Obesity Management in Houston

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Obesity Management in Houston

Research Question: What are the various Possible Measures for Managing Obesity in Houston, Texas? My research question was inspired by the notion of going around that everything in Texas is significant. Bumper stickers, belt buckles, key chains, and door signs all proclaimed that everything is bigger in Texas. I developed an interest in knowing what was causing “everything to be bigger” in Texas. One of the primary causative agents was found to be obesity, and therefore I set out to find the various Possible Measures for Managing Obesity in Houston, Texas.


For my research project, I have designed an interactive strategy for managing obesity among individuals, especially those living in Houston, Texas.   The residents of this state have been found to have the problem of excess weight gain, which has been due to various known factors contributing to obesity in human beings (Salahuddin, Pérez, Ranjit, Kelder, Barlow, Pont, Butte, and Hoelscher, 2017, p. E141). My idea was based on the quest of reducing or annulling the effects of this chronic disease in Houston, which would lead as an example to any human being around the world. Managing obesity in Houston has been very difficult due to the large percentage of individuals having the problem, both young population and adults (Normandin, E., Houston, D. K., & Nicklas, B. J., 2015, p145). Looking keenly into the disease, it is caused by several factors that range from lifestyle to genetic factors. Most people suffering from excess weight are disadvantaged since; they cannot perform specific tasks with ease. Almost all the other chronic infections such as hypertension and coronary thrombosis are caused as a result of obesity (Taylor, S. I., Barr, V., & Reitman, M., 1996, p1151). Even though there are some other causes of diseases, people with obesity are at high risks of acquiring other chronic diseases. Biologically, obesity can be prevented, controlled or managed using the best medical and nutritive strategies that aim at reducing the overall weight of obese individuals. Texas is an example of a city with the highest number of obese people residing in Houston. Consequently, I have decided to design my strategies that are aimed at minimizing obesity in the state at an affordable cost possible.

Sources of Information

Since the research topic was not new in the research field, I used secondary sources as one of my primary data sources. The secondary sources of information consisted of various similar researches done by different individuals in the past (Meyer, P., 2009, p297). Furthermore, I used clinical methods or patients’ past medical history as another secondary source of information that provided meaningful data about obese individuals in the city. Besides, I also needed to use primary sources of information, which formed an active part of my research.

Research Objectives

  1. To identify the various significant causes of obesity among individuals living in Houston and even beyond.
  2. To find out the most appropriate strategies for preventing and managing excess weight gain in the city.
  • To involve various stakeholders such as teachers, parents, government, and community as a whole in fighting obesity.


  1. The first hypothesis of my research majored on finding the right sources of information on obesity prevention and management.
  2. There was also a need to involve various people in fighting the disease, not only the health facilities alone, but also the community as a whole.
  • Lastly, my research was designed to answer the question on the vulnerability of individuals living in Houston, reasons why there is a large number of obese people in the city, and how this can be reduced.

Literature Review

Since my research was dealing with a common health problem, which has gained a lot of attention from different individuals, I realized the importance of consulting different sources of information to get different arguments about the disease. Most of my literature were secondary sources of information which I obtained from online sources such as websites. For instance, an article by Behrouz Zand (2017) “how obesity is shrinking our lives,” clarifies how obesity itself is a major cause of other various dangerous illnesses. The articles documents that obesity is a leading cause of some cancer diseases in Texas.

Additionally, obesity is also listed as a cause in heart diseases such as heart attacks and strokes which leads to the death of the obese persons (Styne, D.M., Arslanian, S.A., Connor, E.L., Farooqi, I.S., Murad, M.H., Silverstein, J.H. and Yanovski, J.A., 2017, p.710). From the online articles, I also found out that obesity is a significant problem in the United States of America. The existence of the problem spans several years back, and the government was keen on eliminating if not reducing the menace to safer levels in the country.

From the online sources, I was also able to find out the causes of obesity. The various purposes were ranked as being behavioral, such lack of exercise and dietary issues such as consumption of lots of fats and some reasons were generic to mention a few. The use of junked food and subsequent lack of exercise leads to the accumulation of unwanted large amounts of fats in the body of human beings.

