Obesity and Physical Activity – Annotated Bibliography

Withal, J., Jago, R., & Cross, J. (2009). Families’ and health professionals’ perceptions of influences on diet, activity and obesity in a low-income community. Health & Place, 15, 1078-1085.
This article is about a research study conducted to explain the presence of nutrition problems among low-income earners. Withal, Jago and Cross set out to identify the factors that challenge consumption of balanced and health diets among low-income earners. The research took the qualitative approach where the researchers conducted interviews with various focus groups. The National Health Service (NHS) determined participation in the research by organizing for the participation of various families and health professionals.  The research concluded that overweight/obesity problems were prevalent due to lack of adequate measures of healthy living, which is a factor of various factors affecting low-income families. Lack of access to all the ingredients and components of healthy diets is among the factors challenging the consumption of healthy diets in low-income families. Lack of access to such components is due to high costs, which low-income earners cannot afford. The research recommended that behavior change regarding the social, cultural and family life should be the main strategy of dealing with the challenge of unhealthy consumption, which has led to obesity among children and the youth.
Walker, R., Keane, C., & Burke, J. (2010). Disparities and access to health food in the United States: A review of food deserts literature. Health & Place, 16, 876-884.
Walker, Keane and Burke main interest was studying matters related to availability of healthy foods in some geographical locations. The cost of nutritious foods in some areas is influenced by lack of access, which leads to nutrition disparities in the United
States. Researchers in this study did a secondary research on various sources of information regarding food deserts in the United States. They reviewed various articles from January 2008 to January 2010, with food access in the United States being one of the considerations.  The study found out that the geographical environment of individuals influences their diets. Low-income environments have relatively low number of supermarkets and food outlets compared with high-income environments. Racial disparities also lead to creation of food deserts in some environments.  Therefore, most of the nutrition-related health problems experienced in low-income environments are due to lack of access to healthy and nutritious diets.
Ewing, R., Meakins, G., Hamidi, S., & Nelson, A. (2014).Relationship between urban sprawl and physical activity, obesity and morbidity – update and refinement. Health & Place, 26, 118-126.
The effect of physical activity on obesity and other nutrition-related health problems has been a subject of discussion in many forums. This study invested in identifying the relationship between physical activity and prevalence of obesity and other nutrition problems. The researchers started by identifying various items that are fit to be included among physical activity. Travelling to work and carrying out routine duties are among the items that are fit to be considered as physical activity. The researchers identified three health conditions that are often related to lack of physical activity and obesity. However, the study concluded that physical activity is not responsible for the increased cases of overweight adults, especially in the United States. The environment as well as factors within the environment have led to increased prevalence of obesity among adults in the United States. Therefore, the only solution to the problem is through the development of environments that will help eliminate the existing environmental challenges.
Berge, J., Wall, M., Larson, N., Forsyth, A., Bauer, K., &Neumark-Sztainer, D. (2014). Youth dietary intake and weight status: Healthful neighborhood food environments enhance the protective role of supportive family home environments. Health & Place, 26, 69-77.
Adolescents are most vulnerable to nutrition-related health problems due to their diet patterns. This research study investigated the interaction between local neighboring associations among adolescents. The research study wanted to identify the influence of neighboring environments on healthy living among adolescents in a local home setting. The study investigated factors within the two environments, for example family income and parental guidance, which affect healthy eating behaviors. The study sought to fill the existing literature gap related to the issue of obesity among adolescents. Many scholars have recommended intake of fruits and low calories of fats as an approach of reducing cases of obesity among adolescents. However, the research found out that parallel implementation of healthy living policies in both the local and neighboring environments is the most feasible way of dealing with obesity among adolescents. This is because adolescents value the co-existence between local and neighboring environments as an important determinant of behavior. Therefore, according to this study, the solution towards obesity lies in various factors within the environment.
Ding, D., & Gebel, K. (2012). Built environment, physical activity, and obesity: What we learned from reviewing the literature? Health & Place, 18, 100-105.
Ding and Gebel conducted a secondary research to evaluate the interaction between the built environment and physical activity/obesity. The researchers questioned the relevance of some research studies that have been affected by a myriad of flaws in both their conceptual frameworks and application of statistical methods. For instance, travelling and physical activity in some environments has been associated with obesity problems among individuals. However, the studies have neglected looking at all possibilities regarding physical activity and obesity that capture the reality. The research recommended a different approach to research pertaining physical activity and obesity in different environments. Studies should concentrate on specific physical activities and characteristics of the environments under scrutiny in order to avoid conceptual mismatches. However, it is worth noting that the researchers in this study rest upon the fact that the environment has an influence of obesity and other nutrition problems affecting individuals in the society.
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