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Qualitative Research Methods

Literature Review of Obesity in Australia

Wolfenden et.al (2019) stated that obesity is understood to be one of the biggest issues that Australia is facing today. Today it is stated that 67% of Australians above 18 years of age were estimated to be suffering from obesity in 2018. Additionally, 30% of the Australians below 18 years of age were obese and were overweight which states that 12.5 million adults are suffering from obesity in Australia today (Wolfenden et.al, 2019). Rissel (2019) has supported the arguments made by the Cameron et.al (2003) and has stated that obesity in Australia is understood to be an epidemic with increasing frequency.

Obesity is one of the biggest serious issues for humans because it creates a lot of physical damage to humans. However, Wolfenden et.al (2019) has argued on the fact and has stated that obesity is not just a physical health problem but also a mental disease. Additionally, it was stated that positive links were established between obesity and mental issues which proved to be a responsible factor behind the low quality of life. Another author Rissel (2019) has stated that although there was less evidence on mental illness and obesity there are confirmed links that stated that obesity can hamper and damage the mental health of the person. A study which was conducted by over 200 Australians has stated that people suffering from obesity were suffering from mental stress due to body shaming (Cameron et.al, 2003). Additionally, many obesity can also lead to mental issues like depression and anxiety which can lead to other mental issues. 

Aim

  • To understand if obesity is physical health or mental health problem

Objectives

  • To understand obesity in America
  • To understand the link between obesity and physical health
  • To understand the link between obesity and mental health

Research question

  • To understand if obesity is only a physical health problem or a mental disease?

Methodology of Obesity in Australia

Data Method

For understanding, if obesity is just a physical issue or a mental issue, a qualitative research method would be taken into consideration. The major benefit of adopting a qualitative method involves great confidentiality because of direct contact with the participants. Additionally, it is easy to organize and also helps in controlling the quality throughout. In short, Rissel (2019) stated that the qualitative method is an important method that is not bound by the limitations of the quantitative method.

Data Design

The grounded theory would be taken into consideration as includes a set of systematic inductive methods for conducting qualitative research which aims towards the theory development (Wolfenden et.al, 2019). The major advantage of the grounded theory is that it can help to identify the nature of the knowledge as well as the contingent nature of the practice. Additionally, this method helps produce a thick description that acknowledges the area of conflict and sometimes the contradiction. Apart from this, using grounded theory is beneficial as it helps in determining what is happening (Keramat et.al, 2019).

Data Collection Method

For obtaining the data from the client, a structured interview was taken into consideration. A structured interview is one of the best types of data collection methods where the researcher has a set of questions ready in advance and these questions are asked in the same order so that responses can be placed easily in similar categories (Keramat et.al, 2019). A structured interview is also known as a patterned interview. The major benefit of a structured interview is effectiveness, consistency, fairness, and legal protections. During the interview round, the research would be asking for both an open end and close-ended questions. Around 5 questions would be asked to the participants which would be a mix of open-end and close-ended questions. Where structured interview was used as a primary data collection tool, the secondary data collection method included books, literature reviews, websites, and others. Apart from this, some government publications and public records will be taken into consideration. The major reason for including the secondary data is because sources are cost-effective and time-saving as the data is already collected and analyzed by someone else (Keramat et.al, 2019). Using the literature review would be of great help as it can provide robust information on the obesity level in Australia and also explore if it is just a physical problem or is a mental disorder as well. Additionally, undertaking different secondary sources of information can help to identify the gaps and conflicts in the previous study and also analyze the open questions in the paper.

Selection Process

The interview participants would be selected randomly from a set of close friends and relatives. However, body size would not be taken into consideration while conducting the interview. It would be taken into mind that 2 men and 2 women from Australia would be taken into consideration so that the analysis is general and also not gender-based or bias. The interview process would be taken place through Skype or other Google duo meet due to COVID-19 restrictions. The duration would be 20 minutes where the participants can answer in the English language and whichever question he wants to answer.

