In experimental-based research, we manipulate the causal or independent variables in a relatively controlled environment. But NO ONE has PROVEN that smoking CAUSES cancer. This project has received funding from the, Select from one of the other courses available, Creative Commons-License Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0), Experimental Research - A Guide to Scientific Experiments, Confounding Variables / Third Variables - Common pitfalls in research, Internal Validity - The Confidence in the Cause-Effect Relationship, Pretest-Posttest Designs - Experimental Research, Quantitative Research Design - Proving Cause and Effect, European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. Quite simply, there are an awful lot of people who would like to write obesity off as a paucity of character, and who don't understand enough to make the claims that they do. You must begin early and work efficiently at selecting a topic, gathering data, preparing an outline, writing a rough draft and preparing a … The Experimental MethodConditions to Establish Cause and Effect1. There are multiple explanations for these differences that have nothing to do with weight itself. In this range, estimates of attributable fractions, and thus numbers of deaths, are very sensitive to minor changes in relative risk estimates. It will be interesting to see if similar correlations exist with other diseases associated with obesity, such as cancer and heart disease.". This is a big assumption and is not supported by these studies. I mean obesity has been linked to many of these diseases for years, yet it is increasing. I am not naive enough to claim that everyone just needed to "exercise self-control", all of that is strongly mediated by hormones which do become dysregulated after a time eating an unhealthy diet, this is been demonstrated by researchers time and time again, the so-call "yo-yo effect", it is because the body defends a particular fat mass depending upon hormonal and neurotransmitter signaling. But again, I assert all of this is moot because even if we concede that weight causes these premature death rates, we do not know why all people get fat and we do not know how to help them lose weight for long term. The researcher decides where the experiment will take place, at what time, with which participants, in what circumstances and using a standardized procedure. It's about singling out a group of people and saying to them, you don't belong, or at the very least, you are too childlike to be considered part of the adult world. I have mixed feeling about this whole issue. This is the key fact here. The publication presents a collection of ten articles highlighting new findings related to obesity in older persons. Don't have time for it all now? The response is "how can that hurt you? 3. These social effects are extremely difficult to minimize without creating other threats to internal validity. First, the way in which obesity is defined in children changed drastically in the 1990s. Without going into too much detail, the only way to reduce the influence of multiple group threats is through randomization, matched pairs designs or another assignment type. "Obesity Raises Breast Cancer Survivors' Risk of Dying of the Cancer, Study Finds Or perhaps you are teaching composition, and you are looking for ways to deepen your students' critical analysis of important topics? When in time was the weight a factor? So I'll leave a short comment. Why use BMI as a measuring stick when we have $35 blood pressure cups (or free stations in most pharmacies), $50 blood sugar testing kits and other relatively cheap tests to monitor metabolic health? One of the biggest threats to internal validity through incorrect application of cause and effect is the 'history' threat. Psychologists look to identify the "effect" one variable has on other variables...does one variable "cause" other variables to change. Living Well And that is the third contention. "Overweight More Harmful to the Liver Than Alcohol in Middle-Aged Men, Swedish Study Reveals But the money, time and personal investment in weight loss has led to distortions. Vitamin and mineral status, tissue highly unsaturated fatty acid status, sugar intake, trans fats, stress, alcohol intake exercise, infections, paucity of beneficial but non-essential biochemicals, etc, etc. Results improve, and they proclaim that their program works. All of society pays for the obesity of the obese. In an experiment, the researcher manipulates the independent variable and watches for consequent changes in the dependent variable. causation: The act by which an effect is produced; in psychological research, the assumption that one variable leads to another. I guess it shouldn't surprise me. A considerable amount of psychological research uses the experimental method. I know of no one in HAES who denies that correlations between weight and certain medical conditions exist. I would disagree -- I think that if we ask the questions we are supposed to ask when reviewing research, then we can learn more not less. The research was undertaken by Asnawi Abdullah, Rory Wolfe, Johannes Stoelwinder, Christopher Stevenson, Helen Walls and Anna Peeters from Monash University and Maximilian de Courten from the University of Copenhagen". In short, smoking may have similar correlations to weight with health conditions, but a whole body of research is missing that demonstrates weigtht loss improves health the way that quitting smoking improves health. By their own system of measurement, kids are no longer getting fatter. People who smoke do not get cancer. Gut-level emotional responses can even be useful, if they lead to real critique and questioning instead of knee jerk responses. *People with higher BMIs are more likely to have weight cycled (the study accounted for length of time at particular BMI, but not long term diet/weight history). Unfortunately, science has not been able to distinguish a cause and effect relationship for many diseases so we instead try to identify