The prevalence of obesity in childhood and adolescence is increasing and is often accompanied by poor physical and psychological health. Cardiovascular risk factors such as hypertension and impaired glucose tolerance are prevalent in up to 30% of obese children whilst psychological impairments such as low self-esteem and depression are also commonly observed. Numerous factors have been implicated in the development of obesity, and include both metabolic and environmental factors.
This thesis explored these determinants with particular reference to the role of physical activity, dietary intake and cardiorespiratory fitness. Obese children and adolescents demonstrated very low levels of physical activity, reduced cardiorespiratory fitness and significant psychological impairments.
Many interventions have been employed to counteract obesity in childhood; however most are limited by high attrition rates. Children and young people are unwilling to give up sedentary behaviours and therefore the development of interactive media games offers a potential strategy to increase physical activity.
This thesis identified dance mat exercise as being sufficiently intense to improve cardiorespiratory fitness in obese, sedentary children and young people. Furthermore 12 weeks of dance mat exercise promoted favourable changes in body composition, cardiorespiratory fitness and psychological well-being; all of which point towards an improved quality of life.
Editor's comments - [ The above is the abstract from an original PhD thesis; the final publication in the study for the author in pursuit of a doctorate; such works result in the author being awarded a PhD and the title of Dr. by an appropriately accedited University. PhD's are the culmination of a number of years work by the author supervised by two (normally PhD or MPhil qualified) academics and, with the addition of a further appropriately qualified academic (not normally from the same University) as part of a viva-voce examination team. Successful research work at PhD level is designed to add to the body of knowledge in the study area at some level.
A PhD thesis often forms the foundation for journal articles for the author and leads to further enquiry in the form of what is called post-doctoral research. These works are characterised by comprehensive literature reviews, sometimes traditional yet multiple (and often mixed) methods, interesting if not ground breaking discussions and always directional signs toward further research; they provide for undergraduates not only a model for the possibilities for further study but a gift in terms of references in any given subject areas.
To reference an eThesis the convention in the text is the same as a book; author (date), in the reference list there is some debate; theses are more often than not, unpublished works, yet when listed on databases at Universities or elsewhere it could be argued that they are published.
Our best advice is to reference list internet sourced theses as ‘published’…. ie.; Author, (date). Title (emphasised). Place of publication and (university) publisher. Available from: URL reference. See our example reference below. ]
Reference : Falconer, C. (2010). The metabolic and environmental determinants of obesity in childhood: observational and interventional studies. Ph.D. thesis, Birmingham: University of Birmingham. Avaialable at http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/945/
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