Heath issue: Depression
Depression is a state of feeling sad and the most prevalent mental health disease in the world. It affects more than 300 million people. And every year, nearly 800,000 people die by suicide from depression, which is the second leading cause of death in the 15-29 age group (Depression, n.d.).
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), In 20092012, 7.6% of Americans aged 12 and over had depression. Percent of physician office visits with depression indicated on the medical record: 9.3%, and Number of suicide deaths: 47,173, Suicide deaths per 100,000 population: 14.5(FastStats depression, 2021).
Sometimes called the common cold of mental illness, but considered more dangerous than the cold because it affects all stages of a person’s life and does not make him practice his life naturally and transform the feeling, behavior, and thinking. (Coleman, 2012). According to the American Psychiatric Association on its official website, depression affects “one in six people (16.6%)” (Parekh, 2017), and that is due to several determinants:
The first one is Genetic factors: may influence the increased incidence of depression, so family history is essential when diagnosing. The magazine (Frontiers in Psychiatry) published a recent study in 2018 conducted on families that showed that the incidence of depression increases for the first generation’s children if there is a history of depression in one of the parents. (shadrine et al., 2018).
The second is Biological factors: a lack of some chemicals in the brain may cause depression. There are neurotransmitters, such as (i.e., serotonin and Norepinephrine) those that work to regulate mood, so if its amount becomes insufficient in the brain, it leads to depression (Moragne, 2011).
The third is Psychological factors: The personality style and way of dealing with problems can cause depression. People who suffer from anxiety disorders, look at themselves and the world with pessimism, and have low self-esteem are the most vulnerable to depression (Moragne, 2011).
Proposed Research Designs
Design a group study: The first study is a group study design to study the effects of exercise on depression. Individuals suffering from depression were grouped into groups: groups receiving drug therapy and others exercising. They found that in many of these studies, aerobic exercise, on average three times per week for 20 minutes, produced a positive change in these individuals. Those who suffer from mild to moderate depression. The study showed that the chances of relapse of people who continue to exercise are less than the chances of people who continue to take medication (Craft & Perna, 2004).
Case-control study design: A case-control study can be used to determine the effect of high sodium and low potassium on depression. The study can be applied by taking a sample of participants, one of whom is a group afflicted with depression, where half of this group is exposed to the risk factor, which is consuming fast food. The other half is affected but not exposed to the risk factor. The other group is those who do not suffer from depression, half of whom are exposed to risk factors, and the other half are not disclosed or affected. After conducting this study, we can learn the cause and effect of fast food on the depression.
The “Daily Times” site indicated that experts found a link between fast food consumption and the risk of suffering from depression, adding that high sodium levels in the urine told more signs of depression after a year and a half (LaMotte, 2019).
Analytical study design: An analytical study of adolescent depression and lack of sleep could be developed. The researchers will test the relationship between a predetermined number of hours of good sleep and rates of depression in adolescents over six months. It is important to conduct this study on lack of sleep and depression in adolescents to benefit from this study’s results in developing counseling programs to alleviate anxiety and depression in adolescents.
A meta-analysis of 34 studies involving 172,077 participants found a positive association between insomnia and depression. The researchers concluded that insomnia could lead to depression, and they also suggested that preventing insomnia can reduce depression ((Li et al, 2016).
Heath issue: Obesity
Obesity refers to abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health. According to WHO (2020), obesity is defined as a BMI greater than or equal to 30. Obesity has nearly tripled since 1975, with over 4 million people dying each year (CDC 2021). Considering that obesity is difficult to treat and has a high relapse rate, it should be a health issue of concern. In the United States, over two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese, and one in three Americans is obese.
Conditions of Causality to Obesity
The primary cause of obesity is an energy imbalance between calories consumed and calories expended. Some other conditions of causality for obese include:
An increased intake of energy-dense foods that are high in fat and sugars.
Increased physical inactivity: due to the increasingly sedentary nature of many forms of work and changing modes of transport (Must & Evans, 2011).
Genetics: it is common for one to develop obesity if one or both parents are obese. Moreover, genetics affect hormones involved in fat regulation, for instance, leptin deficiency which is a major genetic cause of obesity (Franks & Atabaki, 2017).
Medications: such as certain antidepressants and anticonvulsants are highly associated with weight gain.
Diseases: such as hypothyroidism, insulin resistance, polycystic ovary syndrome.
Psychological factors: some people eat excessively in response to emotions such as boredom or anger.
Social issues: for example, lack of money to purchase healthy foods.
Ethnicity: for instance, African-American women and Hispanic women tend to experience weight gain earlier in life than Caucasians and Asians.
Hormone: women tend to gain weight especially during pregnancy, menopause, or when taking certain contraceptives.
Prospective Cohort Research Design: The classical advantage of this design is that measurement of exposure predates the development of disease, hence reducing the likelihood of biased assessment of the lifestyle exposure differential to disease outcome (Ferreira & Stehouwer 2012). This is especially to conditions like obesity whose management usually involves education and advice about activity and dietary intake.
Cross-sectional study design: it can be used to assess obesity prevalence at a defined time point in a defined population. Particularly, it is relevant in the analysis of the genetic basis of disease, especially when coupled with advances in genotyping technology. Since genetics is a contributing factor to obesity, the design can shed more limelight on what genetic make-up really increases the chances of obesity.
Longitudinal research design: can be used to capture both intrapersonal (within-subject) and interpersonal (between-subject) variations. It also avoids biases due to differential recall of lifestyles. Can be effective in studying associations between change in sedentary behavior and change in adiposity.