The researcher evaluates the food consumption practices of secondary school students at stage 3, aged between 11-14 years (males and females) in Al Ain and to understand how dietary change can improve the health of the students. According to Afshin et al. (2015), dietary practices have a significant impact on a person's health. For instance, the intake of high-calorie foods is likely to contribute to diabetes and obesity while a balanced diet can improve the health of an individual. The researcher will focus on evaluating the health outcomes due to food perceptions, preferences, and intake, as well as ascertain cuisine orientations ofsecondary school students of Al Ain-Abu Dhabi.
The study will take 18 months to complete. Participants and focus group will be interviewed.Questionnaires will be formulated and sent to respondents,food recipes that the schools use to cook foodfor the students as well as dietary patterns within the student's homes will be examined.The researcher will take measures of blood samples with assistance from a qualified nurse. Also, the researcher will analyse food diaries from students, nannies, and parents to understand the dietary practices of every family using both online sessions and face-to-face sessions.The researcher will use the SPSS Software for analysing the data.
Project context/ Relevance
The research project will provide an understanding of dietary practices leading to the prevalence of health issues such as high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity among a subset of secondary school students in Al Ain. The researcher with assistance from a qualified nurse will first take measurements of the blood samples tounderstand the prevalence of health problems. The study is also essential as it will enable educational institutions in Al Ain to understand how they can contribute to the improvement of the health of the students (Al Amiri et al., 2015).
The researcher aims at filling the research gap about dietary practices of secondary school students in Al Ain between the age of 11to 14 years. After drawing the blood samples, the researcher will proceed to use the SPSS software to understand the prevalence of health problems. The research project is also essential to caregivers and parents as it enables them to understand how food consumption patterns are affecting the secondary school studentsand how they can implement interventions to change the dietary practices. Furthermore, the students will also learn how their food patterns affect their health and how they can facilitate improvement in their health.
Proposed methodology and work plan including Gantt chart
The number of participants for the study will be 800 hundred students from different secondary schools in Al Ain. Half of the participants will be male, and the other half will be female students, and they will be selected using random stratified probability sampling(Robson & McCartan, 2016). The students will be aged 11-14 years.
The observations will involve structured systemic evaluation of dietary practices of students during break and lunch time to understand what the sample is attracted to the selection of food choices. It also allows live data from the schools involved in the study. The researcher will measure food consumption through the incorporation of a 24-hour dietary recall or unstructured food diaries. In this study, the researcher aims at assessing the dietary preferences, the details about cuisine-culture orientation, food perceptions, and beliefs of various students in Abu Dhabi-Al Ain secondary schools (Muhammad, Fathelrahman, &TasbihUllah, 2016, p.3-4; Alhomoud, Basil, &Bondarev, 2016, P.7-8). Subsequently, the blood samples will facilitate the evaluation of the prevalence of diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure among other diet-related health conditions. Henceforth, students will have access to a nutritional program to check the nutritive value of food.
One-To-One and Focus Group Interviews
During the research project which lasts for 18months, information sheets will be sent to the interview with a consent form prior to the interview session. The researcher will meet with the participants who are students as well as carers and parents to discuss the relevance and orientation of the study(Harcourt&Sargeant,2012). Semi-structured interviews will be used in this study as this allows the researcher to have a guide that serves as a checklist of topics to be covered. The importance of focus groups is that they provide in-depth data for the study. Conducting focus group interviews assures the collection of detailed information. Subsequently, the semi-structured interviews enable the participants to provide the information which they consider private as they are assured of the confidentiality of the information by the researcher. This section of the study will take approximately four months of the project timeframe. Moreover, online software such as LifeScan to measure glucose levels. Further, the weight of the participants will be measured as well as the blood pressure of each. In the process of collecting the samples or the measurements, the process will ensure that each participant is evaluated or evaluated separately.