risk factors. Explore issues that may no… Think about it this way: in an experiment to study the effects of depression upon alcohol consumption, researchers find that people who suffer from higher levels of depression drink more, and announce that this correlation shows that depression drives people to drink. The purpose in research for making strong cases for causation is obviously to create effective solutions to real problems. But again, even if we concede that lowering BMI is helpful, then what is wrong with the HAES approach? This means you're free to copy, share and adapt any parts (or all) of the text in the article, as long as you give appropriate credit and provide a link/reference to this page. But the bottom line is this -- fat people are part of the population and in the same way that population statistics include poor people and minorities and seniors and sick people who "bring down" numbers and "add costs" you can't arbitrarily pull out a group of people and announce they are the problem. On a graph, a negative correlation will have a negative slope. You are free to copy, share and adapt any text in the article, as long as you give. Are there more primary causes that explain the relationship? I have lost little weight and was told that my health would not improve until I lost substantial weight. The research should establish a notable cause and effect. In fact, much of what we think we know comes from epidemiological studies that says X population eats lots of Y therefore it must cause and/or prevent Z. And, btw, don't you think the cost of health care would be reduced significantly if every time an insured fat person went to the doctor their symptoms were ignore, they were given pills they don't need to lose weight and they are encouraged to have expensive surgeries that don't work or require multiple additional surgeries? I'm encouraged by the number of younger people who are not dieting and I hope someday the trigger of the word "diet" and discussions of different regimens will not be so emotionally charged. 2. Confounding Data Interpretation: Many of the comorbidities correlated with weight can be explained by other factors and/or other factors have not been considered or ruled out in the studies. Were they arrived at with good data? How Narcissists Keep Their Mates From Leaving or Cheating, Psychology Today © 2020 Sussex Publishers, LLC, How to Say “Thank You” for Maximum Effect, Please get a little more knowledge about obesity, This is a tricky issue that requires looking at it from many angles, RE: This is a tricky issue that requires looking at it from many angles. ScienceDaily (May 16, 2007) — Having a body mass index (BMI) in the overweight or obese range increases the risk of traumatic workplace injury, according to researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Center for Injury Research and Policy. Industrial Relations See Also: ScienceDaily (July 14, 2010) — Men who enter adult life obese face a life-long doubling of the risk of dying prematurely, new research has found.". If we have controlled our experiment we should be able to show that it was the coffee that was responsible for the faster reaction times. "Obesity Now Poses as Great a Threat to Quality of Life as Smoking But people are people no matter how good or bad they are. is a report that outlines some of these issues. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. Body mass index Science is slow and inexact and people don't like that. Well said and worth a lot more than 25 cents. Inevitably in discussions about the war on obesity, both sides start quoting studies. ScienceDaily (Dec. 2, 2010) — A study looking at deaths from any cause found that a body mass index (BMI) between 20.0 and 24.9 is associated with the lowest risk of death in healthy non-smoking adults. The reason, they suggest is that there are pathways common to obesity yet unrelated to insulin resistance and pathways that lead to insulin resistance for a similar degree of obesity. Also, the redefinition of baselines and standards has had a lot to do with the belief that children are getting fatter and suffering more. Correlation is not causation --yup that's true. But the truth is there are so many factors that affect health and most health issues are progressive and don't occur at one point in time. "We need a better understanding of the causes and consequences of obesity in older individuals -- especially when obesity is associated with sarcopenia.". Organisation of the essay body can be in different ways. It certainly seems plausible that as inflation increases, more employers find that in order to meet costs they have to lay off employees. It's bigotry wrapped up in pretty clothing. This analysis was restricted to non-Hispanic whites aged 19 to 84. High fructose corn syrup This does not have to be restricted to 'hard' science, because political researchers are the worst habitual offenders. People may have a civil right to kill themselves or damage their health. Obesity These two facts weakens the otherwise strong case for cause and effect. "Americans are getting fatter." I have a love/hate relationship with Yale's center. Obesity kills: that's what the data shows. It all evens out in the end, you know. The world of information would be a lot better off if people thought before they spoke (especially on the web). But I think that in the end, focusing on obesity is short-sighted and may actually be counter-productive. "Given the increasing problem of overweight in Sweden, there is reason to fear that more people will develop cirrhosis of the liver," says Jerzy Kaczynski, docent at the University of Gothenburg and doctor at Sahlgrenska University Hospital. No such parallel exists with weight loss. We just all sit around waiting for an excuse to do the worst things we can to our bodies? Bald men have specific risk factors that their hairier counterparts and women do not have, but the Hair Club or a sex change operation will not necessarily improve their health or lower their risks. But much of what is reported comes from press releases by people with vested interests in the public believing certain things. It means I care more about obese people than the charlatans making believe its "OK" to be obese. Do we know their weight histories other than the length of time they've been in the top BMI right before the study? Additional precision might be gained from larger cohort studies, but bias because of nonrepresentative samples and the use of self-reported weight and height could lead to less accurate estimates.". You can conduct experimental research in the following situations: Time is a vital factor in establishing a relationship between cause and effect. Journalists do not ask these questions. ", "Extreme Obesity Associated With Higher Risk of Death for 2009 H1N1 Patients There is evidence (mostly in Phelan and Link's work) that stigmatized populations have more health risks. 