Background and Significance of the Problem
Obesity is an issue that is faced by people of all ages worldwide. It develops from a simple overweight and leads to a range of complications. This problem is associated with other diseases so that a patient becomes not able to live in a normal way. Pediatric obesity that is found among children with body mass index (BMI) 95 and more is one of the most crucial forms of weight issues. Children from the USA tend to be one of the most vulnerable populations in this framework due to unhealthy diets and lack of physical activity.
Even though professionals from the US Centers for Disease Control claimed that the number of obese children does not increase in a streamlined manner anymore, this rate remains very high and should not be ignored (Sherafat-Kazemzadeh, Yanovski, & Yanovski, 2013). In this way, issues with excess weight in childhood and obesity remain extremely critical, because they presuppose that becoming adults of about 25 years old about 80% of those kids who suffered from them when they were 10-15 years old will be at high risk of morbidity and mortality (Robinson, Geier, Rizzolo, & Sedrak, 2011).
This problem deserves enormous attention, as the professionals indicate that almost 17% of children who are from 2 to 19 years old are obese only within the USA. As a result, they also suffer from various comorbidities, “including insulin resistance, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, hyperlipidemia, and poor self-esteem” (Robinson et al., 2011, p. 58). A mix of cardiovascular consequences, endocrine complications, gastrointestinal effects, musculoskeletal complications, psychological impact, and respiratory complications that are likely to be faced by the discussed population are very critical.
In addition to that, those approaches that are currently used fail to provide significant positive alterations, which proves that there is a necessity to indicate the most appropriate innovative intervention that can be helpful in the discussed situation.
Statement of the Problem and Purpose of the Study
In order to reduce obesity, healthcare professionals offer various treatment and preventive measures. As a rule, they start with the least invasive approaches and then move to those that are more critical (Schoffman, Turner-McGrievy, Jones, & Wilcox, 2013). Among all possible measures, maintenance of a healthy lifestyle and medication treatment are considered to be the most effective ones. As there is a necessity to enhance prevention of obesity and increase the number of positive outcomes, this research will be targeted at defining the very intervention that has the most advantageous in both frameworks.
It will compare both approaches and their effects on children’s condition. Unfortunately, “no exact guidelines exist for when to start treatment” so children can be made to change their lifestyle when it is already too late for this approach (Robinson et al., 2011, p. 61). As a consequence, these modifications do not always provide expected results, and professionals resort to medications eventually. What is more, such kind of drugs is rarely covered by insurance, which proves that it can cause additional problems to the family (those associated with their financial state) (Apovian, 2010). Thus, this study will argue that it is better to be proactive and ensure that kids will have no problems with weight through educating their parents about a healthy lifestyle.
Research Questions, Hypothesis, and Variables with Operational Definitions
The proposed research study will be conducted in order to reveal the most critical information regarding childhood obesity and its influences on people’s lives and their quality. Considering the information discussed previously, the most appropriate research question for this study will be: in children suffering from obesity, is the education of parents in a healthy lifestyle for the children compared with medication treatment, increase the outcome and prevention of obesity?
Hypothesis: Research and Null
The proposed research study will be based on two hypothesis. One of them will reveal the researcher’s point of view regarding the topic and will be used to prove it. The second one will discuss neutral position and will be used for support.
Research hypothesis: The education of parents in a healthy lifestyle for the children as a tool to prevent childhood obesity and increase positive outcomes is more effective compared to medication treatment.
Null hypothesis: The education of parents in a healthy lifestyle for the children and medication treatment are effective approaches used to prevent childhood obesity and increase positive outcomes.
Identifying and Defining Study Variables
Study variables are very critical for research because they provide an opportunity to measure different values and obtain results that show how they alter in particular situations. This study will be based on the variables of two kinds:
Independent variables: children, education of parents as an intervention, medication treatment as an intervention.
Dependent variables: obese children.
For the variables to be easily measured and understood, they are to be operationalized. In this framework, children are defined as individuals who are 12-18 years old. This limitation is chosen because it provides an opportunity to consider not only the effects of lifestyle changes but also those provided by medication because drugs are mainly approved for patients who are at least 12 years old (Apovian, 2010).
Education of parents and medication treatment will both be measured through the calculation of the number of cases when these interventions were used. Finally, obese children will be measured in two ways. First of all, obesity will be defined through the calculation of BMI (it should be no less than 95). Then, the number of kids who have this issue will be stated.
Apovian, C. (2010). Overweight in older children and adolescents: Treatment or prevention? Archives of Disease in Childhood, 95(1), 1.
Robinson, G., Geier, M., Rizzolo, D., & Sedrak, M. (2011). Childhood obesity: Complications, prevention strategies, treatment. JAAPA, 24(12), 58-65.
Schoffman, D., Turner-McGrievy, G., Jones, S., Wilcox, S. (2013). Mobile apps for pediatric obesity prevention and treatment, healthy eating, and physical activity promotion: Just fun and games? Translational Behavioral Medicine, 3(3), 320-325.
Sherafat-Kazemzadeh, R., Yanovski, S., & Yanovski, J. (2013). Pharmacotherapy for childhood obesity: Present and future prospects. International Journal of Obesity, 37, 1-15.