The researcher will consider ethical issues in the assessment of the participants. First, it is crucial to acquire informed consent from the students as well as the caregivers or parents. Secondly, adhering to issues of privacy and confidentiality is crucial since this is a researcher will be investigating the personal health of the students. Lastly, it is crucial to ensure that the researcher does not inflict any harm, either physical or psychological, to the participants. That is, he should not make the students undergo bullying for sharing personal health information of the students(Allmark et al., 2009).
Randomised Control Trial (RCT) and Sample Size Calculation
Before conducting the actual study, the researcher will undertake apilot study that will involve a sample population of approximately eighty(80) students. The pilot study will involve the collection of data about food diaries as well as weekly routines. Further, the pilot study will have its own data analysis and results of the study. This is because the research involves primary data collection; hence, the pilot study will facilitate an understanding of the experimental validity of the study.
The researcher will utilise random stratified probability samplingto select an approximate of 800 hundred Al Ain secondary school students to undergo the study. The study will then follow the same outline as the RCT to ensure that the outcomes of the main study do not contain bias and errors.
The Draw and Write Technique
The draw and write technique primarily involves the researcher prompting the participants in a study to draw and write specific feedback essential for the study. In this study, the participants will be enquired to write about their culture-cuisine orientation which influences them to exhibit particular dietary practices as well as the issues which they think contribute to particular health outcomes. Further, the researcher will request the participants to provide feedback concerning the prevalence of diet-related health problems they may be experiencing. The technique is essential as it enables the researcher to collect individual feedback from each participant about issues that were not covered during the one-to-one interviews. Therefore, the method can be referred to as a strategy that ensures the collection of valid, reliable, and adequatedatawithout leaving out any relevant information.
Food Records and Food Recalls
The weekly records which the school has used in the past will be a great source of information regarding the dietary practices of the students. The food records will enable the researcher to analyse how particular dietary practices are related to specific illnesses. On the other hand, if the students do not eat at school, the researcher will rely on food recalls of the standard diet for the meals they take at home. The essence of the study is to collect data within the secondary schools in Abu Dhabi-Al-Ain and analyse the nutritional practices about the health issues that the population is facing (Loney et al., 2013, p.4-5).
Food Frequency Questionnaires or Diet Histories
Some diet practices have been prevalent for decades in the region. For instance, the fact that the majority of the population are Muslims and fast during Ramadhan means that they lack food during daytime which is equivalent to unhealthy dietary practices and may contribute to the development of diabetes (Afandi, Hassanein, Majd, &Nagelkerke, 2017, p.3-4; Beshyah et al., 2018, p.13-14; Sada& Maldonado, 2007)). Therefore, the diet histories show the food consumption patterns which the researcher can use to understand how dietary practices are connected to particular health outcomes. As such, the researcher will need to rely on the diet histories of the students in Al Ain schools and the nutritional practices to create a hypothesis of how nutritional practices contribute to health outcomes. Subsequently, questionnaires will be used to inquire information from the respondents concerning the standard diet practices in their families and communities. The information is crucial to facilitate an understanding of whether the diet-related illnesses have been prevalent in the past decades.
Food-Rating Techniques and Instruments
After the analysis of the dietary practices of the students, the researcher will proceed to execute a food-rating analysis to estimate the dietary practices contributing to the prevalence of diet-related health conditions. The particular food consumption survey will involve the assessment of the nutritional composition of food products and how their intake may influence specific health outcomes such as obesity (Razzak, El-Metwally, Harbi, Al-Shujairi, &Qawas, 2017, p.63; Gies et al., 2017, p.3-4). For instance, the rating technique will assess the understanding of the amount of calories and fats to understand how some foods or dietary practices may lead to the prevalence of health problems such as diabetes or high blood pressure (Al Junaibi, Abdulle, Sabri, Hag-Ali, &Nagelkerke, 2013,68-69). As such, the food-rating analysis will involve the evaluation of the food products with a high concentration of carbohydrates, fats, sugars, and amino acids among others. Subsequently, the analysis will offer an understanding of how diet practices are likely to cause diabetes and obesity.
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