Blood Pressure, Height, Weight And BMI: Article Critique

Blood Pressure, Height, Weight And BMI: Article Critique

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BayatBayat, M., Erdem, E., Barik, O., Baser, M., & Tasci, S. (2009). Blood pressure, height, weight and body mass index of primary school students in a low socio-economic district in Turkey. International Nursing Review, 56, 375-380.

Bayat, Erdem, Barik, Baser and Tasci present a research study that investigated how blood pressure, weight, height and the body mass index correlate among primary school students in a low socio-economic district in Turkey. By conducting the research and obtaining meaningful results and conclusion, the study aimed at equipping practical and evidence-based study for nurses to manage cases of obesity and malnutrition.

To begin the specific objective of the study was to conduct an evaluation of the blood pressure and growth of the primary students in a low socioeconomic area known as Kayseri Province in Turkey. The students involved a total of 610 (n = 610) students both boys and girls from one school that was randomly sampled from nearly 71 schools within the same area. Subsequently, they used a questionnaire for gathering the children’s family data and a health-screening form to obtain descriptive characteristics.

They conducted health screenings that entailed measuring body weight, height and consequently used the measurements to calculate the BMIs. The researchers used to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention approved graphics and tables to determine and illustrate the BMI percentiles. Based on the students’ BMI percentiles, the study categorized those with a BMI of less five as underweight while those above 85 as overweight, and those above 95 as obese. Similarly, they obtained the students’ blood pressure in accordance with the National High Blood Pressure Education Program Working Group that is applicable in the country. They concluded by analyzing the data using SPSS 10.0 statistical software program.

The results of the study indicated that the average height was 137.9cm, whereas the weight was 33.07 kg with a BMI of 16.89 km/m2. They reported that the 2.2% of the students were obese, 4.9% of the students were underweight, 85.7% had ideal weight, and 7.2% were overweight. They further noted that BMI of boys aged between 6 and 9 was slightly higher than that of girls of the same age. The obese were from families with an income higher than the minimum wage. Overall hypertension rate for the students was 2.44%. As for the parents, the study established that 15% of the parents were unaware of their children’s growth. In general, attributed the abnormal weight and height to the cause of hypertension and obesity which are due to unbalanced nutrition.

In general, the researchers provide a balanced approach in presenting their case. They provide a critical evaluation of the links between a wide variety of growth factors and their association with low socio-economic status. Linking growth factors such as height, weight, BMI and blood pressure, the authors imply that in the investigation of healthy growth, various healthy growth indicators should be considered as a whole. Height and weight are used in the calculation of BMI, which is an index that denotes the relative weight. Depending on a person’s BMI, one is deemed as underweight, normal weight, overweight or obese. Consequently, a person’s BMI influences his or her blood pressure, which the researchers managed to evaluate equally.

In general, the authors incorporate a wide range of evidence gathered from a variety of sources in the presentation of their case and justification of the research. They derive their information from reliable sources all through their work, which increases the overall appeal of the study. For example, in explaining the factors that influence growth, the researchers relied on the work of Hennigham and Mcgregor conducted in 2004 that pointed out a correlation between biological and environmental factors such as income level, in influencing growth.

The study design incorporated in the study is also commendable. By opting to combine both qualitative and quantities research designs, the study provides an array of crucial information relevant to the study. Questionnaires are particularly important when a research study involves a large sample as was the case in the study. The use of questionnaires ensures that the respondents remain focused on the important issues and also saves time since they can be administered to a wide audience at particular time. Similarly, in a bid to ensure validity and variability of the study, the researchers incorporated utilized standardized tools of analysis. For instance, in determining the BMI percentiles, the study used the CDC tables and graphics. Additionally, the study utilized a unified criterion approved by the National High Blood Pressure Education Program Working Group that is also applicable. Such standardized tools eliminate possible biases and errors.

Being an actual research, the authors strived to present a study that is technically correct and clearly presented. To begin with, the random selection of the sample population of participants increased the variability of the research. Increasing variability in a research study ensures that the research parameters are widely spread such as age, height, and weight.  The incorporation of statistical analysis tools such as the Chi-square, t-test and the correlation also helps to provide statistically significant data for each of the variables from which the researchers formulated the conclusions and recommendations.

Despite their efforts to provide sufficient evidence to back their claims, Bayat’ work falls short of sufficient and explanation concerning the relation that exist between overweight or obesity and low socioeconomic background. They also fail to provide an elaborate explanation for the cases in which the families with a low income above the minimum wage had underweight children. In addition, the researchers indicate that the abnormal height alongside abnormal weight and unbalanced nutrition are causative factors of hypertension and obesity. However, they fail provide a forthright explanation on the links particularly the influence of abnormal height on hypertension and obesity.

A follow-up for this research article should aim at enhancing on some of the knowledge gaps that the researchers opted to state rather than offer elaborate explanations. For example, a useful follow up should address the occurrence of underweight children in the low income families that earn a larger income above the minimum wage. For example, the researchers can point out on the genetic factors and environment factors that may contribute to the occurrence.

I support the study’s aims and objectives considering the significantly high incidence rate of obesity and hypertension among elementary school children. I also agree with the studies finding that unbalanced nutrition is one of the major causes of obesity, which is also associated with hypertension. I also concur with the article’s idea about the link that exists between family income and health problems. In particular, I support their finding that the rate of obesity tends to be generally lower among children with a low socio-economic level and are instead more likely to be underweight. This is because such families have difficultiesproviding fat-rich fast foods or balanced diets respectively. The article is also in line with my opinion on the need to engage school teachers, nurses and parents in ensuring the proper growth and well-being of their children.


BayatBayat, M., Erdem, E., Barik, O., Baser, M., & Tasci, S. (2009). Blood pressure, height, weight and body mass index of primary school students in a low socio-economic district in Turkey. International Nursing Review, 56, 375-380.


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