The following presents an analysis of previous research conducted about healthy living interventions and their effectiveness in changing exercise and eating habits of individuals or reducing the prevalence of obesity within a community. Previous research shows that while nutrition focused programs have only been implemented in large populations, these interventions are associated with reduced rates of obese adults (Roos, Lean, & Anderson, 2002; Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2010). Furthermore, exercise based interventions are considered highly effective for inducing weight loss in obese individuals (Anderson et al., 2001; Shaw et al., 2009). However, no studies compared the effectiveness of nutritional only programs with exercise focused interventions. This proposed study may help to provide evidence so that leaders and healthcare professionals can choose appropriate programs for a population.
What else remains to be known
This study proposes to evaluate the effectiveness of a healthy cooking and eating program when compared with a community based exercise group in terms of reducing obesity. The lack of substantial research relating to cooking education and paucity of studies comparing culinary and exercise interventions shows that the proposed study will fill a gap in existing literature. Furthermore, health professionals need to know which community based interventions are most effective to combat the rising rate of adult overweight and obesity. As Economos & Irish-Hauser (2007) stated, “to date, few research-based community interventions have addressed obesity, despite the need for this work emphasized in the literature” (p. 136). With this research, more information will be available to public health officials and nurses about how to best treat obesity and overweight in a community setting.
Interest to nursing
The obesity epidemic is calling nurses into action, due to the ability of nurses to use the art and science of nursing to promote healthy lifestyles and reduce the rates of obesity in America. Nurses are uniquely suited for working within the community, as health promotion is a fundamental aspect of nursing care (Truglio-Londrigan & Lewenson, 2010). With the rising medical costs of obesity reaching almost $150 billion, there is an urgency to prevent this public health crisis from growing (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Lean Works!, 2010). Interventions such as this proposed study are necessary to improve the health outcomes of this nation and as over 30% of American adults are considered to be obese, action should be undertaken now (Flegal, Carroll, Ogden, & Curtin, 2010).
Furthermore, nurses must implement therapeutic interventions to alter lifestyles, as those affected by obesity need compassionate and effective care. As the obesity epidemic has grown, so too have the experiences of “obese” people become more influential on nursing practice. Thomas, Hyde, Karunaratne, Herbert, &...