As a consequence of the excess fats, one becomes overweight. According to the Institute Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) report, overweight is determined by measure of Body Mass Index (Murray, C.J., Ezzati, M., Flaxman, A.D., Lim, S., Lozano, R., Michaud, C., Naghavi, M., Salomon, J.A., Shibuya, K., Vos, T. and Wikler, D., 2012, p2064). BMI is a measure that utilizes the weight and height of an individual to prove whether an individual is healthy or not. The standard BMI varies in different sexes. Males are supposed to have a BMI of 25 which indicates that they are healthy. On the other hand, females are required to have a BMI of 30 which suggests that they are healthy. An increase in both BMI indices means that one is suffering from obesity.

Despite being a threat to human life, I found out from the literature that obesity is a manageable condition. One of the significant recommended treatments to the disease is taking caution (Shepherd, A., 2009, p51). One can be cautious by frequently visiting medical facilities to determine their BMI index. Additionally, a person needs to overlook on the diet that is taken and regularly exercise the body.

Apart from the online sources, I also extracted a lot of information about obesity in communities living in Houston, Texas. The communities included the health providers in various health facilities in the city and patients.

Research Methodology

Research Design

I mainly used descriptive methods in designing the research. The main reason behind me using the comparative method was to gain up to date information about the obesity from the interviewees. Additionally, the information I wanted was supposed to have a more realistic view of the lived world that cannot be understood or experienced in numerical data and statistical analysis (Owen, G.T., 2014, p12).

Sample Size

I interviewed the senior members and medical officers in the five-hospital company in Houston 5-10 interviews by e-mail interview and analyses the individual manager’s viewpoint. I also questioned the patients in the various Houston hospitals at random to gauge the number of patients suffering from obesity and those who are not. The interviews with the patients were one on one. During the meeting, the questions were mostly open-ended, and I allowed the interviewees to add any aspects of their life that they felt were essential to the research and which they were free to share. All this information I made known to the interviewees before the interview began together with the confidentiality clause.

Data collection method

This data collecting means was concentrated upon 5- 10 interviews from the senior members and medical officers in the leading hospitals in Houston by e-mail interview and analyses the individual manager’s viewpoint. Data was also collected from the patients that were admitted in the leading hospitals who I randomly selected without considering the type of disease one was suffering. Therefore my data collection method was qualitative rather than quantitative.

The main reason as to why I preferred qualitative data was so that I could obtain information that was life (Opdenakker, R., 2006). Additionally, I wanted to achieve a more realistic view of the lived world that cannot be understood or experienced in numerical data and statistical analysis. The data collection method also allowed me to connect directly with the communities living in Houston which was very interesting to me.


From the interviews involving the senior members of the five major hospitals in Houston, all of the senior members admitted that the leading cause of obesity was dietary foods. The older members confirmed that most of the patients had taken a lot of unhealthy foods hence being overweight. Additionally, the senior members and medical officers agreed that physical inability of the patients was also a significant problem that caused obesity in the area.

From the interviews conducted on the patients, those who were obese were the leading in other diseases than those who were not obese. Additionally, obese patients suffering from different diseases admitted to the fact that they had consumed a lot of unhealthy foods. The patients also eluded their conditions to the fact that they rarely engaged in physical fitness activities. From the interviews, some patients testified to the fact that they rarely consume unhealthy foods but in one way or the other were found to be obese. The medical officers confirmed that such obesity was generic. About ten patients only were proved to be genetically obese. The ten patients were the lowest number of obese patients in the hospitals was.


From the findings I obtained from the research, it was quite evident that lifestyle was the major contributor to obesity in Houston. I found out that most people in Houston became obese as a result of eating junk foods which are health hazardous. According to the World Health Organization, the intake of energy should match energy output. Unhealthy diets have a high number of calories which are consumed by human beings. The high number of calories cannot be broken down by the normal functioning human body (Anon., 2017). The excess fat is therefore stored within the body of human beings. The excess fat leads to an increase in body weight. As a result, the Body Mass Index (BMI) rises to unwanted levels and hence making someone obese.

