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Essay Samples > Research > Healthy Eating Habits in Preschoolers
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Healthy Eating Habits in Preschoolers

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The purpose of the study was to promote healthy eating habits among pre-school children aged from 3 to 5, through the design of an inclusive system featuring parent and child. The process flow involves parent awareness and then child motivation. The research takes a combinatory approach using both primary and secondary research methods. Primary research takes the form of interviews and questionnaires. Secondary research is from books and journals focusing on healthy diet. The paper fails to detail any structured research questions or hypotheses to aid in the research.

Literature Review

The thesis reviews the current health issues including obesity prevalence and definition of balanced diet, the role of physical exercise is highlighted. In addition, it uses documentary evidence to show how parent reliance on high sugar, high fat fast foods has led to rise of obesity case. The study also noted, from research done previously, that children’s average food intake was low on nutrients and fiber, and high on fried food.

A notable shortcoming with this review was its reliance on information that was not updated (as early as year 2001 to 2005), especially on a subject matter as dynamic as health awareness in which current consumer education trends may have significantly raised health diet awareness. Significant research done in the same year as the thesis (2008) might have led to a more realistic subject outlook. The paper looks at current methods that promote proper diet including in websites, gardening and other products, the most recent citation for which was in 2003.

Design Exploration

The thesis establishes this chapter in which the author lays down a platform for design of a diet handbook incorporating parent and child roles in promoting healthy diet. The creation of this chapter is a deviation from standard research layout in which it should be incorporated into the research methodology. The exploration suggests development of a product which integrates plate systems, books, gardening, software and games in a systematic  process flow which aids the child in being aware of what to eat, when and how much.

Stationery design is for appetite boost, gardening is for health diet awareness, while games and software are for motivation during meals. The section is well structured, and in line with the author’s field of industrial design. The computer aided, multi-color schemed diet selection module in which a child may select his/her own combination of health foods is creative and could be effective. The system, however, fails to put checks against repeated diet choices, which a minor might do owing to preferential eating habits. The research uses a good vocabulary of pictorial aids to proper diet, especially in line with its intended population- pre-school children.

Research Methodology

The author discusses the aims of the research in paragraph one, which is necessitated by the lack of a research aims and objectives, research questions, and rationale section. Problem statement is also lacking, which affects the general logic flow during the research. The methodology section, however, lays down a detailed combinatorial approach including primary and secondary data methods. The primary data includes six parents of ages from 20 to 40 and working, five married and one single, of diverse education levels and with varying number of children. The author shows remarkable selection diversity, but fails to explain the sampling criteria and how a sample of six would represent all parents’ population. In addition, the research fails to incorporate male parents.

Analysis

In this section, the author explores the various responses from parents, care takers and children, and then classifies the outcomes in a structure which will aid in the design implementation. The attached questionnaires sufficiently collect relevant data for the intended purpose. A major weakness, though, is the lack of express evidence from the primary data in the conclusions the author makes. In particular, quantitative as well as qualitative primary data through support items such as charts, graphs, coding among other items is totally missing. This weakens the primary research done.

Discussions and Conclusion

In this section the author discusses the study findings. In it the author mentions the general trends that parent-child diet practices are showing, and then inputs the relevance of the process design that the research suggests in transforming the current health versus diet situation. He also reviews the study limitations such as information credibility. The study also suggests a future dimension in this field of research, which improves the research significance. In the conclusion, the author mentions the intended product – the instructional cook book, and emphasizes its functional significance through routine diet practices in improving pre-school age children’s health. The author includes a citation for the instructional cook book in the conclusion, possibly suggesting that the product so designed might have its original thought and design by another source. While research may borrow from and advance other people’s thoughts, it should have been more appropriate if the author mentioned the intended significance of his/her own contributions to the idea in the conclusion part. This would emphasize the originality of research in their work.

Personal Perspective

The article above provides an insightful work into children and diet, an area not usually mentioned in a society where obesity is prevalent among adults. The article may be applicable in the future studies into proper health principles both at a personal perspective and as a scholarly theme.

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