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  • Subject Name : Health

Issue of Obesity in the United States


Investigating the changes required in Healthy food policies to address the issue of obesity in the US: Scoping review.


Although a wide array of literature significantly discusses the issues of obesity among the US population, and within different age groups, along with the ways by which the state, put into consideration several policy interventions to mitigate the impact of obesity in order to reduce the burden of disease on economy. But the literature has not discussed in detail about the barriers observed within these policies in preventing and controlling the impact of obesity on the US population. Therefore, discussion on barriers to successful implementation has greatly been missing from the literature discussion and therefore has been identified as a major gap in the literature. This will be studied in depth through this research, and will be discussed in details using the scoping review methodology. However, the main focus of the research would be to investigate the changes that are required in the healthy food policies to address the issue of obesity in US. This in turn would therefore be done by studying the multiple barrier against the successful implementation of these public health policies in various contexts. The overall research, that will be done with the help of scoping review, would therefore facilitate in redesigning and re-considering the actions that could have been put in place in an appropriate manner to meet the state objective, thus realising better health outcomes, which in turn is directly related to the increased GDP. The research proposal would discuss the literature that would be included in the review, elaborate upon the appropriateness of scoping review methodology in conducting this particular research, would also describe the various objectives and the timeline that has been determined to meet these objectives in an effective manner.


The issue of obesity in United States has gathered international attention and several research studies have been conducted on identifying the barriers to the reduction in this significant burden on the healthcare of the economy (Biener et al., 2018). However, it can also be evaluated from the present literature that it lacks accessible and condensed compilation of the barriers against the successful implementation of policies for reducing obesity in United States (Barnhill et al., 2018; Mozaffarian et al., 2018). The empirical data of United States suggests that the United States jurisdiction is considering several policy interventions for reducing the epidemic of obesity in United States. However, it can also be evaluated that most of the policies are not implemented efficiently or most of the policies have proved to be ineffective in preventing and controlling the level of obesity in United States (Hruby & Hu, 2015)

Several policies like increasing physical activity at schools and improving nutrition among the population have been implemented. One such initiative was taken by World Health Organization’s Health Promoting Schools (HPS) framework to increase the fruit and vegetable intake of students in schools in order to fight with the issue of childhood obesity. However, the data suggests that the policy was not able to deliver the anticipated results because the policy did not get institutional support (Carey et al., 2015; Langford et al., 2015). It was evaluated through the findings that there be better integration between the education and health for attaining the expected results from such policies. The health interventions should be one of the important institutional priorities as it needs to be understood that increasing obesity may also hamper the performance of a student in academics. However, it needs to be highlighted that HPS framework got successful in improving nutrition after effective partnership with schools and researchers (Langford et al., 2017).

Other initiatives for eliminating poverty in the US economy included providing knowledge to the workers in organizations for eating healthy diets. The workers in the US organizations are provided with onsite exercise facilities and access to counsellors and nutritionists for creating awareness regarding healthy food habits in everyday lifestyle (Tam& Yeung, 2018). However, it was analysed that such policies were not implemented in most of the organizations due to financial constraints and employer involvement in health initiatives.

It can be evaluated through the above examples that there exist multiple barriers in the successful implementation of policies aiming to eliminate obesity in the United States. The aim of the study will be to identify and develop an accessible and condensed compilation of the barriers against the successful implementation of policies for reducing obesity in United States, thus the study will be of importance to the public health community. In order to understand the barriers to the success of obesity policies in US, Scoping review will be conducted.


To probe the changes requiredin the current healthy food policies in USA to tackle the problem of obesity.


  1. Analysing the various / diverse types of current healthy food policies and their scope in mitigating obesity.
  2. Analysing barriers or challenges in implementation of these healthy food policies.
  3. Recommendations for successful implementation healthy food policies.


This study will utilize the information provided in regards with the scoping review in the JBI manual of 2015 (Peters et al., 2015).

Context/ concept of the research

Since the research has to address the changes that are required in the policies to make them more impactful towards resolving the obesity among United States’ population. Therefore, the area of interest of the scoping review is to identify those reasons due to which the barriers arose. The literature that would be undertaken as part of this research would be the one related to USA and are associated with obesity within its population and also including information regarding barriers or challenges in implementing these policies.