Additionally, the consumption of excess fats without any physical exercise also causes obesity (Anon., 2019). The healthy body at rest cannot breakdown the excess fat in the body. When a person exercises regularly, the body cells will use all the glucose and turn to the analysis of the excess fat as the source of energy for the cells. By breaking down, excess fats free the body of the fats that can cause obesity. The body’s BMI will remain to the standard levels and hence making individualbecome obesity free.

Genetically, obesity is caused by two rare genes, fat mass and obesity-associated gene (FTO). The two genes are recessive genes and are rarely found in the population. Genes are inherited, and therefore they are passed from generation to generation Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2015). The two obesity-related genes manifest their ability only in cases of extreme hunger in children of about two years of age. The genes can increase calories intake to the body, increased the tendency to store body fats, and reduced control of overeating (Myers, M.L., Fulkerson, J.A., Friend, S.E., Horning, M.L. and Flattum, C.F., 2018, p.300). Such effects of the genes may make someone obese. However, since these genes are recessive and rare, the genes are only found in a small population of people. Additionally, the manifestation of such deleterious traits in a randomly mating population is usually low due to the heterozygosity of the population (Scuteri, A., Sanna, S., Chen, W.M., Uda, M., Albai, G., Strait, J., Najjar, S., Nagaraja, R., Orrú, M., Usala, G. and Dei, M., 2007, p115). Therefore, this justifies the findings that the number of patients suffering from genetic obesity is the lowest.

Strategies for Preventing and Managing Excess Weight Gain in the City

At all times, prevention is usually better than cure. A person buying food for the sole purpose of human consumption should always purchase healthy food. A healthy diet according to the World Health Organization is the kind of food that does not subject a person to health hazardous. In addition to healthy foods, people are advised to maintain a healthy diet which is free or has lower levels of foods rich in calories. Fruits should also be considered in the menu as some help break down the excess fat and calories present in the body (Hervert-Hernández, D., García, O.P., Rosado, J.L. and Goñi, I., 2011, p1184).

Additionally, I presented that people should regularly engage in physical activities as these activities will help in breaking down the excess fats present in the body. Individuals are also requested to continually check their BMI index whenever they visit a medical facility (Francis, L., Mannino, M., and Rollins, B., 2018, p.S113). The continuous checkup of the BMI index will help in the monitoring process of the obesity developmental stages. Monitoring of the developmental stages helps in the treatment of obesity at lower levels before it manifests at more advanced stages.

Replacement of recessive genes

In the world today, advanced and extensive studies in molecular biology have been carried out by various scientists. The extensive research has helped to genetically engineer the alternative allele of the recessive gene (Wilksch, S.M., Paxton, S.J., Byrne, S.M., Austin, S.B., McLean, S.A., Thompson, K.M., Dorairaj, K. and Wade, T.D., 2015, p.1812). The recessive genes, fat mass and obesity-associated gene (FTO), can be replaced by the genetically engineered dominant gene through homologous recombination. Homologous recombination, therefore, eliminates the defective gene making individuals having the faulty gene become less susceptible to obesity (Richardson, P.D., Kren, B.T. and Steer, C.J., 2002, p2002). Additionally, a part of the genetically engineered genes, the genes that promote obesity can be silenced by the help of molecular biology. Therefore, hospitals should be able to make use of the tool of molecular biology in eliminating the genes that promote obesity in the population leaving in Houston.

Involve various stakeholders in the fight against obesity

The crucial first stakeholder is the community itself. The community can be engaged through the formation of community-based camps where regular checkups of the BMI index is carried out. Additionally, the city can also provide volunteers who can do a door to door sensitization campaign against obesity (Adashi, E.Y., Geiger, H.J. and Fine, M.D., 2010, p1146). Volunteers can also carry out the door to door measurement of the BMI levels of people living in different homesteads in Houston. Through volunteers, the government can obtain essential data regarding obesity levels and the government can plan appropriately on the medication and which regions to prioritize on I terms of funding medication.

