Overweight, Cheap Food and Poverty – Social&Family Issues Example

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"Overweight, Cheap Food and Poverty"  is an outstanding example of a paper on social and family issues. The relationship between overweight, cheap food and poverty was determined through a systematic review of the literature to find out how much evidence has been accumulated on this topic. Recommendations were deduced for hindered research, learning, and practices concerning the consensus of present comprehension in relation to overweight people from low-income families. Present researches were explored, with particular consideration to methods and findings. Systematic Review Question                       This review answers the following question: is there a correlation between overweight, cheap food, and poverty? Systematic literature Review                       The evaluation of the level of science and potency of facts used to explain various practice changes is known as a systematic literature review.

The review is used to critically support, assess and point out the shortcomings and strengths of research present on certain topics. The process of review begins with an inclusive search stratagem and thorough, apparent evaluation methods. Prejudice in the research study is always limited if research materials used are from more than one researcher (Brown, 2012).                       Research materials were gotten thorough search of the database Medline via the search terms “ overweight and cheap food” .

In addition, more results were further filtered out using “ low-income” . Several terms also were also factored out in the search engine. The feature of the advanced search was used also to ensure only materials found are of research studies. Similar research was also conducted in other databases such as Cochrane Libraries, Pub Med, MeSH, CINAHL, and SCOPUS. The materials found were then scrutinized to ensure there is no duplication of content and ascertain that all were review or research articles.

Some articles retrieved were rejected on the basis of prejudice, insignificance, wrong population, or inadequate conclusions. The selected articles were then reviewed, summaries made and identification of the strengths and limitations was done. Finally, in a general combination of findings was made.                       Due to changing times both technologically and socially, a consensus on the meaning of terms was arrived at before the start of the research. These include the words overweight, poverty, and cheap food. This is in order to distinguish them from other related concepts.

Also, it’ s quite intriguing that there are various diverse kinds and ranks of measurement employed across studies that puzzle the capacity to recognize unambiguous scientific relations between the studies. BMI is a medical procedure or method that indirectly establishes the fat quantity of the body of a normal person.                       The research articles sort used other methods of determining the weights of a person besides BMI, such as trunk fat mass, waist circumference, body fat, and triceps skin-fold thickness (Gundersen, 2009). Also, the definition of the terms low income, overweight and food insecurity were deduced.

Poverty or low income was measured according to government guidelines measures of defining the poverty ratio. Overweight or obesity was for children above the 95th percentile. Food insecurity is the incapacity to find nutritious and healthy food for consumption especially fresh vegetables and fruits.                       Burdete and Whitaker (2004) carried out a study on children from poor families; those that had a low source of revenue, the total number of children surveyed were about 7,200. The area of study was Cincinnati, OH. The study was restricted to children between the ages of 3 to 4 years.

A child with a 95th percentile and above was regarded as overweight. Geographical systems were used to determine how far various food joints that offered fast foods and distance the playgrounds were from every child’ s home residence. The safety of the area children lived, in the 46 city neighborhoods surveyed, was also assessed depending on the number of crimes reported to the police.                       The children under study were in the federal government programs that provided support in terms of food and counseling to low-income mothers.

According to the federal government, support is only available to families with a 1.85 poverty ratio or below. Cincinnati is found in Southwestern Ohio and contains 52 neighborhoods. People enrolled in the federal government support program are 7 million and about 19% of those are children between the ages of 3 to 4years. The method used to determine whether a child is overweight was the calculation of his BMI. Then children who were overweight had a BMI of 95th percentile and above (Burdette & Whitaker, 2004).                       Burdette & Whitaker ( 2004), study concentrated on determining the relation between child weight and three factors; safety of neighborhoods, distance from fast food stores and playground availability.

Playgrounds localities were obtained from the Hamilton County Health Department. Fast food stores were based on whether they had establishments in multiple states, had two or more outlets in Cincinnati, offered to take away meals, and on-site eating facilities. Crimes cases were retrieved from the police database. Analysis of data was then made on the number of overweight and those not overweight depending on their locations if it had public playgrounds and fast food joints.

Various hypotheses were evaluated by the logistic regression method taking the dependent variable as overweight.                       In another research conducted by Olson et al. (2001) to determine the relationship between obesity and food insecurity (that is the incapacity of getting access to healthier and safe food for consumption especially fresh vegetables and fruit).   The research was conducted both in well-off and low-income households. The age range of women in the study was from 20 to 39 years.

The BMI of women from these economic backgrounds was conclusively calculated and results deduced (Olson, 2001).                       Also, Block (2004) undertook a research study to determine the distance of accessing the fast-food joints in neighborhoods that are faced with poverty. The studies show that environs especially those occupied by blacks, and of less income, there is easier reach to fast food joints and were many as compared to wealthy neighborhoods which are mostly occupied by whites.   Also, rich neighborhoods contain many supermarkets and fewer stores selling groceries than poor neighborhoods.

Supermarkets usually have a large stock of healthy food particularly a wide diversity of fresh vegetables and fruits as compare to grocery stores in poor neighborhoods (Block, 2004).                       Most of the research articles used surveys conducted in various localities to determine the extent of the relationship between poverty and obesity. The linear regression methods were used to compute the data and deduce conclusive results which formed the basis of discussion. Questionnaires were also administered to various personnel. The responses were then analyzed and critiqued before arriving at a conclusion. The researches used pre-existing knowledge to build on their findings.


Block, J.P., Scribner, R.A., & DeSalvo, K.B. (2004). Fast food, race/ethnicity, and income: a geographic analysis. American Journal of Preventive Medicine , 27 (3), 211-217.

Brown, S.J. (2012). Evidence based Nursing: The Research-Practice Connection. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett.

Burdette, H.L., & Whitaker, R.C. (2004). Neighborhood playgrounds, fast food restaurants, and crime: relationships to overweight in low-income preschool children. Preventive Medicine , 38, 57-63.

Gundersen, C. , Garasky, S., & Lohman, B.J. (2009). Food insecurity is not associated with childhood obesity as assessed using multiple measures of obesity. Journal of Nutrition , 139, 1173-1178.

Olson, C.M., Alaimo,K., & Frongilo, E.A. (2001). Low family income and food insufficiency in relation to overweight in US children. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine , 155 (10), 1161-1167.

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