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The article titled ‘Exploring the Meaning of Excess Child Weight and Health: Shared Viewpoints of Mexican parents of Preschool Children’ addresses obesity in the United States of America. According to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, approximately 65% of adults in the United States of America are either overweight or obese. In addition, the institute estimates that approximately 37% of children aged 6 to 11 years of age and 21% of preschool children aged 3 to 6 years are overweight or obese (Small et al., 2009). This article aims to highlight Mexican immigrant parents’ perception of obesity among preschool children. This will, in turn, lead to the development of acceptable treatment strategies that will help prevent and treat obesity.

Researchers in this study identified the need for a qualitative format of data collection in view of the fact that current research findings did not clearly indicate areas associated with childhood obesity. Therefore, such a state of affairs prompted the researchers to adopt semi-structured open-ended questions in the identified focus group. Such actions would help the researchers identify exactly what the Mexican parents felt about their children being overweight. The study’s main purpose was to better understand the parental perceptions of obesity or being overweight. In addition, the researchers hoped that the series of questions would help reveal how the parents felt about having an overweight child and what that meant culturally.

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The researchers’ null hypothesis was that Mexican parents did not believe that their children’s excess weight was a problem. While conducting the study, the researchers collected information from a selected focus group by asking open-ended questions. A separate group of individuals then transcribed the recorded conversations into one document in order to ensure that the final verbatim transcription included all the conversations recorded during the study. This qualitative method of data collection was chosen because it would allow the researchers fill the information gaps that previous studies did not identify. The data was examined using qualitative research methods; thus, general start-up codes were used in a color-coded verbatim transcript. Similar responses from parents prompted the researchers to create a more refined coding system that identified the themes in the data after which six major patterns were identified. After all the data had been analyzed, a group member was tasked to verify the representativeness, accuracy and the cultural appropriateness of the data collected (Small et al., 2009).  It is important to note that the researchers did not describe data saturation. However, the final conclusions and discussions remain true to the data collected during the study.

Overweight and obesity appear to be a real problem in many American families. It must be noted that initial studies concluded that Mexican parents thought of being overweight as a sign of good health. On the other hand, the study conclusively refutes this information. We now know that Mexican parents are aware of the risks being overweight poses to their children’s health; such knowledge and awareness will then allow the relevant authorities formulate culturally appropriate and acceptable treatment and preventive measures. 

I would like to ask the researchers whether or not other factors contributed to the parents’ belief in the fact obesity was unhealthy. This would help me better understand whether or not my research would be relevant. If I were to conduct a similar study, my independent variable would be the parents’ disbelief in children’s obesity. The dependent variable would be the parent’s socioeconomic status and level of education. I would expect to find that the parents believe that their children’s health is affected by excess weight. 

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