There is a growing concern shown by health experts that people in general do not take proper breakfast especially teenagers. The following research is being conducted to find out about this alarming yet growing trend in Pinefield area. In many households, breakfast is the most neglected meal of the day. The rush in early morning tends to encourage many American adults to skip breakfast entirely, or merely grab a cup of coffee on the run. Teenagers, too, may either skip breakfast chronically, or make random choices of food if they fall back on their own resources.
Studies show that up to 25% of all elementary school children do not eat breakfast. This percentage rises with age. In one survey, involving more than 400 children aged nine to 15 years, nearly 60% reported that they skipped breakfast (Hunter 1994). Dietary habits, sleeping and education are fundamental factors influencing human life styles and may influence individual quality of life (Fujiwara 2003). There are several reports concerning the effects of skipping breakfast on the quality of life of the younger generation (Benton et al 2001).
Kunimoto et al (1998) reported that skipping breakfast is strongly related to constipation in young Japanese women and signs of this relationship have already appeared in adolescents. Eating a nutritious breakfast benefits people of all ages. It may help with weight control. Unfortunately, many people skip breakfast with the mistaken belief that by so doing they will control or reduce their body weight. On the contrary, eating breakfast may help to control body weight.
In a recent short-term study, 52 moderately obese adult women were able to reduce their dietary fat intake and minimize impulsive snacking by eating breakfast regularly (Hunter 1994). Academic achievement is another bonus for teenagers who eat breakfast regularly. There have been mixed results in research studies attempting to show that breakfast skipping is related to poor behavior and poor learning in the classroom, However for teenagers and children who suffer from, or are at risk of under-nutrition, eating breakfast has been found to improve some elements of cognition, learning outcomes and behavior (Radcliffe et al 2005).
Specific Brief “To find out about breakfast eating habits of teenagers residing in the Pinefield area” Research Questions 1. What is the number of days the teenagers have breakfast on an average per week 2. What are the factors and reasons for skipping breakfast? Research Method The research was conducted via simple telephonic survey conducted specifically focusing the teenagers residing in the Pinefield area.
Telephonic survey was chosen because it gives immediate feedback in terms of answers and also availability of the participants. The anonymity of the participants can also be held since there is no face to face interaction involved in any stage of the research although the research topic was very general and usually participants were very comfortable in answering the questions. This survey methodology ensured 92% response rate since even if the teenagers were not present their parents or guardians could answer on their behalf.
The selection of the sample as mentioned in the next section also was based on a mixture of convenience and systematic random sampling which facilitated in a more representative sample of the targeted population. Sampling Method For convenience purpose, the database of sampling was initially limited to the teenagers living in Pinefield area which has 100 semi-detached houses, located beside each other and numbered from 1-100. Then, out of these 100 houses odd numbered houses that is, 1, 3, 5, 7, and so on till 99 were selected employing the systematic random sampling technique.
Therefore initially convenience and later systematic sampling techniques were employed to get a diverse and most representative sample out of the population. Limitations & Ethical Considerations The most important barrier faced during this research was to select a sample which was a true representation of the target population. This barrier was overcome by using the systematic random sampling technique, details of which can be found in the initial part of this chapter. The following are a few other constraints faced by the researchers:
1) Limited Budget 2) Limited Time Almost all studies have their limitations, however, by acknowledging and identifying them, it enhances the ease by which they may be overcome and thus facilitating the collection of primary data which may be considered more authentic and valid. Although the topic of this research is not controversial or stereotypical and the participants were very comfortable to share information, however, the following rights of the participants were reserved throughout the process:
? Informed Consent: The participants of the survey were informed about the details of the study and how they can most effectively add value to this research ? Right of Withdrawal: Participant can withdraw at any stage during the research process ? Right of Refusal: Participant can refuse to share information or answer any question ? Privacy: The information shared by the participant will not be disclosed to others ? Anonymity of Data: The identity of the participant will remain anonymous