LITERATURE REVIEW 1
LITERATURE REVIEW 7
Topic: Literature Review
Running head: LITERATURE REVIEW 1
Childhood Obesity: Literature Review
Obesity has for a long time been a subject of concern, not only for adults but also for children. Due to the serious health implications that obesity has, a lot of efforts have been made to devise ways to prevent it. This includes several studies that are aimed at understanding the prevalence of obesity across the ages. This review is specifically for eight studies conducted by different researchers to address the various aspects of childhood obesity for children less than 12 years, from its prevalence, causes and prevention efforts as part of a capstone project aimed at establishing guidelines to be followed when coming up with intervention measures.
Comparison of research questions
Although each of the eight studies covered childhood obesity as the main study subject, there were specific research questions that varied across the studies. Bleich, Segal, Wu, Wilson, & Wang (2013) conducted a systematic review of community-based childhood obesity prevention while Tester, Phan, Jared, Tucker, Leung, Gillette, Sweeney, Kirk, Tindall, Olivo-Marston, & Eneli (2018), focused on the characteristics of obese children between 2-5 years. Cunningham, Kramer & Narayan, (2014), differed with the first two since their study involved the identification of obesity prevalence in the United States at the national level. Lee, Scharf & DeBoer, (2018) also conducted a study that was concerned with the causes of childhood obesity and focused on the relationship between food insecurity and obesity and was trying to answer the question of whether food insecurity is an independent risk factor for obesity in the United States.
The other study under review was conducted by Fetter, Scherr, Linnell, Dharmar, Schaefer, & Zidenberg-Cherr (2018) and was aimed at determining whether physical activity patterns improved School-Based Nutrition intervention. This differed from the rest in that instead of focusing on the causes of obesity, it was more concerned with the intervention measures at school level. Lydecke, Riley, & Grilo. 2018, conducted another study in which they were trying to answer the question regarding the relationship between parenting, eating behavior and the contribution they made on weight gain. Another study by Marcum, Goldring, McBride, & Persky (2018), questioned the micro-level choices that people make in their daily lives and their effect on their dietary behavior as an intervention to obesity. The last study under review was conducted by Vollmer, (2018) and was aimed at understanding how parents and specifically fathers understand obesity in their preschool aged children.
Comparison of sample populations
Since the different studies addressed different research questions, the sample populations were also different. One notable aspect of the sample population in all the studies however, is that the main study subjects were either child under 12 years or parents. For instance, Tester et al. (2018) investigated 7028 children between 2 and 5 years while Cunningham, Kramer, & Narayan (2014) had 7738 participants who were in kindergarten in the year 1998 and 2007. Vollmer (2018) used 117 fathers with an average age of 35 years while Marcum, Goldring, McBride, & Persky, (2018) used 221 mothers. Another study that included parents is the one conducted by Lydecke, Riley, & Grilo (2018) who included a sample of 581 parents.
It is important to note that the selection of the samples was much targeted and involved relatively large samples selected systematically. The reason behind the large samples was to have representation form as many regions as possible, given that the focus was the United States and the more the samples the more the reliability of the findings.
Comparison of the limitations of the studies
Each of the eight studies provided valuable findings that would greatly aid in the process of formulating policies for intervention measures. However, there were various limitations of the studies. Generally, since they were all conducted at different times with different research questions, it would be somehow difficult to generalize all their findings to arrive at a single conclusion. This therefore means that each study should be looked at exclusively as they address different questions. Because the studies only focused on obesity in children less than 12 years, there could be a challenge when formulating intervention measures. This is partly because the studies somehow overlooked the fact that some cases of obesity occur even past 12 years. Therefore, coming up with intervention measures for childhood obesity and focusing only on those below 12 years would leave out a significant number of children who are obese but fall above 12 years.
Studies such as those conducted by Bleich et al, (2013) were restricted to the quality of studies and the rejection criteria used. Also, all the other studies were qualitative in nature and therefore meant that their results were only restricted to what they were told by the participants. For instance, if any questions were left out during an interview or while answering a questionnaire, then this would largely affect the outcome of the results.
The findings of the studies would no doubt add a lot of value and insights on ways in which to carry out the capstone project. By focusing on specific facets of childhood obesity and carrying out systematic studies, there is a high chance of having a successful project that would probably change the way intervention measures are always put in place and this could provide an invaluable guideline within which to combat the problem of childhood obesity and the associated health implications once and for all. Comment by Melissa Reedy: What recommendations do you make for further research?
Cunningham, S. A., Kramer, M. R., & Narayan, K. V. (2014). Incidence of childhood obesity in the United States. New England Journal of Medicine, 370(5), 403-411.
Fetter, D. S., Scherr, R. E., Linnell, J. D., Dharmar, M., Schaefer, S. E., & Zidenberg-Cherr, S. (2018). Effect of the Shaping Healthy Choices Program, a Multicomponent, School-Based Nutrition Intervention, on Physical Activity Intensity. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 1-7.
Lee, A. M., Scharf, R. J., & DeBoer, M. D. (2018). Association between kindergarten and first-grade food insecurity and weight status in US children. Nutrition, 51, 1-5.
Lydecker, J. A., Riley, K. E., & Grilo, C. M. (2018). Associations of parents’ self, child, and other “fat talk” with child eating behaviors and weight. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 1-5.
Marcum, C. S., Goldring, M. R., McBride, C. M., & Persky, S. (2018). Modeling Dynamic Food Choice Processes to Understand Dietary Intervention Effects. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 52(3), 252-261.
Tester, J. M., Phan, T. L. T., Tucker, J. M., Leung, C. W., Gillette, M. L. D., Sweeney, B. R., … & Eneli, I. U. (2018). Characteristics of Children 2 to 5 Years of Age with Severe Obesity. Pediatrics, 141(3), e20173228.
Vollmer, R. L. (2018). An Exploration of How Fathers Attempt to Prevent Childhood Obesity in Their Families. Journal of nutrition education and behavior, 50(3), 283-288.