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FOOD AND NUTRITION

 

 

 

 

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FOOD AND NUTRITION: Data Analysis Report

Abstract

Purpose –The focus of this paper is to explore the nutritional contour of some of the popular delicacies that are consumed in the United Kingdom. With the underlying knowledge that fast foods have depleted nutritional visibility levels, this paper will offer a consummate discourse on the variation in take away and the prevalence of the consumptions of these fast foods at different regional levels within the United Kingdom. The research work derives its data from major regulatory and policy drafting agencies within the UK.

Methods

The statistical inferences to this work have been derived from the data collected by the Food Standards Agency and the Public Health Department in England. The data used are primary sources for the analysis of the variations in takeaways and the eventual establishment of the nutritional variation between some popular cuisines and their impact on the prevalence of obesity in the UK. Interpretative research reporting rubric will be employed in this study.

Introduction

The socio-economic conditions within the European continent have led to a near total evolution of the feeding tendencies of the population. With these emerging trends in food intake, a crisis within the health sector is looming. This is due to the disparaging health effects resultant from foods consumed by current generations. As explored by Dumanovsky et al (2011) there is an inviolable kinship between chronic lifestyle diseases and the consumption frequencies of the fast foods. Obesity and diabetes for instance, have been listed as one of the most poignant conditions that emerge out of these fast foods. Of more interest though in this study are the variations in intake of these portions in relation to the regional loci of the research. Providently, this research work is entailed in the analysis of the demographic constructs that surround obesity as an emergent condition in the consumption of meals (Evance, 2011).

Method

The study samples 23 municipalities within the expansive UK and cross-links them to the four cuisines that are representatives of the takeaways under study. The data summary highlights the nutrient compositions within the cuisines. Majority of the dietary recalls witnessed in the research indeed admitted the consumption of these takeaway foods. The result employed interpretative approach as a methodology of reporting the findings. Establishing the associations between the takeaway consumption and the prevalence of the same will be explored through the analysis of the demographic variants that are mentioned in the FSA data.

Variation in takeaway:  the variation in the takeaway of the cuisines aims to establish the variance that exists between the portion size of the cuisines and the existing composition of nutrients in these food products. The statistical treatment to establishing the variation in these two variables entailed a computation of a coefficient of variation across the two cases of portion size and the type of takeaway within the cuisines. The methodological statistical treatment used in this analysis employs the use of ratios, aggregation, or a procedural reporting of the composite functions within the SPSS package. In this work, the choice was to subject the two variables to ratio analysis. In this system, the total energy or the portion size will be the numerator while the cuisine type remained the denominator value. The derivation of the CV values will reveal the ratio (standard deviation of the ratio to the mean of the ratio). This method is also applicable in the derivation of the prevalence of the takeaway cuisines across the municipalities. Using a statistical inference from the FSA, the cuisine prevalence will be focused on establishing the density of the outlets within selected centres.

An inference into the statistical data provided by the FSA highlights the adjusted and the non-adjusted prevalence of the underweight and the overweight ratio of adults in England. Direct inference can be made from the adjusted data set. Nevertheless, to establish a variation in the takeaway cuisine prevalence will entail superimposing the data regarding the density of the various types of the takeaway outlet, as provided in the FSA data, and drawing a correlation with the regions that have been provided. Analysis of variance will be critical in evaluating the relationship between these two variables. The ANOVA analysis, as hinted in the earlier submission is meant to compare the means of the two variables that are under this study (density of the different types of takeaway outlets within different regions in the study area). The confidence level for the ANOVA analysis should be fixated at the 95% level. In the analysis throughout this work, the significance level will be put at (.05). Of course, the ANOVA analysis will be based on a hypothesis under study. The hypothesis under investigation in this case will be formulated as described:

“Is there a significant relationship between the various types of cuisines in the takeaway outlets and the regional centres in England?”

Demographic and obesity prevalence data: assessment of the relationship between the obesity prevalence and the regional trends of the prevalence of the same. Basing the analysis on the statistical summary derived from the FSA website, the analytical methodology in this case study. Specifically, this segment of analysis will seek to explore if the regional trends in the consumption of the fast food are associated with the existing prevalence of obesity in the municipalities under the study. This segment will simply entail observation of the existing synthesised data. It is evident from the synthesised data that there is regional variation in the consumption of these takeaway cuisines, but then there is a need to extrapolate this understanding to include the special demographic factors (Dunford, 2012).