Additionally, the community usually sets the standards of healthy foods in schools and baby care. By educating the community on healthy foods, the city can also reciprocate what they have learned healthy programming foods in schools and baby cares (Duffine, A.E., Werner, E.N., Higgins, B.D., Hanrahan, D., Kochenour, K., Shewokis, P.A. and Volpe, S.L., 2018, p.397). When a community has formed a norm on healthy foods, every member of the family will try to emulate one another in cooking healthy meals and reduce the levels of obesity that results due to consumption of unhealthy foods.

State involvement

Involvement of the federal government of Texas is an essential step in managing the obesity levels in Houston city. To begin with, the state government has created more space for physical activity by the creation of modern parks in the city. The parks are equipped with modernized exercising machines that are important for the population living in the city. The government has also created a cycling event. Through the cycling event, the governor encourages the community living in Houston to buy a bicycle. Through cycling, people can exercise their body and burn down the excess calories and fats present in the body.

Additionally, the state government formulates the policies guiding the production and sale of foods. The state government can establish standards to foster healthy dietary practices through ensuring the availability of healthy, nutritious, safe and affordable foods in pre-schools, schools, other public institutions and the workplace (Tucker, S. and Lanningham-Foster, L.M., 2015, p.450). On the continuation, the government should also come up with incentives to the food manufacturing companies that manufacture healthy foods. Incentives will motivate companies to produce and sell healthy meals in large quantities. On the contrary, the government should reduce incentives on food industries that produce foods rich in high fats and sugar levels as these types of foods will make the populace susceptible to obesity.

The federal state should also promote intergovernmental cooperation. The cooperation can be between the national government and the federal government or between the federal governments themselves (Rutkowski, D.J., 2007). Such collaboration will help come up with accepted practice on healthy foods. The cooperation will also promote transnational, national, and local food services through catering outlet services. Through the participation, the Texas state will help improve the nutritional quality of the foods sold in Houston city. Ensuring the availability and affordability of healthy foods in Houston will also reduce the levels of obesity in the city.


Through my research project, I discovered the various source of information that I thought I would never find out. To begin with, I have never done much study on Genetic engineering. Through the extensive research, I was able to come up across some literature on genetically engineered genes and homologous recombination. The knowledge of Genetic engineering was very relevant in this research as I was able to ascertain that piece of information can help in the control of obesity that was inherited by a generation from its ancestor.

I also learned that collecting information through interviews was quite vital. Obesity is one of the leading world epidemics and kinds of literature regarding obesity is continuously written based on the changes observed on the patients (Sharma, S.V., Chuang, R.J., Byrd‐Williams, C., Vandewater, E., Butte, N. and Hoelscher, D.M., 2019, p.385). Therefore, obtaining firsthand information from the patients and key stakeholders in the medical industry was quite remarkable. The one on one interviews were the right decision as I was able to get specific information and also ask further questions if I didn’t understand something. It was also helpful to see the person talking, mainly when one of the medical officers was chronologically explaining the evolvement and development of obesity. The interviews also allowed me to freely interact with renowned medical practitioners in the country which was one significant achievement in my career journey. I was also able to gain some experience in the interview. For the first time when I met the renowned medical practitioners, I was quite nervous as this was my first interview with such people. However, in my subsequent discussions, I was quite comfortable, and this made me gain lots of experience with regards to.

One of the factors that I never considered was that despite interviews being a source of firsthand information, interviews were also biased. Some of the patients I interviewed never wanted to accept the fact they were obese and therefore opted to lie about their illnesses (Hung, L.S., Tidwell, D.K., Hall, M.E., Lee, M.L., Briley, C.A. and Hunt, B.P., 2015, p.230). I obtained the information about their illnesses upon obtaining their medicals files upon request from the manager in charge of the medical facility. Other patients felt ashamed of admitting that they were obese since they thought that my judgment would be driven to the cause of their disease as lousy eating habits. Other patients refused to comment on their obesity state as they thought that I was trying to lower their dignity and social status as some were of high socio-economic. Therefore, as much as an interview being an accurate source of information, interviews can also be sources of errors when acquiring information about particular details. Additionally, the data acquired from the interviews with the patients was oral and depended on the memories of the patients (Lubans, D.R., Smith, J.J., Plotnikoff, R.C., Dally, K.A., Okely, A.D., Salmon, J. and Morgan, P.J., 2016, p.92). Some patients were very much ill that they could not provide a chronology of events or could not remember some information. The retard memory was a source of error that I never considered during my research.

