Integrated Approaches to Obesity


You have a reasonable amount of freedom on your essay title. In general it should relate to at least one of the areas we have discussed on the course. Some potential titles are below. In addition to the guidance below I recommend all of you book a tutorial with me early in the new year to help you write the best possible essay.

Potential Essay Titles

1) Discuss the aetiology of obesity and relate your findings to possible treatment strategies. You should describe the mechanisms at work.

2) Compare 2 major treatment strategies for obesity and discuss the extent to which we understand the mechanisms, by which they work, and identify the place of your chosen strategies within integrative treatment approach.

3) Discuss the role of consuming energy dense diets and lack of physical activity in contributing to the rising rates of obesity, what approach could be used to modify these behaviours?

4) Discuss the merits of surgical and pharmacological approaches to the treatment of obesity.   (perhaps consider efficacy and/or  financial costs and/or ethical issues and/or nutritional issues) 

5) The efficacy and safety of novel weight loss diets (such as low Carb diet).


General guidance on essays: the above essay titles are fairly general. Therefore it is important to narrow the topic down to specific populations, areas of interest and issues which are currently debated in the scientific literature. I am happy to discuss modified titles or an alternative title, please email your title to me to confirm it is suitable.  I recommend writing an in-depth essay rather than trying to cover all aspects relevant to a topic. The details on how you approach this are up to you.

An essay at MSc level needs to be analytical and critical. Published review papers can provide ideas on how to approach this essay. Sometimes methodological issues are important as well. An issue of particular importance in many contexts is the design of the study (longitudinal or cross-sectional) and whether studies rely on self-reports (e.g. reporting of weight).

Overall you need to develop an ‘argument’ based on the published literature or even the absence of relevant research. This ‘argument’ should lead to an interesting conclusion which may try to integrate what we know or provide a provocative claim or statement. Remember this is your essay and you are free to make some bold statements, particularly in the conclusion, based on your insights derived from your review of the evidence.


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