Ethical dilemma faced by caregivers in mental healthcare services
What Is The Relationship Between Obesity And School Performance Among Children Aged 5 To 16
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Obesity is a health problem that occurs due to the dysregulation of hormones that acts in multiple regions of the brain. It affects the academic performance and cognitive skills of the children. Children face a lack of attention and suffer impulsive issues. This paper will discuss the role of obesity to decrease the academic performance of children.
Obesity occurs due to biological mechanisms which affect children’s neurodevelopment. There is systemic inflammation that activates inflammatory pathways in the brain. Dysregulation of hormones acts in the region of the brain including the prefrontal cortex, hypothalamus and hippocampus. It affects the brain activity of children which affects their cognitive skill and impact on academic performance. Obesity creates behavioral issues and it increases the rate of school absence. The caregivers can solve the issues and they have a central role to mitigate the obesity-related challenges in the children. In Australia, it is a public health issue and children suffer from obesity which affects their early childhood.
1.3 Importance of research
Figure 1.1: Obesity in school children
(Source: Aihw, 2022)
As per figure 1.1, obesity is prevalent in Australia and at the age of 4 the children severe obese (AIHW, 2021). In childhood, the risk factor is high and affluent for the children. This research is significant as it will help to understand the concept of obesity. It is more prevalent among the children of Australia. The abnormality of being overweight may occur due to various reasons. Consumption of energy-dense food, sugar and carbohydrates increases the risk factor of obesity. It increases the chances of mortality and children may suffer from hypertension due to obesity. It affects their academic results and cognitive skills as well.
1.4 Research purpose
The purpose of the research is to understand the concept of obesity and how it is affecting the school performance of children. It will explore the reason for obesity and explore to what extent it is affecting the livelihood of the children in Australia.
1.5 Research objectives
The research objectives are as follows:
- To explore the concept of obesity and the reason behind it
- To understand how obesity is affecting the school performance of children in Australia
- To explore the emotions, behavioral and biological challenges faced by children due to obesity
- To recommend ways to mitigate the challenges of obesity among children
1.6 Identification of research form
The paper will consider descriptive research which will help to gather relevant data. The descriptive research method is appropriate for this paper as it will help to understand the concept of obesity and how it is affecting the academic performance of children in Australia. Relevant journals and articles are taken to understand the subject vividly.
Obesity is a major health problem among the children of Australia and it affects their cognitive skills. This chapter helps to identify the research form and justify the research aim. Children may face several diseases due to obesity. This chapter is representing the background of the paper which will help to understand the risk factor of obesity among Australian children.
2. Research question and justification
The research question is: What is the concept of obesity and how it is affecting the school performance of children in Australia?
Figure 1.2: Factors reading beauty in Australia
(Source: OECD, 2021)
As per figure 1.2, obesity is prevalent in Australia which is affecting their cognitive skills. It has been noticed that 25% of the children are suffering from being overweight. The percentage has increased to 50% who are suffering from severe obesity (OECD, 2017). There are several consequences of being overweight that impact the entire life course. It deteriorates mental and physical well-being and thus it affects their school performance. The socio-economic condition of the children and being obese is related to each other. Obesity affects the bodily functions of children. It may occur due to a lack of physical activity and sedentary activity. Insufficient sleep is one of the major reasons for obesity. Metabolism and genetic differences are the biological reason for being obese. Psychological well being, socio-economic status of the parents, peer relationship and cognitive support is related to obesity. “Body Mass Index '' or BMI helps to measure overweight. Accessibility to healthy and fresh foods helps to prevent obesity among children.
The complex reaction of environmental, social and biological factors influences the reason for obesity and cardiovascular diseases. From 2017 to 2018 adolescents aged from 2 years to 17 years are the most prevalent towards obesity. It has been noticed that 1 in 14 children are affected by obesity. During the pandemic, the rate of obesity has increased which is 22.4% in 2020. Unhealthy choice of foods is the major reason for obesity. The caregivers, parents and family members of the children can reduce the weight of children. They should focus on their food habits and should accept positive attitudes from their peers.
3. Literature review
A literature review is a chapter that helps to gather previous work and secondary data relevant to the topic. This chapter has gathered information related to obesity and how it is affecting the school performance of children. Different books, journals and articles have been taken to describe the concept of obesity and the role of emotional, behavioral and biological challenges children feel due to obesity.
