Is 'Childhood Obesity and Who's to Blame' a good discursive essay topic? Watch

It'sTriggy
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Or is it too overused? If so, suggestions would be grateful
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Memetics
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(Original post by It'sTriggy)
Or is it too overused? If so, suggestions would be grateful
I's say that's quite a different one, not overused at all. Remember, in the end it really comes down to your ability to write a convincing and interesting essay on the topic, not the fact that you've picked an incredibly unique topic,(Though it does help ).

If you think you'd be geniuninly interested, go for it.
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Hype en Ecosse
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I think it's a great topic, and it's something I studied this year at uni! Definitely worth writing about. My concern is, though, would you be able to write a good discursive essay about it in the word limit given?
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Hype en Ecosse
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(Original post by Apologetic Cube)
Out of interest, what did you have to do that for ? Some sort of sociology/public health module?
No. Obesity's just an important topic in medicine and is the most common condition afflicting the West, so we get teaching on it in general. I recently did a literature review surrounding the gut microbiome in diet and obesity as my SSC, and got to do loads of extra reading by virtue of that. Just a topic I'm interested in is all.

****ing done with sociology, me. Praise the lord.
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It'sTriggy
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(Original post by Hype en Ecosse)
No. Obesity's just an important topic in medicine and is the most common condition afflicting the West, so we get teaching on it in general. I recently did a literature review surrounding the gut microbiome in diet and obesity as my SSC, and got to do loads of extra reading by virtue of that. Just a topic I'm interested in is all.

****ing done with sociology, me. Praise the lord.
Would you be able to give me some ideas on what headings I can base it around. I was thinking looking at different aspects which may effect it e.g.
Schools - meals, lack of p.e.
Parents - genetics, not cooking healthy enough meals
Society - advertisement of food, such a dangerous place etc..

Do you think that's ok?
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Hype en Ecosse
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(Original post by It'sTriggy)
Would you be able to give me some ideas on what headings I can base it around. I was thinking looking at different aspects which may effect it e.g.
Schools - meals, lack of p.e.
Parents - genetics, not cooking healthy enough meals
Society - advertisement of food, such a dangerous place etc..

Do you think that's ok?
That would be fine, but I think the scope of it's quite narrow for those as "headings". If I were doing an essay like this, I'd look at sociocultural and socioeconomic factors (so this encompasses things about how society, class and culture as a whole affect child obesity - this gives you a good opportunity to look at how obesity is in other cultures and what differs, and what the proposed corollaries are); I'd look at immediate sociopsychological and geographical factors (so this can encompass things like how the way your parents raise you and the home environment shapes our relationship with food; how what kind of area you live in affects it; how schools and education affect it) - there's a lot of overlap with these headings and it's up to you how precisely you want to split it up. You want to make it flow well together, so what exactly you call these headings and how you structure it is something you'd need to think about.

Then lastly there's biological factors: genetics, epigenetics, and non-genetic biological components (such as any changes in physiology and microbial ecology).

As a point of interest - not that I think this is something useful to you - but there's a specific animal model that we use to investigate physiology in obesity and that's the "ob/ob mouse". The ob/ob mouse has a genetic defect that prevents them from making leptin - a hormone that we only recently discovered that's been shown to play a highly important role in signalling satiety. These mice aren't capable of producing leptin, so exhibit behaviour that we call "hyperphagic" (which is just a fancy scientific word that means "he eats ****ing loads!"). They never feel full, so they just keep eating and eating and eating, and get insanely obese. So we can use this strain of mouse to investigate their physiology; how it changes at they become obese; what other changes exist (apart from the leptin deficiency) in the obese physiology compared to the lean physiology, etc..We've also noticed that if we give ob/ob mice leptin (or surgically connect their circulatory systems with that of a normal mouse - something called parabiosis), then they stop eating ****loads and return to a normal weight. (unfortunately, there also exists another model known as the db/db mouse, who has a mutation in the leptin receptor that leads to obesity that can't be treated by giving the mouse leptin, as well as diabetes).

We've discovered this same mutation in humans, but it is exceedingly rare. There's a case report here of two severely obese cousins found to exhibit homozygous ob gene \Delta G133 (a deletion of the guanine nucleotide in codon 133 of the ob gene), and that totally wiped out their ability to make leptin. The first kid was over 80kg by the time she was 8 years old, the other kid at 29kg at 2 years old. They later indentified a 3rd child in the same family with the same mutation, and treated all 3 kids simply by giving them the leptin they were deficient in (no dietary or exercise intervention) and experienced spectacular results.

There are plenty of other monogenic causes of obesity (meaning that a mutation in one gene => obesity), but they all focus around about this leptin pathway (although not necessarily the leptin itself), and they're all extremely rare. But they exist. Although, on my quest to find the case studies for you, I found a nice review article for you to look at.

Edit: I don't know how much biology you've done, and I've used some quite technical words there - and I've tried to explain them where I could - so if you're not sure on anything, just let me know!
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