During my research, I was able to come across different causes of obesity. Earlier I had formed an opinion that lousy eating habits only caused obesity. Little did I know that other non-food factors also caused obesity? Through my study, I was able to establish that obesity was also a genetic disease and that the genes that caused the condition were the fat mass and obesity-associated gene (FTO) genes. Additionally, I also found out that lack of proper physical exercise activity also led to obesity among a populace.

Interestingly, I found out that all the causative agents of obesity could be controlled and managed which is an advantage to the human race. The fact molecular biology can help get rid of defective genes helped me understand that there has been extensive research that has been undertaken in terms of molecular biology on obesity before coming up with a way of solving the gene problem. I also came to learn that simple physical exercise activity could help someone avoid being affected by obesity and therefore people should embrace doing exercise during their free time for the sake of their health. Thus, the fight against obesity does not start with the government, but it begins with an individual.

From the research, I was able to learn that both the federal and national governments can help ease the problems associated with obesity. It was interesting to know how the state government was very optimistic in the war against obesity. Governor coming up with a bicycle riding event to me was very well advised (Salvy, S.J., de la Haye, K., Galama, T. and Goran, M.I., 2017, p.150). Despite the bicycle getting you to your destined destination in the process a person also exercises. I never thought that the federal governments valued the health of the citizens not until I saw they can formulate policies that help the production and consumption of healthy foods. Therefore, these governments should fast track such the implementations of such systems for the benefit of the community.

I did my research based on a small sample population. My study involved a smaller community since the community can give consistent data that can be analyzed over a short period. Moreover, a small population sample gives data that is more accurate compared to the data obtained from a larger population. Additionally, the small community enabled me to acquire more precise and specific information that was necessary for my research. If I had used a larger city, I would have obtained a considerable amount of data that would be difficult to analyze over a short time making; therefore the small sample population enables my research to be time bound.

The use of a 1996 journal was seen as a set back to the research. The book was published more than ten years ago hence beating the time limit that is required for academic sources to be used. However, the journal is quite relevant and useful in my research since it helped give the chronology of obesity in Houston. The book is also essential in my research since it helped in providing me with some literature regarding obesity in Houston city.

I am glad that my research was able to answer the research question. The research question required the study to find out the various Possible Measures for Managing Obesity in Houston. The research first established the multiple sources of obesity and the control measures that can be undertaken to manage the deceased. The criteria for managing obesity include the use of the molecular tool in eliminating the defective gene and replacing it with another one. Other non-biological factors that are used in controlling obesity I have extensively exhausted in the research. One of the non-biological factors is the engagement of volunteers in the management of community health. According to me the participation of the community in managing the disease is the most vital tool that must never be ignored at any circumstances.

The community members know best their community than even the government in place. By using volunteers from the city will be a success since they will be able to interrelate among themselves easily than outsiders who have come to access the situation. Additionally, there is that trust that members of a community have built on each other, and hence the vital piece of information can be obtained from these members of the population due to the trust they have on each other.


Indeed obesity is a worldwide menace. Just as discussed above, there are several causes of obesity one being dietary, the second being lack of doing physical exercise daily. Moreover, obesity is associated with some diseases. Some of these diseases resulting from obesity included Arteriosclerosis, stroke, and heart attacks. Therefore, it was important for the research to examine the various Possible Measures for Managing Obesity in Houston, Texas. One of the measures that have been extensively employed is the replacement of the defective gene with a functional gene through homologous recombination. The engagement of members of the community in managing community health has also proven to be a vital tool in managing obesity levels among the populations living in Houston. The community volunteers help set up community camps where BMI indices of members can regularly be taken. Additionally, community volunteers can come up with sensitizing activities against obesity and the proper diet that should be considered by the members of the community. The government should also take an active role in controlling obesity just as the one made by the governor of Houston.





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