 

Discussion

As mentioned earlier, the statistical analysis in this work was performed using the statistical package SPSS. The relevance of SPSS in the analysis was the ability to perform quantitative analyses more proficiently. In the test for the hypothetical constructs in the task, a significant level of (.05) was designed. In addition, as earlier mentioned, all confidence levels were confined within the highest confidence level (95%). In other cases, adjusted means were used as a model of offering efficient comparative analysis. For the sake of accuracy and validity, adjusted means became quite essential especially in the assessment for the associations with the demographic and obesity prevalence data. In the next segment of this discourse, the focus will be to explore the specific tasks performed in the research study and to draw conclusions as witnessed in the data analysed.

Variation in the takeaway of the cuisines:

A statistical analysis of the variation of the takeaway cuisines and the regional municipalities is to offer an insight into how the takeaway rate of various cuisines is related to these municipal areas. The analysis will give a more direct statistical evaluation of each region versus a specific cuisine. As explored in the methodology section, the sample size (number of the regions of interest) is 23. Conversely, the number of cuisines in the study is six, namely Chinese, Indian, English, Pizza, and kebabs. With the hypothesis formulated, the testing of ANOVA will be the most direct analysis to arrive at the conclusion f the investigation. Multiple regressions, to be precise, will be the most accurate form of analysis to be used (Dunford, 2012).

The dependent variable, the cuisine (takeaway) will be used to define the independent variable (regions). Existentially, the result of this analysis will be subjected to the established hypothesis. The hypothesis, “There is a positive relationship between the takeaway cuisines and the various municipal regions.” Based on the requisite assumptions of the linear analysis regressions of the data, the process will be subjected for interpretations. The assumptions for the sample size of 23 is as described below:

  1. Presence of independence of residuals: this can be checked throughout the use of Durbin-Watson statistic
  2. Absence of outliers, higher points of leverage, or highly influential points. These points infer to the areas that fall outside the “line of best fit.” The data filled this criterion and “qualified” for the regression analysis (Dunford, 2012).

Initially, the sample size was larger than 23 of course, however, as a representative sample, a lower value was picked and the statistical analysis performed. The lower value in this case refers to the 23 municipals picked for the analysis. Providently, the cuisine number has been represented by five different types as earlier mentioned. For this study, only the 23 representatives were picked and subjected to the cuisines. To address one of the objectives of the task, there was a reasoning to subject the cuisines singularly to a statistical analysis to establish their variation with the municipal areas. This was to ensure accuracy and imbibe validity into the results of the work (Evance, 2011).

Discussion:

With the analysis of the 23 centres complete, the results indicated a special relationship between these areas and the takeaway of these cuisines. After extrapolating the results of this analysis to meet the threshold of the earlier larger sample frame, a deduction was existentially drafted that there was a major variation between the regional municipalities and the takeaway of these cuisines. Without any doubt, the inference depicts the popularity of the takeaway cuisines within certain regions in the selected municipalities (Dunford, 2012).

From the results, the initial inference is that the municipalities show “linear” variation of the preferences of the takeaway foods. This could be attributed to the existing socio-economic and the political morphology of these regions. Regional preference followed a “preferential pattern” where some regions are not inclined to consumption of salt or high sugar levels of the takeaways. This “regional preference” as inferred from the qualitative statistics, could be due to cultural dispositions or just the weather of the region. (Jaworowska, Blackham, and Stevenson, 2011).

Takeaway cuisine prevalence

The hypothesis in this case, “Is there a significant relationship between the various types of cuisines in the takeaway outlets and the regional centres in England?” was to be proven to establish whether there is variation in the takeaway cuisine prevalence. With the independent and dependent variable identified, the density of the cuisine types (dependent) was analyzed together with the regional levels (independent). With the ρ value tabulated at a lower value (0.4223) which is less than the established significance level, (.05), the null hypothesis was rejected. Technically, this means that the hypothesis will be adopted. There is an increased confidence in the variances of the two variables are equal (at 95%) and the homogeneity of the variances within the statistical analysis assumptions have been met. In conclusion, the rejection of the null hypothesis infers that there is an inviolable kinship between the density of the existing types of cuisines in the data and the regional levels that were picked as representatives of the total municipalities where the research was undertaken.