3. Reference To determine whether the change in the DV is caused by the IV, at […] Cause and effect is the panacea for researchers. "Ideal Body Mass Index Identified in New Study; Overweight and Obesity Associated With Increased Risk of Death "This research provides added support for all the current policy trying to prevent obesity in general. So whatever pain you are feeling is not mine. I will conclude with stating that I do not hold that this is the only measure of information. Nothing in this study demonstrates this. "By combining data on nearly 1.5 million participants from 19 studies we were able to evaluate a wide range of BMI levels and other characteristics that may influence the relationship between excess weight and risk of death," said NCI's Amy Berrington de Gonzalez, D.Phil., lead author of the study. Overweight Emotionally charged topics often miss these basics, but they are important nonetheless. Here's a good discussion of the problems with obesity research, including discussing the implications of the JAMA article:, ================================================. Personal experiences, observations, social contexts, empathy and theory do count. Rates of pnemonia, asthma and other ailments are increasing rapidly in cities where water and air are getting dirtier. It means that an informed reader of the research needs to know the biases in order to judge the usefulness of the information. Cause and Effect. Arrange the cause/effect in a chronological order or present the essay in terms of least importance to most important or vice versa. You're going to die just like all the rest of us. For example, eating too much fast food without any physical activity leads to weight gain. Without regard for the mechanism by which it occurs (undoubtedly complex) the reality --the truth --is clear: Did you even read my post? Second, ethnic groups have much higher birth rates than white Americans and ethnic groups have much higher incidences of type-2 diabetes than white Americans, so the increases might also reflect a genetic component in a changing population. Using data from the Framingham Heart Study, 5209 participants were followed up for 48 years from 1948. It is also one of the most important factors, because it can misdirect scientists. For example, interviewing a sample of the depressed heavy drinkers will establish whether they felt that they were depressed before they started drinking or if the depression came later. Acceptance is encouraging people to be people. The temporal factor is usually the easiest aspect to neutralize, simply because most experiments involve administering a treatment and then observing the effects, giving a linear temporal relationship. But this is my forum for now. It has been well-established that people who are obese face increased risks of death from heart disease, stroke, and certain cancers. Most researchers performing such a program will supplement it with a series of individual case studies, and interviewing a selection of the participants, in depth, will allow the researchers to find the order of events. really? Simply targeting obesity is a very bad place to be. Validity means that the study is actually measuring what it is assuming it is measuring. It's also almost impossible to conclusively prove causation in anything. Keep it up, I say in 10 years or so there will be a breakthrough if the right research is done and taught., And for those who are challenging this post or what I believe to be the big message here which is challenging our assumptions about obesity, please read about HAES first. Digging into these studies about how much obesity is costing the United States and you will find companies like Allergan who doubled their market based on that panic alone. No problem, save it as a course and come back to it later. It differs from non-experimental methods in that it involves the deliberate manipulation of one variable, while trying to keep all other variables constant. The cytokines research is very interesting to me as a medical sociologist because it also has implicated stigma and stress. It's also true that obese people die younger, have a shorter life expectancy and a greater risk of many diseases, some chronic and fatal." The original Framingham study showed a mortality benefit from "overweight" (BMI > 25) and only a slight risk from obesity (BMI > 30). However, the biggest difference when identifying risk factors is to understand that while obesity does a appear to be a risk factor in many disease processes, it is one factor, and how much of a factor may depend on lots of things like genetics, environment and other unknown variables. As the onset of obesity occurs earlier and the number of years lived with obesity increases, the risk of mortality associated with adult obesity in contemporary populations is expected to increase compared with previous decades. 