Obesity, poverty, and diabetes 2 analysis


  • Introduction

Contemporary American society has specifically countersigned high-tech developments, which have clearly changed the once existed social order. On the contrary, more than 78.6 million Americans still languish under the obesity epidemic. The federal government has worked hard to end the problem by contributing several millions of US dollars to counteract the seemingly increasing social-economic issue facing contemporary society, especially due to ineffective polices and strategies. This paper entails a report analysis on obesity, poverty, poverty, and diabetes 2.

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Studies like the study by Hughes (2011) have indicated a positive relationship between obesity and diabetes 2. Further, Native Americans constituted the largest number of people diagnosed with both obesity and diabetes 2. A dipper analysis of the results indicated that the Hispanics and African Americans constituted up to 70% of all the participants. These two groups are the poor majority in the United States, which further explains the relationship between poverty and the two health conditions; obesity and diabetes 2. In this regard, obesity and diabetes two seem to depend on poverty conditions among individuals while diabetes 2 is on the other hand facilitated by obesity as a health condition.

Obesity and diabetes have been brought out as some of the highly growing health conditions among Americans, although the prevalence of such growing health issues is literarily among the poor communities, which includes mainly the Hispanics and African Americans. Prevalence in obesity among these two communities and other individuals facing the problem of obesity was found to facilitate the acquisition of diabetes 2 (Levine, 2011). Unfortunately, the chain does not stop at this point, since suffering from diabetes 2 contributes to further health problems such as hypertention and blindness. Other problems that could be triggered by diabetes 2 include heart diseases, cancer, depression, immobility, arthritis, and asthma. Essentially, the implication of the study was that poverty, social issues, facilitates obesity, which is a healthy problem. Obesity then triggers the possibility of suffering from diabetes 2, which is also a health problem. Diabetes 2 then contributes to various diseases such as heart diseases, cancer, depression, immobility, arthritis, and asthma.

  • Research Goal

The research focused on the existing relationships between the three variables being studied, which include poverty, obesity, and diabetes. In this regard, the research centred on generating deductions regarding whether obesity and diabetes 2, collectively, depend on poverty as a social problem. In other words, the proposition of these two health conditions to be social problems will be approved or disapproved. Further, the most affected communities were to be established, although previous studies have identified the African Americans and Hispanics to be the most affected. Confirming these assertions would only come out with the right respondents and study tools, and well as meaningful research methods. To achieve the research goal, a pilot had to be incorporated. The pilot study was critical as it gave an insight into the actual study (Teijlingen & Hundley, 2001).

  • Research Significance

The study results would provide a way forward in dealing with health issues like obesity, diabetes 2, and other health problems attributed to diabetes 2. The root cause of the problem could save the United States government a lot of money and enhance the wellbeing of the most susceptible communities in the country (Levine, 2011). This achievement is really sceptical at the moment especially given that obesity alone has been costing the government at least $160 billion in terms of annual therapeutic costs. While the problem keeps on increasing, the medical budget allocation would always be increased owing to the increasing annual medical expenditures in an attempt to medicate the increasing number of obese and diabetic 2 patients according to Levine (2011). The ever-increasing cases of premature deaths that result from obesity, diabetes 2, and the other resulting diseases currently seems to be overlooked, but from this study results’ point of view, a solution could be reached to save the economy from loosing important skills and future generations. The obesity endemic would be the key target and cannot be left up in the air. The study results would help uphold the considerable progress that has already been made in the health sector concerning public health and life expectancy within the past few decades as depicted in Klein et al. (2004). The problem and all the resulting health issues can be contained from the basis of the study results. The results are likely to yield to the formulation of effective health policies.

  • Research Methodology

            This section entails the methods, tools, and techniques used to collect, analyze, and interpret the research data. It brings out the methods used in the pilot study, such as observation and interviews.

  • Qualitative Method

The research was purely qualitative in nature. The same data collection tools, used in the pilot study, were meant to be used in gathering data in the main research. In this regard, observations and interviews used, but much focus was placed on interviews as the best data collection tool in qualitative research (Seidman, 1998). The interview tool was used to collect qualitative data about the composition of foods purchases/consumed by Americans based on the sample population.

  • Data Collection

Data collection was done using interviews. The choice of using an interview as the data collection technique was made because of the qualitative nature of the research (Turner, 2010). Only qualitative data through personal opinions was required. A sample size of 10 people was used in which all the participants took part in the interviews. Each participant in the sample was supposed to provide personal opinions regarding the major causes of the increasing number of obese people in society. The opinions included the common food that people prefer to others and some of the perceived reasons for eating such kinds of food. To bring out the issue of poverty as a key factor investigated, the participants were obese African -Americans and obese Hispanic; both males and females adult participants. The participants included only adult individuals. The consideration of these two groups was based on the existing statistics that portray their poverty level as being worse than other races in the United States. Their social lives including their eating habits are thus highly influenced by their poverty conditions.

