Obesity in Female Health Workers

Senior (College 4th year) ・Healthcare&Medicine ・APA ・3 Sources

One of the primary issues in selecting how to perform epidemiology research is to begin by determining the best design of study for obtaining the provided aims and goals of the suggested research question (Carneiro, 2011).Picking the appropriate plan of survey is the most significant approach to follow in selecting the methodology of a particular research study. This action is critical to the method in which the investigation will be carried out, mainly choosing the sample and conducting data analysis. The retrospective cohort design study was selected as the appropriate study design to a get an in-depth analysis of whether women in the healthcare sector are at a higher risk of becoming obese compared to women in other working areas.

Why Retrospective Cohort Study is Appropriate

In the retrospective study design, the researcher begins the survey when follow-up is ready to complete. Based on the research question, existing data would be obtained from health statistics of the selected population acquired through a cross-sectional study in the survey to monitor the health status of employees in the health sector and other sectors. Retrospectively, female health workers and others professionals who are not female health workers are recognized, a cohort is formed, and exposures are examined at the starting point. Later, the subsequent occurrence of disease is studied at the time of historical observation. The retrospective cohort study design is appropriate due to its efficiency. Unlike prospective cohort studies, retrospective cohort studies spend less time and are not costly. The study design is particularly suitable in researching vulnerabilities where randomization is impossible due to ethical or practical reasons (Null, 2012). 

Identifying Patterns, Causes, and Effects of Obesity among Female Heath Workers

Information used in this study is often already collected for other uses. A specified sample of female health workers and another sample of non-female health workers are identified. The researcher then calculates several variables that can contribute to the development of obesity for the two groups (Null, 2012). After some period, the sampled population is observed to notice whether they became obese, in a single retrospective cohort survey, those individuals who fail to develop obesity act as internal controls. In the use of two cohorts, one category has received exposure to or has received medical intervention, and the second type has not, hence becoming the external control. Retrospective follow-ups are done on the cohorts. The period of study may take many years. However, the session to finalize the review only lasts the time it takes to gather data and perform the analysis. The retrospective study design has its limitations. The fact that the cohort was initially formed for other uses implies the likelihood of missing out some relevant information. The principal disadvantage is the lack of ability to control all other aspects which might be different between the two categories (Null, 2012). These elements are called confounding factors.

Appropriate Measure of Association in Retrospective Study Design

In the retrospective cohort study, the Relative Risk (RR) would be the proper measure of association between exposure and obesity (Null, 2012). The RR is applied in comparing risks among different groups. It is also defined as the possibility that an individual from an exposed category will develop obesity relative to the potential that an individual from an unexposed type will also develop obesity. Therefore, RR is the measure of the relationship strength between the exposure risk and the result, which an individual from an exposed category will become obese. In this particular study, the results will be obtained from first, from the female health workers and second, from non-female health workers. The results will determine if female health workers have a higher risk of becoming obese than those from other professions.

The Possible Interventions for Managing Obesity among Female Health Workers

Female workers in healthcare have a high widespread of obesity and overweight due to the sedentary nature of their work. Efficient initiatives for prolonged management of weight are required (Diet, physical exercise and cognitive behavioral training as a combined workplace based intervention to reduce body weight and increase physical capacity in health care workers - a randomized controlled trial., 2011). Individuals not in the workforce are likely to be unhealthier than the working population. Nevertheless, in a preventive notion and due to the functional clustering of issues related to health, places of work may be a suitable avenue for prevention of obesity. Interventions for obesity prevention and treatment can be categorized into primary, secondary and tertiary measures. Primary prevention measures assist in averting the development of obesity. They include activities such as the introduction of sporting facilities, offering cooking classes and changes in menus and decrease in television watching. Secondary primary measures try to diagnose and provide care for existing case of obesity in is initial stages. Both primary and secondary prevention measures focus on health promotion, environment-patient education and the model of bio-psycho-social. Tertiary prevention measures are aimed to minimize the adverse effect of existing obesity (Gadkari & Coveney (2014). These preventive strategies involve providing strong medication alongside an increase in vegetable and fruit consumption considering labels of the density of calories in food from fast food restaurants.

Employers in the health sector should find ways to increase physical exercise among their workers. Examples of such activities include talking short breaks to walk around the facility and reconstructing offices to discourage sedentary working positions such as placing printers far from computers, introducing treadmill style desks and introducing standing workstations. Additionally, employees should be trained to acknowledge that consumption of healthy and high-quality drinks and food and less sugar may adequately assist in maintaining weight (Diet, physical exercise and cognitive behavioral training as a combined workplace based intervention to reduce body weight and increase physical capacity in health care workers - a randomized controlled trial., 2011).


Carneiro, I., & Howard, N. (2011). Introduction to epidemiology. Maidenhead, Berkshire: Open University Press.

Diet, physical exercise and cognitive behavioral training as a combined workplace based intervention to reduce body weight and increase physical capacity in health care workers - a randomized controlled trial. (2011).

Null, K. (2012). Development and comparative predictive validity of an outpatient medication exposure measure for risk adjustment using retrospective claims data.

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