Exploring the effects of interventions to combat childhood obesity: inducing behavioural change in eating habits

Dangerfield, BC and Zainal Abidin, N 2011, Exploring the effects of interventions to combat childhood obesity: inducing behavioural change in eating habits , in: International Conference on Operations Research & Statistics, 7-8 April, 2011, Penang, Malaysia..

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The prevalence of English child obesity has increased especially in the 1990’s. Due to the many negative impacts of obesity, such as the cost and health consequences, an urgent solution is needed to reverse current trends. This study focuses on behavioral changes looking at improvements in eating behavior. It is easier and sound logically to attempt changes in behavior compared to environmental changes which can be a costly and complicated process. Most of obesity research concerned with interventions is normally conducted in a real-life setting and using randomized controlled trials, but this demands time and cost. Due to these constraints, it is important to embrace other appropriate methods and computer simulation is one which offers considerable potential. This study highlights the capability of system dynamics simulation modeling to evaluate obesity interventions looking at reversing the trends of weight, body mass index and the prevalence of obesity in children. Obesity is a complex problem in the real-life context. System dynamics has the capability to assess non-linear dynamic systems, which involve time delays and feedback processes and much useful information can be gleaned from a single analytical environment. Output runs from the modelling show that an increase in energy intake from food consumption is the main reason behind the increases in weight, body mass index and prevalence of obesity in a sample of English boys aged 11 to 15 years. Reducing the amount of energy derived from food consumption is a high leverage solution to the obesity problem.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Themes: Health and Wellbeing
Schools: Schools > Salford Business School > Salford Business School Research Centre
Journal or Publication Title: Proceedings of the International Conference on Operations Research & Statistics
Publisher: Global Science and Technology Forum
Refereed: Yes
Depositing User: BC Dangerfield
Date Deposited: 20 Oct 2011 14:33
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2022 13:06
URI: https://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/18564

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