5. These statistics were compiled from a study of Swedish twins that took place over the course of nearly 40 years, from 1963 to 2002; the results were the same for both men and women. So you have a personal stake, Anon... A good scientist always challenges his assumptions. You "toughed it out" mentally, and kept going. Targeting obesity itself often stigmatizes a group of people which honestly does nothing to help the cause. But the end result of this line of argument is that we utterly invalidate and remove the influence of science from our discussions and make it all about opinion and feelings. 5. This is not so, but apparently I can deny it multiple times and still be misunderstood. If you really want to show that you care, then consider the following review of studies like the one you cited: We do not know and this study does not address the reason for this. Think about when you woke up today. Money sometimes tips the scale against truth.Biased Funding: So, why in the face of the two above points, does the science get so misreported and misunderstood? Most of the increased risk is due to cardiovascular causes. Unlike chemical and biological processes that can be controlled within laboratories, studying humans has the added complication that the humans can figure out they are being studied and shift results. The vast majority of people cannot keep more than moderate weight loss off for more than 5 years. It is up to anyone who reads an assertion of cause and effect to dissect it and come up with an alternative explanation. Okay, great, that's a wonderful place to start. These assertions provide critique of the correlations. Is there a factor that was misused or invalid? The questions I and others have raised regarding this body of evidence are legitimate questions of the data and the conclusions drawn from the data. Unfortunately, the media and politicians often jump upon scientific results and proclaim that it conveniently fits their beliefs and policies. Accusing me of bias because I question these things is a great tactic in a web discussion, but it really misses the point. Women categorized as obese or severely obese had a dramatically higher risk of death. ScienceDaily (Mar. ScienceDaily (Oct. 11, 2010) — The cost of obesity among U.S. full-time employees is estimated to be $73.1 billion, according to a new study by a Duke University obesity researcher, published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. In this case, the client had conducted the survey and analyzed the data without taking into account the effectiveness of different marketing collaterals, market penetration, competitor activity, and some chara… Weight gain seems to have stabilized in the United States in the past 10 years, so predicting that 25% of the population will be "obese" is not really founded: Body mass index Another example is the idea that because people who eat a lot of extra virgin olive oil live for longer, olive oil makes people live longer. What I disagree with is the assumption that taking the individuals who are in the higher ranges of BMIs and making them smaller absolutely will reduce their risk of death and comorbidities. Overall for men and women combined, for every five unit increase in BMI, the researchers observed a 31 percent increase in risk of death. Unfortunately it has become a taboo issue, the elephant in the room that no one knows how to approach. 2. Human dignity is insulted by this kind of help. Missing research is just as important in understanding phenomena as critiquing existing research. Cause and effect demonstrated by measuring the impact of the Independent Variable on the Dependent Variable. The increased risk of death for a BMI of 25 or greater was also seen in all age groups, although it was more prominent for those who were overweight or obese before age 50. BMIs are very problematic with a population that can grow 5 inches in 3 months. I'm not saying that anybody is necessarily right, I don't know that for sure, but it is good to make the argument. This complexity is frequently ignored in studies, making almost every study done problematic in making a case for cause and effect. Because knowing why something is broken, rather than merely acknowledging that it is, might help us fix it.". The two are actually quite different and the point that some people miss and others are trying to make. We take some things for granted as causes, but in science one makes a case for cause, one does not prove (except in very limited ways in laws of physics, for example). History is filled with examples of people who decide that a group is less than human (which is a hateful decision imho) and then decide that the thing to be done is "help these poor creatures" who cannot help themselves. 1. Studies that look at an effect and seek the cause; ask many questions and then compare the answers through correlational analysis Tests Procedures used to measure attributes of individuals at a particular time and place; results can be used for correlational analysis or for generating ideas for other research Pharmaceuticals and HMOs/Insurance companies post double digit profits. There are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of smokers who have quit for well past the five year mark. Led by Eric Finkelstein, deputy director for health services and systems research at Duke-National University of Singapore, the study quantified the per capita cost of obesity among full-time workers by considering three factors: employee medical expenditures, lost productivity on the job due to health problems (presenteeism), and absence from work (absenteeism). You have a psychological stake in this. Are they reliable? But part of the reason diwting doesn't work is obese people going around lying to other obese people that obesity is quite OK, it doesn't even effect your health. After spending the day reading and writing in the comments at Harriet Brown's Brave Girl Eating, I've come to realize that it is time for me to post a blog entry that I've been contemplating. Accepting and respecting the diversity of body shapes and sizes. What exactly do you think fat people do in their daily lives? Method of residue [ edit ] Subduct [2] from any phenomenon such part as is known by previous inductions to be the effect of certain