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Research into Obesity - AS Research Project

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Sally Yates 26th November 2002 Research Project AS - Unit 2 Section B The area of focus for this study will be health concerns in contemporary society and then more specifically, the issue of being overweight. This is an important area of study because we need to recognise and do something about the growing number of overweight people in the U.K. Now, places called 'Fat Camps' are being set up to help people become a safe weight and to teach them a healthy way of living. I am particularly interested in this area of study because it is becoming commonplace to see overweight people and I would like to find out more about it. I feel that there is not enough information about for us to access. From my reading into this area I have found out that: Overweight means to be above the desired, required or usual weight for your height. 23% of young men and 19% of young women are classed as over weight. 8% of boys and 7% of girls are now classed as obese. Just why is there so much obesity in our society? 25% of adults are not active at all 29% of girls and 44% of boys under the age of 15 do not take part in physical activity lasting 30mins or more outside school. more than 60% of adults don't get the recommended amount of regular exercise. ...read more.


. All this is achieved through a supervised programme of healthy eating, exercise and weight management. This also enables them to be more active and learn more. (Carnegie International Camp, December) A typical day at camp involves a range of activities from basketball to rock climbing and mountain biking, all taught by qualified coaches. As a result of this, the students fitness levels increased by as much as 20%. On average 60-70% of children will continue to manage their weight following the camp. This compares with a 97% failure within three years with other conventional weight loss programmes. They aim to make sport enjoyable and give the children new confidence in their ability to take part. The students are also encouraged to participate in group discussions where issues of body weight are discussed - this then gives them an opportunity to discuss ways of coping with their problem. (Carnegie International Camp, December) Independent research carried out by the University of Leeds, showed improved self-esteem and 70% were worrying less about weight, figure and appearance. Many of the 2002 children hope to attend the camp this summer as well. It has even attracted youngsters from as far away as Jordan, Italy and Saudi Arabia. (Carnegie International Camp, December) From further research I have found out that type 2 diabetes linked with weight problems, which was once commonly associated with middle age is now being seen among young children. I also know that this country cannot afford a future epidemic of type 2 diabetes. ...read more.


Sometimes the children even end up educating the parents. If I was able to carry on my study further I would like to visit the camp and personally encounter how it works. Also I would find it very interesting to carry out a longitudinal study and to talk to some of its previous students and get first hand opinions from them. I do know that at the university they are carrying out further research into the camps effectiveness and I would be very interested to look into it. I would also like to study the US camps way of achieving weight loss and then compare it to the UK's way. From there I could try and find if just one weight loss camp in the UK is satisfactory, and maybe, if others were needed, where in the country they would be best situated. I do realise that the subject is a very delicate one, however as a result of not discussing it there are far worse repercussions. If something is not done then these same children will appear again with heart disease and diabetes in 30 years time. I don't expect these overweight children to suddenly change into svelte figures but I do think they need help to understand how this excess of weight is harming them. Gately explains that "if a child really enjoys playing basketball and plays it for the next 20 years, that might keep the weight off them. ...read more.

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