3.2 Concept of obesity
There are several diseases in the world, some are critical and some are known to be non-critical. However, there happen to be several diseases that are not that critical but in the long term, it is known to be very harmful and can harm the human body in many ways (Wu et al. 2017). It can be evaluated from the viewpoint of dietitians that obesity is one of the most critical diseases of the human body. Firstly, it seems that getting fat is not a problem for people who are lean. However, when it keeps on continuing then it has the ability to catch several other diseases to the body. On the other hand, Santana et al. (2017) opined that obesity is such a disease that not only reduces the quality of life but also it tends to set the mental health of a person to a lower standard.
Obesity is considered as one of the leading causes of death in several countries such as the United States and other countries as well. Australia has ranked 16th where the children are suffering from obesity. Obesity leads to stroke, heart attack and to a major extent to some cancers. For instance, when a person is getting obese then it becomes difficult for that person to avoid depression and decreased self-esteem. On the other hand, (Salazar et al. 2018)) argued that academic success is related to executive function which can be affected by obesity. At the same time, that person has a high chance of getting demotivated by peer pressure or social pressure. Obesity is defined by the excess weight of a person according to their height. Obesity can only be avoided by becoming fit by carrying on physical exercises and keeping a diet as simple as possible such as lots of fibers, fruits and vegetables. In addition to that, in order to avoid obesity, a person has to avoid eating junk food regularly.
3.3 Role of obesity to affect school performance of children
Figure: 2.1: Obesity percentage among the Australian children
(Source: AIHW, 2021)
As per figure 1, in Australia, 17% of children are suffering from obesity. The screen time of children has increased during the time of the pandemic. It is increasing the rate of obesity among children on the global platform. It has been seen that the rate of school absences has been increased and they intend to repeat the same lower grades. There is a metabolic syndrome that affects the cognitive skill of adolescents and children and they receive a poor grade in school performance. Children often face bullying in school due to their being overweight and it affects their self-esteem. The mental health has become disturbed which affects their academic performance.
An unequal balance of food habits is globally known as the first and foremost reason for obesity. Although obesity is known to be affecting adults in a broader way, it has an impact on children who are of primary age. School children are inclined to get affected by the fangs of obesity in case their diet is not properly maintained by their concerned parents (Martin et al. 2017). In this context, it is important to mention that there happens to be not only a major impact on the body of the children but also there is a high impact on the school performance of the children. The harmful impact of obesity in the school performance of children can be defined in many ways. For instance, a child is obese at the age of 5 years old, then it will be difficult for them to cope up with their weight (Deal et al. 2020). In addition to that, the performance of those children will be affected drastically as their concentration will be impacted by tremendous fatigue.
3.3 Emotional, biological and behavioral challenges faced by obesity
Biological factors adversely affect cognitive fusions and the body of children and adolescents. The physical inability creates issues and children fail to concentrate on their academic results (Pohet al. 2019). It impacts psychological impairments which are directly linked to children's activity. On the other hand, Mineshitaet al. (2021) had suggested that metabolic syndrome is the reason that affects cognitive functions and children are noticed with a changed brain structure. Adolescents and children surfers from a lack of sleep and unhealthy diet plans create obesity among them. There are behavioral risk factors which are interrelated with obesity. The children need much physical activity to reduce the chances of being obese. They have to reduce their screen time as well which is the central reason for obesity.
The peer relationship is a behavioral factor that affects the mental health of the children and it is intertwined with the reason for obesity. Children and adolescents face issues with inhibitory control, language achievements, attention, vocabulary achievements and simultaneous processing (Medlineplus.gov, 2022). Hence, it can be evaluated that working memory and executive functions are affected due to obesity. On the other hand, Mineshitaet al. (2021) had opined that mental health problems are associated with obesity which affects the academic performance of school children. Overweight children tend to be bullied by their peers which impacts their mental health. They tend to be disobedient and exhibit violent behavior towards others.
3.4 Recommendation to mitigate the challenges regarding obesity which is affecting the school performance
Children need a proper healthy diet which is the responsibility of the caregiver. They should receive supportive behavior from their peers (Pohet al. 2019). On the other hand, Branigan (2017) suggested that in order to make sure that obesity is not affecting the performance of children, their parents will have to restrict their diet in such a manner that there is very less calorie intake and major calorie output. Physical exercise should also be entertained to make their body fit from a young age. Children should consume “good” cholesterol to reduce body fat and also they should also consume less sugary and processed foods.