Inclusion Criterion

Those researchstudies that are conducted post 2005 will be included to do an in-depth research for this study. Mainly because, USA started to identify obesity as a major health issue among its populations and then made policies to address the situation. Literature published in PubMed, Medline and other public health journals, will be included. However, the based ideas that are generally published withinthenewspapers, magazines and other print media will not be taken into consideration.

Budget: No external funding will be required as necessary requirements will be met by the University only.

Ethical approval: Since the research will be done with regards to the academic integrity ethics and principles of Curtin University, therefore no ethics approvalwill be required.

Key Words


United States

heathy food policies

food policies


Barrier to implementation

Search Strategy

1. Initial Research

The key words mentionedabove will be entered in variousdatabases of different journals and any research that is close to this one (Research question, Research area) will be retrieved. University online library will also be used to find outrelevantmaterial.

2. Advanced Research

The same key words then be assessed in specificdatabases with public health related information. This includes PubMed, ScienceDirect, EBSCO. Sufficient number ofpaperswill be extracted, that will then ne differentiated from the credibility on the basis of their research objectives. This will also be done by critically evaluating the abstracts of each of these studies with themselves and also comparing and contrasting among those that will be selected finally for conducting the study using scoping review.

3. Hand search

In addition, a more succinct hand researchwould be done by selecting articles from the reference list of the selected articles.

Data extraction

JBI methodology as described in the data extraction process would be used (Peters et al., 2015). 

Scoping review would be used to develop various themes to conduct a more detailedresearch.

The following information will be necessary to differentiate between the themes:

  • Type of research
  • Yearof publication
  • Name of the author(s)
  • Context of the research
  • Conclusion and recommendations made by the author

Timeline of the project

The research has to be completed within Semester 2.

Week 1

Secondary research and data collection for the proposal.

Week 2

A research proposal will be submitted to the supervisor.

Week 3

Further, the data will be collected for doing literature review, on the basis of which discussion will take place with supervisor.

Week 3

Continuation of discussion with the supervisor inorder to finally include only relevant evidence from literature

Week 4

Amendments in the literature review to make it more specific as guided by the supervisor.

>Week 4

Recommendations and findings will be included on the basis of the literature review.


Barnhill, A., Palmer, A., Weston, C. M., Brownell, K. D., Clancy, K., Economos, C. D., ... amp Bennett, W. L. (2018). Grappling with complex food systems to reduce obesity a US public health challenge.Public Health Reports,133(1_suppl), 44S-53S.
Hales, C. M., Fryar, C. D., Carroll, M. D., Freedman, D. S., amp Ogden, C. L. (2018). Trends in obesity and severe obesity prevalence in US youth and adults by sex and age, 2007-2008 to 2015-2016.Jama,319(16), 1723-1725.
Hruby, A., amp Hu, F. B. (2015). The epidemiology of obesity a big picture.Pharmacoeconomics,33(7), 673-689.
Kersh, R., ampMorone, J. (2002). The politics of obesity seven steps to government action.Health Affairs,21(6), 142-153.
Murakami, K., amp Livingstone, M. B. E. (2015). Eating frequency is positively associated with overweight and central obesity in US adults.The Journal of nutrition,145(12), 2715-2724.
Nguyen, B. T., Shuval, K., Bertmann, F., amp Yaroch, A. L. (2015). The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, food insecurity, dietary quality, and obesity among US adults.American journal of public health,105(7), 1453-1459.
Ogden, C. L., Carroll, M. D., Fryar, C. D., amp Flegal, K. M. (2015). Prevalence of obesity among adults and youth United States, 20112014.
Skinner, A. C., Perrin, E. M., amp Skelton, J. A. (2016). Prevalence of obesity and severe obesity in US children, 19992014.Obesity,24(5), 1116-1123.
Skinner, A. C., Ravanbakht, S. N., Skelton, J. A., Perrin, E. M., amp Armstrong, S. C. (2018). Prevalence of obesity and severe obesity in US children, 19992016.Pediatrics,141(3), e20173459.
Yan, R., Bastian, N. D., amp Griffin, P. M. (2015). Association of food environment and food retailers with obesity in US adults.Health amp place,33, 19-24.
Curry, S. J., Krist, A. H., Owens, D. K., Barry, M. J., Caughey, A. B., Davidson, K. W., ... amp Kubik, M. (2018). Behavioral weight loss interventions to prevent obesity-related morbidity and mortality in adults US Preventive Services Task Force recommendation statement.Jama,320(11), 1163-1171.


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