The effect of Obesity and Overweight on society levels and Australia’s economy
Even the majority of the authors had mentioned that obesity and overweight are significant health issues among Australians. It is obvious that the influence of obesity in developed countries including Australia is not only on individual level but it may also be badly influential on the society level. The most important aspects affected by the incidence of obesity and overweight are the Australian workforce. According to Australian institute and health and welfare (2005), obesity and overweight are one of the main issues that can reduce trends in the productivity of Australian workforce. It can be seen that obese and overweight workers are one of the key factors to the declined workforce productivity in Australian community. The reason behind this is both work non-attendance and the limitation capability to perform efficiently.
Another part is unnoticed in the early topics is increasing trends of obesity and overweight could influence the Australian’s economy. Despite the amount of Australian’s treasury spent on health care sector was quite enough, this value might limit by reducing the prevalence of obesity and overweight among societies (Reidpath et al 2002). The same authors point out that the greatest amount of dollars spent on health care is accounted for offering primary and incessant medication to obese citizens. To illustrate this point, Segal L at el (1994) demonstrated that more than 86% of the entire health care expenses are consumed straight on treating serious illnesses in Australia caused by obesity and overweight. Therefore, it can be clearly understood that obesity and overweight are major factors that may lead to harmful impacts on the Australian society in particular, the economy. Therefore, an urgent action toward this matter has to be performed via the Australian government.
Although obesity and overweight are a significant health issues on individual health in global, many developed countries includes Australia suffer from the effect of obesity and overweight on their societies and the economy. Australia is classified as a country with high incidence of obesity and overweight leading to harmful impact on both society and the economy. Low productivity of workforce, which results from obese citizens, might be one of the difficulties facing Australian’s economy.
According to Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2005), 17% of obese employees were more likely to be absent in work than non-obese employees because of injuries or personal illness. To illustrate the effect of obesity on society levels and Australians’ economy, a significant statistics shows that more than 4 million days of workforce productivity were lost due to obesity epidemic (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2005).
The major aim of the research:
The research intends to demonstrate the potential effects of obesity and overweight on Australia’s economy in order to find effective solutions to reduce the incidence of obesity and overweight among Australians. The objective of this research is to investigate the effect of obesity and overweight on Australia’s economy that lead to examine loss of productivity due to obesity.
Major Finding in the Literature:
Obesity and overweight are mentioned in the available literature as a significant health issues on individual health in terms of causes and consequences of obesity. Australia is classified as a country with high incidence of obesity and overweight leading to the possibility of increase in the risk of developing severe chronic diseases. Some example of chronic clinical conditions that can arise as a result of diabetes include cancer, osteoarthritis, gall stones, liver failure among others (Royal College of Physicians of London, 2004). Moreover, the majority of authors have established a solid relationship between obesity epidemic and individual’s health. However, the effect of obesity and overweight on the productivity of the workforce and the economy was disappearing in their arguments.
In Australia, obesity and overweight are significant issues not only on individual health, but also Australian’s society as well as the economy have affected due to obesity and overweight. As a result, the productivity of Australian workforce as well as the treasury are main elements have affected by obesity. Therefore, this research will estimate the effect of obesity and overweight on Australia’s economy. The results of this research will enable to examine the loss of productivity that results from obesity.
Objectives of the study: to clarify major causes, of obesity and overweight, to examine loss of productivity due to obesity, to estimate the cost of obesity on the economy.
This section deals with research design, description of target population, description of the sample and sampling procedures, research instruments, data collection procedures and data analysis procedures.
William G (2003) defines research design as the scheme, outline or plan that is used to generate answers to research problem. It can also be defined as the master plan specifying the methods and procedures for collecting and analyzing the needed information. The researcher will use descriptive research design to identify the effects that obesity and over weight has on social levels and also on the Australia’s economy. According to Isaac and Michael (1981), descriptive research is important because it helps a researcher to systematically, factually and correctly describe, the characteristics and the effects, of an existing phenomenon.