Children should consume plenty of dietary fibre and low-glycemic foods regularly. They should reduce their screen time and engage in physical activity. Obesity can be reduced with the help of different types of habits (Mineshitaet al. 2021). The most important habit that a person can bear is to maintain a healthy lifestyle that will include homemade foods. It is also suggested that simple exercise is good for reducing cholesterol and it is also suggested that the patient needs to reduce their sugar intake. Intake of less oily food will help to reduce the chances of gaining more weight. Alcohol consumption needs to be reduced so that the metabolism rate remains high and it would be easier for them to reduce their weight.
3.8 Theoretical framework
Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) is one of the major theoretical approaches that enable the researchers to review different aspects of the study related to health as well as learning purposes. It has been seen that this theory has its impact in different places and on different sides. According to this theory, the children, especially the children from the range of 6-16, learn the maximum amount of things by observing and listening to the people and the activities around them. Obesity is one of the major problems seen in many children at that age. As per the thoughts of Schunk and DiBenedetto 2020, it is a difficulty that impacts the activity of the children. As a result of this, the power and ability to actively learn, observe and act accordingly. It has been seen that, after the impact of obesity, they lack cognitive learning and it is one of the major aspects of this topic. In addition to that, the children with obesity can not perform in the active sports that impact their social learning and active behavior as well. Hence, SCT can be one of the good examples in order to discuss the topic.
3.9 Literature gap
All the important factors have been discussed in the different segments of this literature. However, the children of the other countries except Australia have not been covered as it is one of the problems operating globally. It is the major gap of this study.
Obesity is one of the major problems in children of age 6-16 and there are several complexities faced by the children in the different types of learning. They lack active sports and social interactions. In addition to that, they feel lonely because of this and it impacts the education of the children in a significant amount. SCT theory can be useful in this segment.
3.11 Conceptual framework
Figure 3.11: Conceptual Framework
4.1 Research approach
There are several aspects of the research methods such as qualitative method, quantitative method, and the Mixed method. The qualitative method focuses on the information and the theories (Ruggiano and Perry, 2019). Quantitative data focuses on the numeric data and the statistical figures related to the topic. Primary and secondary data are the ounces of the data. The mixed-method is the method that focuses on both types of data. In this paper, a mixed-method has been taken. The primary data has been taken as the up-to-date data and the different aspects of the associated factors are to be known better by the teachers using their knowledge and experiences. On the other hand, qualitative data have been taken from secondary sources. This type of data has been taken as the information and the support of the theories is one of the most important factors. The topic is very vast as obesity is one of the major and important problems worldwide among children. As per the views of Haynes et al. (2019), secondary information helps the researchers to get the different aspects of the subject and research about the different sides of the topic. This research approach from a different point of view enables the researchers to get the different aspects.
4.2 Data collection techniques
In this paper, both the primary and secondary data have been taken. Primary data have been collected from the teachers of the Australian schools and secondary data have been taken from secondary sources. The primary data has been collected by conducting an interview. The interview has been conducted participating the teachers of 4 different schools. 4 teachers have been selected from the list and 4 questions have been created based on the topic. In this research, online telephonic interviews have been conducted as in the pandemic situation, the physical interview could have been possible. The secondary data have been collected using secondary sources such as Google Scholar and ProQuest. This secondary data has been used to make the themes. The themes have been made based on the different sides of information and knowledge. The thematic analysis has been followed and this helped the researchers to get the proper depth of the subject.
Sampling techniques are the techniques for choosing the people for data collection and correct assessment of choices of the participants based on some relevant factors. In this case, 4 teachers have been chosen for the interview and they have been asked questions related to the different aspects of the subject. The teachers were chosen based on their knowledge and experience (Chatfield, 2020). The teachers were experienced in dealing with the students and obesity. It has been seen that the teachers were knowledgeable enough to spread light on this particular topic. In this paper, secondary data has also been collected and secondary sources were used.
4.4 Reliability and validity
Reliability and validity are the major aspects of the research. It has been seen as one of the major things that impact the acceptability of the research paper to the audience. The reliability and the validity of the paper must be maintained in order to increase the trust of the audience. In this paper, the primary data has been collected from the teachers who have given the proper and up-to-date data. It has been one of the major aspects of reliability (Davidson et al. 2019). On the other hand, the secondary data has been collected from authentic sources, and up-to-date data make the paper relevant and valid. It can be said that this paper is reliable and valid.
4.5 Ethical consideration
Ethical considerations have been maintained properly in this paper. While collecting the primary data, most participants were harmed. It can be assured that the authentic data and the information has been used and no data has been leaked. The authentic sources have been used and one of the major things that have been maintained is the confidentiality of the data. The names of the authors have been mentioned accurately No journal and articles older than 5 years have not been taken.
