Childhood Obesity Research: Data Analysis

This paper covers the analysis of data, the reliability and validity of findings, and statistical tests used in healthcare research. In total, five studies are examined: one qualitative, two quantitative, and two with the mixed-method design. For each source, the type of study and statistical tests are indicated, and their applicability is explained. At the end of the paper, a summary of findings is given.

Relationship of milk intake and physical activity to abdominal obesity among adolescents

The first article under consideration is a quantitative study by Abreu et al. (2012). In their research, the authors analyzed the relationship between milk intake and physical activity of adolescents to their abdominal obesity. The statistical test employed by scholars included the division of the participants into four groups, depending on their physical activity (active or low active) and milk intake (high or low). Four groups were as follows:

  1. low milk intake/low active,
  2. low milk intake/active,
  3. high milk intake/low active,
  4. high milk intake/active (Abreu et al., 2012).

The authors used the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test to evaluate the assumption of normality. Also, the one-way analysis of variance was performed with the help of Bonferroni post hoc test. With the help of the latter, continuous variables were compared. The chi-square test was employed to assess categorical variables across the four groups (Abreu et al., 2012). Further, the Kruskal-Wallis test was applied to establish the divergences between groups.

With the help of the Mann-Whitney test, unique pairs were identified. The article employed parametric tests because it was crucial for the authors to identify age- and weight-specific parameters of the participants. The reliability and validity of the source are justified by a large number of participants and a variety of statistical approaches to the assessment.

Parental views on identifying the future risk of childhood overweight and obesity during infancy

The second study under consideration is qualitative research by Bentley, Swift, Cook, and Redshell (2017). In this source, parental views on identifying the future risk of childhood overweight and obesity during infancy were investigated. Since the type of the study was qualitative, no statistical tests were employed by scholars. However, Bentley et al. (2017) used the qualitative data analysis computer software package to assess the results of the interviews collected in the course of the study.

In particular, interviews taken from infants’ parents were recorded with the help of audio equipment, transcribed verbatim, and entered into QSR NVIVO Version 10 (Sage Publications Software) (Bentley et al., 2017). Further, the inductive, interpretative thematic analysis was performed. The study exploited parametric tests since, unlike nonparametric ones, they allow investigating the features of the target population related to the identified healthcare issue. Parental parameters taken into consideration included gender, age, employment status, ethnicity, education level, smoking status, and height and weight. Infants’ parameters involved gender, age, breastfeeding status, and birth weight (Bentley et al., 2017). The study lacks validity and reliability due to a small sample.

Community readiness for adolescents’ overweight and obesity prevention is low in urban South Africa

The third article under consideration is a mixed-method study by Pradeilles, Rousham, Norris, Kesten, and Griffiths (2016). The scholars employed non-parametric tests, which meant that participants’ parameters such as age, weight, and other issues were not crucial for consideration. The selection of a non-parametric approach was explained by the qualitative component of the mixed-method design. The scholars did not aim to examine the children suffering from obesity. Instead, they wanted to evaluate the impact of religious leaders on the community’s readiness for adolescents’ obesity prevention (Pradeilles et al., 2016).

The authors employed descriptive statistics to assess sociodemographic characteristics with the help of IBM SPSS (version 19) (Pradeilles et al., 2016). The surveys employed in the study were scored in accordance with the CRM protocol. Upon scoring, the median score for each dimension was evaluated. Then, a score for each Church was calculated as the “sum of average scores for each dimension divided by the number of dimensions” (Pradeilles et al., 2016, para. 13). The final stage involved the calculation of community readiness for all churches. The study’s validity and reliability are relatively low because of a small sample.

Overweight and obesity among children who are deaf

The fourth article under analysis is a mixed-method study by Stough, Cordts, Delaney, and Davis (2016). The quantitative component of research involved such a statistical tool as ANOVA. With the help of several variance analyses performed with ANOVA, scholars aimed to identify whether child demographics or residential living status were associated with BMI z-score (Stough et al., 2016).

Such a statistical measure was selected because of its reliability and the possibility to assess different factors related to the study population. The tests exploited by Stough et al. (2016) were parametric, which meant that they incorporated a variety of personal characteristics pertaining to the study group. In particular, the children’s age, gender, state of residence, and ethnicity were taken into consideration. The rationale behind such a choice was justified by the need to investigate the differences in BMI in children coming from various backgrounds and living in various conditions. The study may be regarded as highly reliable and valid due to a large number of participants and the use of statistical calculations.

Dietary intake, leisure time activities and obesity among adolescents in Western Sweden

The fifth article under consideration is a quantitative study by Winkvist et al. (2016). Parametric tests were employed by the scholars to increase the reliability of data concerned with the participants’ leisure time activities and dietary intake as related to obesity. Such parameters as gender, height, and weight were taken into account. Also, the children’s age was one of the parameters, but it was the same for all of them: they were 15 years old (Winkvist et al., 2016).

The statistical tool employed by the authors was the Chi-square test. The use of that tool, as well as a large number of participants, provided the high reliability and validity of results. With the help of the Chi-square test, Winkvist et al. (2016) compared the categorical variables of dietary intake and lifestyle characteristics of male and female participants. For continuous variables, the independent sample t-test was used. Bivariate regression analyses were employed for the assessment of overweight and obesity predictors. The statistical analyses were performed using “SAS, version 9.2, by SAS Institute Inc., Cary, NC, USA” (Winkvist et al., 2016, para. 13).


The analysis of the studies allows concluding that statistical tools employed by the authors can be applied within the context of the selected healthcare issue. Each of the articles is related to the problem of childhood obesity. Some of scholarly papers employ non-parametric tests, but the majority of them use parametric ones. It seems that for the selected health problem, parametric tests are more useful since they enable investigating the relationships between children’s and adolescents’ age and gender and their disposition to obesity.


Abreu, S., Santos, R. Moreira, C., Santos, P. C., Vale, S., Soares-Miranda, L., … Moreira, P. (2012). Relationship of milk intake and physical activity to abdominal obesity among adolescents. Pediatric Obesity, 9(1), 71-80. Web.

Bentley, F., Swift, J. A., Cook, R., & Redshell, S. A. (2017). “I would rather be told than not know” ─ A qualitative study exploring parental views on identifying the future risk of childhood overweight and obesity during infancy. BMC Public Health, 17(1). Web.

Pradeilles, R., Rousham, E. K., Norris, S. A., Kesten, J. M., & Griffiths, P. L. (2016). Community readiness for adolescents’ overweight and obesity prevention is low in urban South Africa: A case study. BMC Public Health, 16(1). Web.

Stough, C. O., Cordts, K. P., Delaney, M., & Davis, A. (2016). Overweight and obesity among children who are deaf: Quantitative and qualitative findings. Children’s Health Care, 45(1), 109-125. Web.

Winkvist, A., Hultén, B., Kim, J.-L., Johansson, I., Torén, K., Brisman, J., & Forslund, H. B. (2016). Dietary intake, leisure time activities and obesity among adolescents in Western Sweden: A cross-sectional study. Nutrition Journal, 15(1). Web.