Interview Questions

  1. Mention your gender?
  1. Male 
  2. Female
  3. Don’t wish to say
  1. Mention your age
  1. Below 18
  2. 19 to 25 years
  3. 26 to 33 years
  4. 34 to 38 years
  5. Above 39 years
  1. Are you suffering from any kind of obesity issue?
  1. Yes
  2. No
  3. Don’t know
  4. Not sure
  1. According to you, what are the disadvantage of obesity in the human body?
  1. In your opinion, do you think obesity affects the mental health of a person? How?
  1. Sharing your opinion on how body shaming can lead to mental problem
  1. Do you know anyone suffering from anxiety or depression due to obesity or bodyweight?
  2. Give at least two solutions on how the Australian government can curb obesity in the nation

Personal Reflection and Ethical Consideration

I deliberately decided to conduct a qualitative study on “Obesity in Australia– it is a physical health or mental disease?” The reason behind conducting this research was obesity has been increasing at a rapid state in Australia and hence it is important to look into this deeply. Apart from this, it is important to understand if Obesity is just a physical issue or also a mental one. Currently, various studies linked obesity with mental issues and proved that Australians who were obese were ultimately depressed because of the issues they face in society. Another major reason behind conducting qualitative research is to understand what people understand about obesity and what is their opinion towards this epidemic problem in Australia.

While conducting the qualitative analysis, considering ethical policies are important. The participants will be first stated about the real objectives of conducting the research. As friends were selected for the interview, they would be explained about the research on voice calls or WhatsApp chat. If needed, the consent form will also be distributed to the participants which will contain all the primary information about the research study. Additionally, voluntary participation would be encouraged throughout the process where the participants are free to leave any questions or the interview mid-way without facing any penalty or disadvantages. Apart from this, as friends and relatives were chosen for the round, the names will be known but not be revealed on the paper to avoid an information leak. Apart from this, ethical consideration would also be taken seriously while collecting secondary data. A separate reference list would be maintained where all the secondary sources including journals, literature reviews, books, and others would be mentioned to prevent plagiarism. Plagiarism would be taken into consideration and hence in any case of direct quote and paraphrasing, the in-text citation would be given where the name of author and year of publication would be stated.

The major limitation of the study is there was a lack of government records related to the obesity cases in Australia which did not allow to get the exact details or obesity rate in the country. Also, the sample size was extremely small which may sometimes lead to inaccurate or misleading results. Finding difficulty in finding the academic source which is related to the source may also lead to unverified facts and also the sentences. Another limitation was as the participants which were chosen for the interview were friends and relatives, there was a high risk of bias answers from the participants to achieve the research objective. Another risk that may be exposed during the research is the lack of seriousness or genuine during the interview.

Resources

To answer the research question and meet research aims, many resources would be taken into consideration. Some of the commonly required resources to complete the research include academic journals, books, literature reviews, and an electronic device like a PC or laptop. 

Internet facility would be required to browse over the secondary data and also conducting the interview.

References for Obesity in Australia

Cameron, A. J., Zimmet, P. Z., Dunstan, D. W., Dalton, M., Shaw, J. E., Welborn, T. A., ... & Jolley, D. (2003). Overweight and obesity in Australia: the 1999–2000 Australian diabetes, obesity and lifestyle study (AusDiab). Medical journal of Australia178(9), 427-432.

Ananthapavan, J., Nguyen, P. K., Bowe, S. J., Sacks, G., Herrera, A. M. M., Swinburn, B., ... & Moodie, M. (2019). Cost-effectiveness of community-based childhood obesity prevention interventions in Australia. International Journal of Obesity43(5), 1102-1112.

Esdaile, E., Thow, A. M., Gill, T., Sacks, G., Golley, R., Love, P., ... & Rissel, C. (2019). National policies to prevent obesity in early childhood: Using policy mapping to compare policy lessons for Australia with six developed countries. Obesity reviews20(11), 1542-1556.

Lung, T., Jan, S., Tan, E. J., Killedar, A., & Hayes, A. (2019). Impact of overweight, obesity and severe obesity on life expectancy of Australian adults. International Journal of Obesity43(4), 782-789.

Wolfenden, L., Ezzati, M., Larijani, B., & Dietz, W. (2019). The challenge for global health systems in preventing and managing obesity. Obesity Reviews20, 185-193.

Keramat, S. A., Alam, K., Gow, J., & Biddle, S. J. (2020). Gender differences in the longitudinal association between obesity, and disability with workplace absenteeism in the Australian working population. PloS one15(5), e0233512.

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