Since historical times, the connection between food advertisement and eating habits and nutritional status across cultural and socioeconomic strata, sex, gender, and ethnic groups has been an area of focus for professionals such as dieticians and health care providers and the public whose lives are affected by poor eating habits (Harris et al., 2009). Even though I appreciate all these efforts that have been researched by earlier researchers, I have for long held a subjective opinion that focusing attention on food advertisement on adolescent girls should be the primary basis for research.
The basis of my opinion is that the food and beverage industry considers children and adolescents as key market force (Story & French, 2004). This assertion is supported by the current intensified and specialized food advertising efforts and policies that target adolescents, chiefly girls.
Since I was a child, I have had the opportunity to be in the midst of girls and critically studied their attitude to advertisements, of which I have come to realize that adolescent girls are more easily influenced by food advertisements. It is for this reason, among others, that I am interested in unearthing the relations between food advertisement and adolescent girls’ nutritional status and eating behaviors.
Besides the apparent global interest in this subject, I would wish to explore it further for its personal relations and effects on my life and my family’s. For instance, I have three lovely little kids, one daughter and two sons, whose age range from 5 to 11 years. Notably, all of them fall in the school-going age, their school-going age making food advertisement and teenage girls’ eating habit issues my concern. However, I appreciate that school-going children need a lot of energy and generally love food a lot due to their active lives.
On a more personal level, as a kid, I was rather chubby and I really had a rough time growing up. Additionally, the fact that my family came from a foreign and we settled in a strange land made the situation worse for me as. As I was introduced and got accustomed to the American way of living and eating, characterized by fast food and junk food, I gained more weight.
Hence, since my childhood, I have been concerned with health and well-being. More specifically, I am currently concerned about the physical, emotional, and psychological well-being of my family and my students. As a teacher, I must ensure that my students, who are youth, understand both the positive and negative implications of current food and beverage advertisement.
The proposed site of this study, a high school restaurant and cafeteria, will also be quite ideal to my situation, with regards to my children, students, and the larger adolescent community, which stands to benefit from this study’s findings. Given that my children are soon becoming adolescents, it is my wish that I will be in a position to understand the reason adolescents’ nutrition statuses and eating habits are easily influenced by food advertisements and stand a better chance to correct them.
From my past, present, and future life and experiences, it is evident that I closely relate to the subject of “food advertisement and adolescents’ nutrition status and eating habits” which is the topic of my study. In fact, even the subjects of the study, adolescent girls, are really close and relevant to my situation. In relations to my personal and academic life, I can confidently say that my Master’s degree has given me the needed understanding and unique relationship between an individual, family, and the community at large.
This way, I am better poised to combine the different variables that each of these parameters of life present to me in undertaking a mission focused research. My understanding has made it possible for me to overcome most of the challenges that I would otherwise had been faced with if working with a larger group of people. I can say therefore that my understanding has given me the opportunity to contribute better to society.
Because there is no end to knowledge seeking, I have a strong convection that I there is still room for me to improve myself with a PhD to enable me contribute to society in an expanded capacity owing to the immense knowledge I have already acquired. Because of my six years experience as a teaching assistant, through which I have gained the knowledge and skill in teaching, I strongly believe that it is time to push my ambitions a step further into becoming a Professor at my university.
Once this happens, my personal believe in the importance of knowledge acquisition through continuous learning will be realized. It is not surprising that the focus of my research is one that seeks to improve the lives of adolescents. This is because my previous educational background and work experiences molded me to have a higher goal and solid determination in life, which is directed at creating social impact for all.
I can therefore describe myself as a person who is both career motivated and self-directed. A very clear indication of this is the fact that apart from the fact that I am a teaching assistant at the King Abdulaziz University, I am also in the process of completing my Master Degree in Vocational Family and Consumer Science.
It is important to note however that my identity, experiences, beliefs, features, professional inclinations, feelings, and cultural perspectives will not interfere with the research. Rather these aspects of my life will be well informed on how to ensure my children and society do not make themselves prone to poor nutrition and eating habit due to media influences. This is because my desire to become a professor started at a very young age. It is not surprising that in my bid to becoming a highly respected person, I exerted extra effort in my studies, with which I managed to complete my degree in Bachelor of Science in Education, Major in Home Economic and Art with honor (Rate of 94.47%. GPA 4.72).
After this research, I will be in a better placed to disseminate the findings of the study not only to the public but also to other scholars for further consideration and inclusion in their studies. Thus, the findings will help my and other researchers’ future studies with regards to authenticity, quality, validity, and credibility. Although chances of bias may not be entirely eliminated, my situation and experiences will motivate me to illuminate my inquiries into the topic of the study.
Harris, J. L., Schwartz, M. B., and Brownell, K. D. (2009). “Marketing Foods to Children and Adolescents: Licensed Characters and Other Promotions on Packaged Foods in the Supermarket.” Public Health Nutrition, 13(3): 409-17.
Story, M., and French, S. (2004). “Food Advertising and Marketing Directed at Children and Adolescents in the US.” International Journal of Behavior Nutrition and Physiology Act., 1: 3.