5. Data collection and analysis
The collection of primary qualitative and secondary qualitative data will help in gathering relevant information by the process of interviewing 4 teachers with 4 questions. Their responses show the overall aspects of the obese children which are lacking in their potential works effectively. The management of health problems among the children is necessary which is properly asked in the interview by the teachers. However, Nghiem et al. (2018) have commented that there is an occurrence of the dynamic type of inter-relationship between the obesity and school performance of children. The interview process will be done by telephonic communication instead of the face-to-face interview due to the pandemic situation. Different types of answers regarding the major cause of obesity in school children will be gathered from the teachers. Moreover, the application of data triangulation will help in enhancing the validity of data in order to understand the research work. In primary qualitative and secondary qualitative, the use of the data triangulation method plays an essential role in the success of the research study in an efficient way. Mineshita et al. (2021) have suggested that physical activity among children helps in decreasing the obesity factors among the children which affect their performance in school. Hence, the collection of primary mixed data attains the greater advantage in the research work with finding the poor type of academic performance among children due to obesity.
The analysis of the data will help the overall strategy of the research in an effective way by exploring the entire concept of obesity and the specific reason behind the cause. Therefore, the awareness among the school will also be helpful for fighting obesity illness among children. Sisayet al. (2020) have recommended that the overweight of children affects the overall performance in the lifestyle practices with the involvement of different diseases in their lives. The determination of the different challenges, behavioral responses of the child has led to an emphasis role because obesity causes various types of behavior changes among the children. Furthermore, the complications due to obesity will impact the mental health condition of children with the decline of education and other activities in school performance. Andrieet al. (2021) have stated that different types of psychological factors affect children by the occurrence of obesity and adolescence among children. Thus, the discussion of the data analysis will help the research topic for finding the relationship between obesity and school performance of children.
This research majorly focuses on the primary data through the process of interview questions asked by the teachers. The conduction of interview questions will help in improving the methodology part of the research study in a smooth way. Moreover, the evaluation of the primary data collection is appropriate for identifying the cause of obesity among children which affects school performance and lowering of test scores effectively. Moranoet al. (2020) have opined that the behavioral changes in physical activity, specific motor performance, and psychosocial determinants help children to perform active behavior in school. Therefore, more data will be collected for such kind of research work based on obesity among children which affects the school performance majorly. The involvement of the more data in the research work will also include different types of participants with the generation of greater insights and depth information based on the obesity on the school performance among children.
As the primary collection of data requires more time, effort, and money so this will be one of the limitations of the research study. The creation of biases is another limitation that affects the overall success of the research work regarding the aspects of obesity on the performance of children in schools. Nuryet al. (2021) have commented that the intervention strategies also help in demonstrating the primary prevention of obesity among children in different schools. However, the major use of secondary sources of data will help in mitigating the limitation pof the research work. This will improve in the future with the consequences of learning and experience of the gathered knowledge about the research study. Furthermore, the improvement of the knowledge base will be done to rectify the risk that occurs in the research work which helps in evaluating the aspects of the obesity factors in a smooth way.
7. Conclusion and Recommendation
From the above discussion, it can be concluded that obesity is one of the major problems among children which affects the overall performance of the children in school. Moreover, this research study will show the fundamental concepts and risk factors of obesity that enhance the mental health condition of children in an effective way. The role of obesity which affects the school performance of children will be analysed in this research study. The collection of primary and secondary data with the qualitative method is evaluated in this research work. Moreover, different kinds of objectives are made to determine the issues of obesity on school performance of the research work. This study will also help in collecting the various responses from teachers through the process of interview questions. The data collection and analysis with the proper evaluation of the primary and secondary data are discussed in this research work based on the research topic of Obesity.
It can be recommended that the awareness program among children in school will decrease the cause of obesity and doest does not affect the school performance of children vigorously. However, Vieira et al. (2018) have suggested that the school health program related to nursing helps in preventing and controlling overweight in children effectively. From the overall analysis, it can be recommended that the use of digital technology among children which improve communication in schools will also decrease the fatal rate of obesity of the age 5 to 16 efficiently. Therefore, obesity will to severe diseases and causes serious illness, infection in the children which imbalance the working life with the major complications in their life (Moranoet al. 2020). It can be suggested that the use of a proper diet chart with the routine will help children to fight obesity disorder in their practical life and school. Hence, it can also be recommended that the regular exercise class among the children in school will be an effective method which decreases the root cause of the obesity that affects the school performance in an emergent way.
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