Discussion

As explored by Dumanovsky et al (2011) there is evidence to affirm that the density of cuisine outlets vary within the regions picked. This is an accurate summation of the theory that the fast foods markets thrive in the urban areas. Density within the urban regions is way “deeper” than the regions that are considered “less urban.” This, as outlined by Dunford et al (2010), is due to the variance of the lifestyle between the countryside and the urban centres. While the specific analyses for the municipalities were not obtained, there is sufficient belief that the lifestyle of a region determines the density of the fast food joints within specified regions. Areas that are considered industrially active or economically active for instance, have witnessed very high density of the takeaway joints. This in essence, is to meet the food gap that is witnessed in such areas where economic activities are salient. Within the health circles, any educative or preventive program against obesity should really focus on the “economically active” municipalities (FSA, 2004).

Demography and obesity prevalence

The FSA data using the adjusted values clearly mentioned the demographic variables in reference to the prevalence of obesity in all the municipalities where the research was undertaken.  This segment of the study was to develop a statistical reference pedestal to establish if indeed there is regional trend in the takeaway consumption or the prevalence of obesity. The demographic factor that will be in consideration during the analysis of this variation is the age. The research was undertaken amongst adults so the independent variable with be the age of the consumers of the products.

Using a correlation analysis (with scatter plots), there was sufficient evidence that the age factor has very weak relationship with the prevalence rate of obesity. Of course this has been a controversial issue within the health circles since obesity has been “labelled” a “lifestyle” condition. The skewness of the scatter plots corroborates a “no relationship” verdict. Finding a linear model through which these two variants can be expressed proved futile. There can only be a single conclusion that these two variants are not interconnected in any cord. But then again, there is a possibility of age being a predisposing factor especially in areas where the genotypic constructs of the victims are to be considered

Conclusion

Higher intakes of the takeaways are very poignant factors that expose the consumers to lifestyle conditions like obesity (Dunford, 2012). There is a variation in the portion size and the composition of the nutrients of various takeaway types of cuisines (Jacobson et al, 2013). Secondly, there is plenty of evidence affirm that the density of the cuisine joints vary depending on the municipals. This has been extensively defined through the prism of “economic activities.” Lastly, some demographic factors like age may not be directly responsible for the prevalence of obesity in the UK

Recommendations

  • Preventive measures to target the areas where the prevalence is likely to be higher. For instance, in terms of the regional variation, the urban centres and the “economically active” regions deserve more attention in the institution of preventive measures to counter obesity.
  • Density of the takeaway joints vary with the municipal centres, therefore, the education for prevention should be systematic to follow the regional latitude

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Dumanovsky, T., Huang, C.Y., Nonas, C.A., Matte, T.D., Bassett, M.T. and Silver, LD     (2011), “Changes in energy content of lunchtime purchases from fast food restaurants   after introduction of calorie labelling: cross sectional customer surveys”, BMJ, Vol. 343, d4464.

Dunford, E., Webster, J., Barzi, F. and Neal, B. (2010), “Nutrient content of products served          by leading Australian fast food chains,” Appetite, Vol. 55 No. 3, pp. 484-489.

Dunford, E., Webster. J, Woodward, M., Czernichow, S., Yuan, W.L., Jenner, K., Ni         Mhurchu, C., Jacobson, M., Campbell, N. and Neal, B. (2012), “The variability of       reported salt levels in fast foods across six countries: opportunities for salt reduction”,         CMAJ, Vol. 184 No. 3, pp. 1023-1028.

Evans, E. (2011), “Takeaway food a briefing paper. Heart of Mersey, UK”, available at:      www. heartofmersey.org.uk/cms_useruploads/files/takeaway_food_a_briefing_paper.        pdf (accessed 31 January 2013).

Food Standards Agency (2004), “Consumer attitudes to food standards Wave 4”, Available            at: www.food.gov.uk/multimedia/pdfs/cas2003er.pdf (accessed 24 January 2013).

Jacobson, M.F., Havas, S. and McCarter, R. (2013), “Changes in sodium levels in processed         and restaurant foods, 2005 to 2011”, Vol. 173 No. 14, pp. 1285-1291.

Jaworowska, A., Blackham, T. and Stevenson, L. (2011), “Reduction of fat and Na content in        takeaway food by recipe reformulation”, Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, Vol. 70 No. OCE4, pp. E173.

 

 

 

 

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