  • Interview Questions

The interview was based on nine questions. These questions presented various themes that would later be used to code the interview for data analysis (Given, 2008). The questions included:

  1. What policies on obesity do you perceive as having failed?
  2. Why do you think these policies failed?
  3. What should be the best strategy of handling the obesity problem?
  4. What can be done to encourage healthy eating habits?
  5. What can encourage people to participate in physical activities?
  6. Do you think issuing free vouchers to purchase healthy food by low income people will reduce the rate of obesity and diabetes 2?
  7. Do you think safe recreation parks and development of pedestal roads can motive people to jog, bike and walk to places?
  8. Do you think that investing in community GYMS will give the incentive to exercise in physical activities?
  9. Will an increase in Supermarkets stores in poor communities help to control or reduce the rate of obesity and its associated disease such as diabetes 2?
  • Data Analysis

Data analysis was based on the interview results. The interview was first recorded and later transcribed (Seidman, 1998). The transcribed interview responses were then coded according to the various themes excavated with respect to the themes projected in the interview questions.

  • Findings

The study findings were based on the coded data. A total of 27 themes were portrayed in the interview transcriptions. The key themes as they originally existed in the interview questions included policies on obesity, failed policies, best strategies, participating in physical activities, healthy foods, low-income people, safe recreation parks, associated diseases. These themes contributed to many other subjects considered as themes during the coding process mainly because the participants brought out more important aspects through their responses.

Almost all 10 participants depicted a common perspective regarding all the themes brought out during the interview. Although policies that have failed to adequately meet the expectations of health practitioners, policymakers, and the entire American society were considered a contributing reason for the worsening health situation.


It also comes out that most of the respondents believe most of the American people consume foods rich in fat and calories. Minute fiber is an important constituent in foods, but most of the respondents admitted to the fact that they do not consider its importance when buying meals. Such people also fail to participate in physical exercises often. More importantly, the aspect of zoning laws seems to be meaningless in cafeterias and food outlets within poor neighborhoods. In these poor neighborhoods, African-Americans and Hispanic communities are the majority dwellers.

  • Codebook

The use of codebook is meant to describe the research interview data. Its development is based on the need to ensure a systematic coding of text with regard to the identified themes. The codebook includes the code, brief description, full definition, when the code has to be used, and guidelines on when the code should not be used. The Codebook is presented in the Appendix.


5.0  References

Given, L. M. (2008). The Sage encyclopedia of qualitative research methods. Los Angeles,            Calif: Sage Publications.

Hughes, G. (2011). Ability to manage diabetes – community health workers’ knowledge,    attitudes and beliefs. SEMDSA (Society for Endocrinology, Metabolism and Diabetes of            SA.

Kettel, K. L., & Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S.), National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (U.S.). (2009). Recommended community strategies and measurements to prevent obesity in the United States. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Levine, J. (2011). Poverty and Obesity in the U.S. American Diabetes Association. Retrieved from http://diabetes.diabetesjournals.org/content/60/11/2667.extract#

Ryder, R. G. (1966). A Clerically Simple Procedure for Coding Interview Materials. American     Psychologist, 21(8) , 812-816.

Seidman, I. (1998). Interviewing as qualitative research: A guide for researchers in education and the social sciences. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.

Teijlingen, E. R., & Hundley, V. (2001). The importance of pilot studies. Social research   UPDATE.

Turner, D. W. (2010). Qualitative Interview Design: A Practical Guide for Novice Investigators. The Qualitative Report, 15(3) , 754-760.


  • Appendix

Table 1: The Codebook

Descriptive Codes



Subject: Analysis on Obesity, Poverty, and Diabetes 2

Requestor (Instructor):

Proposed Code Description When to Use When to not use
Policies on obesity Policies in place to avoid obesity problems Review of interview document Non-obesity related issues
Policies desirability Whether policy is acceptable Review of interview document Not concerning the society
Expectations Expectations from health professionals, and communities Review of interview document Past/previous situations
High-Calorie foods Part of food ingredient contributing to obesity Review of interview document Aspects other than food ingredients
Participation in exercise Physical activities done by people Review of interview document When not related to physical activities
Zoning laws Zoning policies governing the sale of foods in food outlets Review of interview document When not related to policies
Poor neighborhood The poverty conditions exhibited by people in the community Review of interview document When not referring to Poverty issues
Nutritionally-unbalanced food Lack of food ingredient balance hence contributing to obesity Review of interview document Aspects other than food ingredients
Low income Total earnings within a family or by an individual Review of interview document Not concerning purchase behavior
High-Priced foods The price levels influencing purchase behavior Review of interview document Not concerning purchase behavior
False advertising Marketing mechanisms to influence purchase behavior Review of interview document Not concerning purchase behavior
Poverty issues The poor living conditions and low income among individuals Review of interview document Not concerning levels of incomes or social issues
Obesity-Diabetes 2 relationship The resulting effects of obesity as being diabetes 2 Review of interview document Other than obesity and diabetes 2
High-carbohydrate foods Part of food ingredient contributing to obesity Review of interview document Aspects other than food ingredients
Shopping behaviors The kind of food in terms ingredients contents purchased from food outlets and supermarkets Review of interview document Aspects other than food ingredients
Consumption behavior The kind of food in terms ingredients contents consumed Review of interview document Aspects other than food ingredients
High-fats content Part of food ingredient contributing to obesity Review of interview document Aspects other than food ingredients
Minute fiber Part of food ingredient for health food Review of interview document Aspects other than food ingredients
Health effects The end results such as obesity, diabetes 2, other related diseases Review of interview document When not related to health effect of poor eating behaviors


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