childhood obesity and factors that contribute to the problem. By considering the multidimensional perspectives surrounding the lives of children in the United States, the effects on BMI as a measure of obesity can prove probable correlations. This study first applied a nonlinear regression model to survey data to examine important relationships.
Next, the study constructed three model specifications to investigate the effects of the NSLP (Li, & Hooker, 2010). Last, discoveries were analyzed regarding the factors influencing the child’s probability for becoming overweight (Li, & Hooker, 2010). The conceptual model of the study provides correlations between socioeconomic status (SES) and other factors and childhood obesity by providing supporting facts.
A review of the literature cited supports the need for this study. Research by Ogden, Carroll, and Flegal (2008) proves the BMI of children and adolescents in the United States are increasing steadily. A related study by Bouchard (1997) shows the relationship between childhood and adult obesity. In addition, the reference to Dietz (2004) shows that obesity can cause serious illness in children such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. The high cost associated with treating obesity in the United States proves the need for further study into the problems associated to childhood obesity (Finkelstein, Ruhm, & Kosa, 2005).
The study design employed was quantitative, consisting of data gathered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) 2003 and 2004 NSCH. The State and Local Area Integrated Telephone Survey Program was used to survey and investigate the physical and psychological health status of children age birth to 17 (Li, & Hooker, 2010). The households were randomly selected with the screening question of the presence of children under age 18 in the household was used.
Observations of 62,880 children from different households living in the United States were studied through the value of BMI (Li, & Hooker, 2010).
The article from the Journal of School Health contains research collected from the NSCH conducted by the CDC to investigate the associations between children attending public and private schools, student eligibility for the free or reduced-cost meal programs, and family SES on children’s BMI (Li, & Hooker, 2010).
Issues such as parent education and activity level in addition to child television and video game use are noted as possible associative factors that may lead to childhood obesity. The research further illustrates the implications for school health policy and its need for wellness curricula to promote healthy eating and physical exercise (Li, & Hooker, 2010). By examining the background and methodology used in the creation of this study, one can see how the data was used to help formulate and prove the hypotheses giving a greater understanding of the research process.