Allan & Emma (2003) define population as basically, the universe of units from which the sample is to be selected. ‘Units’ is employed because it is not necessarily people alone who are sampled. It can also be defined as the entire group of people, events, or things of interest that the researcher wishes to investigate. The study will be carried out among the different social societies and economic fields in Australia. In carrying out this research, the researcher will use a target population of 200 respondents. The target population will be composed of the economic analysts, the government officials, nutritionists, doctors and the public composed of children, adolescents and adults.
Description of the Sample and Sampling Procedures
Sekeran and Bougie (2009) describes sample as a subset of the population. It comprises of some members selected from it.ie some of the elements of the population form the sample. Also is defined as a segment of the population selected for investigation. In this study, the research will use stratified sampling method where the population will be divided into strata from various geographical locations in Australia.
The researcher will however conduct the research from a smaller sample size of 80 respondents. The researcher will use a sample of the total population and it will be made up of 4 government officials from the ministry of health, 7 nutritionists, 10 doctors, and the remaining 59 respondents will come from the general public involving 20 adults, 25 adolescents and 15 children. Nutritionists in the research will give highlights on how to ensure good eating habits while the general public will be able to give a highlight on the types of food consumed most especially the adolescents who report high cases of obesity in Australia.
Sources of data
The researcher will obtain relevant information from both primary and secondary data sources. Primary data refers to the raw data that is collected by the researcher directly from the researcher’s own observations and experiences. Primary data provide in first hand testimony or information on the topic under investigation. Secondary data refers to data that has already been collected and published. Secondary data sources also refer to materials that digest, analyze, evaluate and interpret information contained within primary sources or other secondary sources. Secondary data is mainly obtained from journals, periodicals, press releases, magazines and published research papers.
Data collection instruments
The main data collection tool in this study will be questionnaire. The study will use both open and closed questions, this is because open questions will give answers which will enable the researcher explore new areas or areas which the researcher has limited knowledge.
A questionnaire is a pre-formulated written set of questions to which respondents record their answers, usually within rather closely defined alternatives. The researcher will also use an interview guide as a data collection tool. An interview guide is a set of questions prepared by the researcher through which the researcher is able to obtain relevant and accurate information from a respondent in certain positions. The interview guide in this research will be administered to the government officials. The data collection will take 150 days from Monday March 19, 2012 to Friday October 12, 2012.
Ethical issues involved and how to deal with them
The researcher, while undertaking the study on the effect of obesity and overweight on social levels and Australia’s economy will encounter various ethical issues. The ethical issues will be met mostly when the researcher will be dealing with the obese patients.
One of the most experienced ethical issues in relation to the obese patients is stigmatization. Obese children and adolescents experience various forms of weight-based stigmatization ranging from negative stereotyping, victimization and social marginalization. If faced by this ethical issue, the researcher will need to include these patients to be part of the respondents so as to make sure that they are not left out.
Also, the researcher will be faced with some ethical issues while approaching the government officials. It is unethical for the researcher to just go into their offices since in the government offices protocol is followed. In a way of dealing with this the researcher will be required to book appointments with the officials before the official day of collecting data.
Another ethical issue likely to be encountered by the researcher will be on choosing the sample to fill in the questionnaire. Given the high population size, the researcher will have to select the sample size without any bias to ensure that the study covers all relevant individuals so as to obtain the relevant information needed for the study.
Data processing refers to the process of editing, coding, tabulating and classification of the obtained data. Editing of data is the process that involves the examining of the raw data collected so as to detect error and any omissions made. It involves a careful look at the questionnaires and interview guides. Editing is done to ensure that the data is accurate and that is consistent with the available facts. According to Lockyer (2004), data coding refers to the systematic way in which data is condensed into smaller analyzable units through the creation of categories and concepts derived from the data. It also involves assigning numerals or other symbols to answers so that responses can be put into smaller classes or categories. Coding of data helps in the organization, retrieval and interpretation of data. Data processing will take 150 days from Wednesday March 14, 2012 to Tuesday October 9, 2012.