antecedents, and the residue of the phenomenon is the effect of the remaining antecedents. But building upon this solid of a foundation will help in seeking the truth. When I finally cut through the denial and saw what I ahd done to myself, I faced months and months and months of struggle, hard work, frustration, short term failure, etc.. Beyond that I am open to great variations, but I understand some choices work better than others. Most recent science is clear and adjusts for confounding factors: Understanding the difference between cause and effect and risk factors, Inaneymous, thanks for the lesson in correlation does not equal causation. "Studies have shown..." are magic words in our public discourse. I am very overweight (though losing slowly), and have managed to reverse bad blood test results, joint pains, fatigue etc, by cutting the above mentioned foods. However there are also biological mechanisms at play. It didn't hurt me." What Do You Call a Fat Woman with a Ph.D.? BMI has become a short-cut not only to assessing someone's health, but to assessing someone's health practices. However, is this necessarily the case? NOW I know that you are personally invested in being right about the obesity model. One notable example, by the researchers Balnaves and Caputi, looked at the academic performance of university students and attempted to find a correlation with age. But again you confuse correlation with causation. This process will help students grasp th… I'm a happy person and quite comfortable in my own skin. Experiments is the only way to establish a cause and effect relationship because it is the only method that has an independent variable (IV) and a dependent variable (DV). Journal of the American Medical Association. A number of issues have been raised regarding existing obesity research. Establishing Cause and Effect. Because I advocate not emphasizing size, I am accused of encouraging weight gain or discouraging weight loss. Do they measure what they suggest they are measuring? As can be seen, establishing cause and effect is one of the most important factors in designing a robust research experiment. Smoking is implicated in many cancers and other health complications. I remember as a reporter keeping several calculations in a file to be used when discussing taxes or other such topics because it was important to report the numbers in a specific way that would tantalize rather than bore. Yes, studying cells and chemical reactions in human bodies is easier than studying behavior, but there are still problems, given the extent to which human contact with the environment and the human aging process changes those chemical and biological processes constantly. Which one of these studies addresses the question of timing? Germs, dna and environmental conditions affect our bodies. The research team included investigators from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health, and collaborators from a dozen other major research institutions worldwide. To the contrary, it is important to understand exactly what these correlations mean. And I believe the simple diet change has made all the difference, which rather contradicts the assertions that weight in itself causes the health issues. Do we know the genetic composition of those who died young and is there a difference from those who didn't? The main method for cause-effect research is experimentation. An experiment tests the effect that an independent variable has upon a dependent variable but a correlation looks for a relationship between two variables. 49. You wish to understand the importance of the cause and effect. In the face of all of this science, you advocate that obese epople stay obese and suggest that it's healthy to become obese? You are saying the shorter life expectancy and greater risk are from the weight and that, by implication, reduction of weight will increase health. The study does not account for all confounding factors because it was limited by the data (this is not an original study but a revisitation of earlier collected data). You seem not to be serious about science or facts. I offer up a nice perspective, which ironically I read right after this post. (Here is a reference that kind of, sort of explains how it is calculated now:, Here's the thing. Biggest loser is not a good show t watch because it is not the reality. Establishing Cause and Effect Through Experiments 48. ScienceDaily (June 29, 2011) — Obesity is an important contributor to premature death in women who have never smoked, especially among women in low income groups, finds research published online in the British Medical Journal. What is the only research method that would allow us to draw a cause-and-effect (causal) conclusion or connection b/w two variables (independent vs. dependent variable)? Healthy Aging It is no accident that the "War on Obesity" started in full swing when the Clintons failed to create universal health care and the panic over "Childhood Obesity" started after the Obamas failed as well. See Also: It is taking population data and applying it to individual members of the population. I never said all diet advocates hated me or fat people. One great movie moment that demonstrates this principle is in the move Contact when Ellie (Jodie Foster) first hears the alien transmission and runs into the telescope control room screaming "make me a liar." 25% of all medical service fees at doctors' offices and hospitals are administrative because paid staff have to sift through the complexities of each insurance company and fight them tooth and nail to get approval for procedures. , then HAES will lead to real critique and questioning instead of knee jerk responses a. Within psychology can be done successfully and most people report health improvement stated that it is why people! From categorized perspectives, solutions can be great when helping try to solve problem! Diet advocates hated me or fat people do and recommend get sick in their system. 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