Classification of data is the process of arranging data in groups or classes depending on their characteristics. It is very important to the researcher. This is because large volume of data is collected and thus it has to be grouped, depending on the characteristics for easier analysis. Classification of data can be done according to the attributes or according to class intervals. In this study classification will be done according to attributes. Tabulation is the last stage of data processing. Tabulation refers to the orderly arrangement of data in rows and columns (Kothari 2008). It can also be described as the process of summarizing raw data and displaying the data in compact form to ease analysis Data analysis
Kothari (2008), define data analysis as the computation of certain measures and along with searching for patterns of relationship existing among data groups. According to Shamoo and Resnik (2003) various analytic procedures provide a way of drawing inductive inferences from data and distinguishing the signal (the phenomenon of interest) from the noise (statistical fluctuations) present in the data. In this study the researcher will analyze the data obtained by use of percentiles. After processing, the data will be represented in tables, graphs and charts. These will help represent the various responses received from the respondents in relation to the questionnaires administered to them. Data analysis will take 30 days and writing the report will take 30days, from Wednesday October 10, 2012 to Tuesday November 20, 2012.
Timeline for the research
This research is a complex study. This is because it is aimed at identifying the effect that obesity and overweight has on the social levels and also on the economy of Australia. The research therefore will cover a large population and thus more time will be needed so as to reach all hose targeted respondents. The researcher, before administering the questionnaire will seek authorization from the various groups of respondents involved. The researcher will thereafter hold brief meeting with the various respondents s as to brief them on what the study is all about and also advice them on how they shall fill in the questionnaire.
After accomplishing all these, questionnaires will be administered to the respondents. The respondents will be given one week to fill in the questionnaire and a specific date will be set when the questionnaires will be collected. Also in order to ensure confidentiality, the questionnaires will be put in sealed envelopes which will be provided by the researcher. This will also ensure safety on the field questionnaires. Timeline for the research will start from Monday October 24, 2011 to Tuesday September 3, 2013.
Stakeholder, Community Participation
The study on the effect of obesity and overweight on the social levels and on the economy of Australia is very complex. This study will therefore involve various individuals in different sectors of the Australian economy and also on the social fronts. The researcher will conduct an extensive consultation with the community members and will also need to engage the community in the research so as to obtain all the relevant data. The researcher will also need to set up meeting with the key respondents where the researcher will consult with them on areas where they are able to provide relevant information. The meetings will also aim at enlighten the respondents about the research and its importance to the researcher.
This research project will be facilitated by a number of key stakeholders. The key stakeholders will include society-based organizations who will give an insight on the effect of obesity in the society. Other key stakeholders will be the children welfare organizations who will contribute on the problems faced by the children and adolescents who are obese. Lastly, the economic analysts will play a big role in explaining hoe obesity and overweight is affecting economic activities in Australia.
Importance of the research
This research will make a very good contribution to the National Health and Medical Research Council, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare and also to the financial body overseeing the economy of Australia. The research will help highlight the various effects that
Obesity and overweight has on the economy of Australia and also on how the two conditions have affected people in different social levels. Through this research, the people involved will be able to get a way forward to reduce the effects. This research aimed at identifying the various effects of obesity and overweight on the economy and the society. Through this research the government and other bodies involved will be able to identify the possible causes of obesity and thus formulate proper strategies to reduce cases of obesity. This will in turn help improve the economy of the country and also among society members discrimination based on weight will be eliminated.
The research will also play a major role in educating the public about the causes of obesity and overweight. It will also enlighten the Australian people on proper eating habits so as to prevent cases of obesity and overweight in the society. This will therefore impact positively to the society and to the economy at large. The results obtained from the research will also ply an important role in helping the economic analysts of the country in determining the costs that are associated with obesity and overweight. Obesity and overweight usually lowers the working capacity of an individual. This is because obese people tend to be very slow and they often want to rest. This therefore has a negative impact on the economy because it lowers the production capacity of an individual thus affecting total production of an economy.
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