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How Can A Healthy Lifestyle Affect the Social-Emotional Well Being?

Maria Elena Santiago


University of North Carolina Charlotte

Commented [RRS1]: For assignment 2, I will be


responding to the four required sections of the paper,
and I have divided up my feedback to address each of
these areas. I have also incorporated a short
"checklist" to help me respond to every student's paper
more quickly. Please let me know if anything is unclear
or if you have any questions.
Sections of the Paper:
Background
This is a great introduction in that it includes all of
the prompts from the assignment sheet. You pose
some key questions that undoubtedly the reader can
keep in mind while looking at your overall plan in the
ETC.
Flows nicely together and draws the reader in--nice
work.
Literature Review
There needs to be some sort of brief introduction to
the literature review. Tell your readers what the main
topics are for the lit review and what you intend to
provide background on. Figure out your themes
(based on your paragraphs) and add this to a brief
intro to the lit review.
Overall, the sources flow well throughout the lit
review. What you have here is a great example of
what a lit review SHOULD do for a research paper.
Move the last paragraph of your lit review to the
ETC. This section will function well as an intro to
your proposed study.
Entering the Conversation
I love that you actually gave a name to your study-this is an excellent idea, and something I have never
thought of doing when conducting my own research.
Your outlined study is absolutely fantastic! You
included every aspect of conducting an experiment
that would need to be considered in order for it to be
approved by an institutional review board. This is an
excellent model of what to do when designing a study
for ETC. I would like to use yours as an example to
future students--please let me know if this is a
possibility.
Conclusion
Well developed conclusion that addressed all of the
required prompts seamlessly. You worked hard on
this project, and it has tied together nicely.
Overall, this project is a great model of what a real
research paper looks like.
Checklist:
The paper incorporate reputable sources: Yes.
The citation style used for this paper appeared to
be: APA.
The citation style was correct: Yes.
The paper included a works cited page: Yes.
Grammatical issues? No.

Background/Introduction
What is considered a healthy lifestyle? What are benefits can it do for you? These are just
some of the questions that came into my mind when I started getting interested in healthy living.
Through the years, developing a healthy lifestyle has become a major subject in the public health
field. A lot of diets come out here and there, hence, promising astonishing improvements in
health and weight loss primarily. For example, one of the most popular diets is the Weight
Watchers. This type of diet focuses in maintaining balanced meals while taking into
consideration the persons preferred foods (Markey, 2015). But as far as having a healthy
lifestyle is the persons goal, I believe that physical exercise and eating nutritional food is still
the best option. There is no such thing as quick fixes or shortcuts when it comes to switching to a
healthier lifestyle. It must also be done with consistency, awareness of what you eat/do and
discipline.
Interestingly, most of the studies that I have read focused on the physical benefits a
healthy lifestyle can bring, such as protecting the body from diseases or help in maintaining a
healthy weight. For example, according to Bolton et. al. (2008), practicing a healthy lifestyle
such as exercise and proper nutrition can help in preventing diseases, such as diabetes and heart
disease. These diseases are also known as the primary causes of mortality in the U.S. (Markey,
2015). As I ponder on all these physical benefits, I cant help but become curious about what it
can do to the social and emotional well being of a person. Does it elicit a positive or negative
change, or does it remain the same?
In this paper, I intend to propose a lifestyle switch study that will measure the impact of
healthy lifestyle in the social-emotional aspect, for the purpose of weight loss for the ages 20-35
years old. This is interesting to know because these are parts of a persons life that are just as

important as the physical well being. I want my research to focus on this because there seem to
be a lack of research findings about its benefits in the social-emotional area. I will specifically
focus on how these two areas of healthy lifestyle: physical exercise and healthy nutrition, benefit
the social-emotional dimension.

Although this is the case, I want to

say that there are some potential biases that I might have towards this study. One of it is not
being able to realize that maybe there are other parts of switching to a healthy lifestyle that need
more focus on, like quitting smoking and drinking, that I may disregard since I do not engage in
such activities. So instead, I am letting the readers know that this paper will be centered on the
areas of exercise and nutrition only. Also, I would also like to address my biased opinion with
regards to a person who might be beginning to engage in a healthy lifestyle, compared to me who
has done it for the most part of my life. I might in a way give off the impression that switching to
a healthy lifestyle is easy since I have always done it. But compared to others who are just
starting, it can be challenging. Another potential bias that can occur is my inability to consider
why some people may prefer to live the opposite kind of lifestyle since I have always lived a
healthy lifestyle. I may overlook the reasons why some people have the tendency to neglect their
health, which can be due to different reasons such as lack of time to exercise, lack of resources to
healthy foods or maybe the lack of access to fitness facilities. All of these factors can hinder a
person from switching to a healthy lifestyle. This proposed study will concentrate for the purpose
of weight loss only. Therefore, it is unknown what the outcome can be for other fitness goals
such as weight maintenance and muscle toning. These fitness goals can have various effects in
the social-emotional well being. Lastly, a bias as well can occur since this study is going to
measure social-emotional aspect which can change over time. This can cause the study to be
inaccurate since what is being measured are emotions, moods and feelings.

Literature Review
Healthy lifestyle involves multiple areas that are practiced all together to achieve the
maximum positive benefits for ones well-being. People do it for different reasons. Some people
do it so that they can be healthy and live longer, some for their physique and others do it to avoid
chronic illnesses. I for one strive to live a healthier lifestyle, and I do it because I want to be in
good health. But although healthy lifestyle is mostly viewed as a routine that most people do to
receive recognition, it is more useful to know what healthy lifestyle really is. In one study
conducted by The American Journal of Medicine (2009), a healthy lifestyle is considered present
when there is a nutritious diet, regularly engaging in exercise, keeping a healthy weight,
moderately consuming alcoholic beverages and avoiding smoking; and all of these contribute to
a lesser risk of having a heart disease. Clearly, healthy lifestyle doesnt only involve changes in
the physical activities one engages in but also with the quality of the food and drinks consumed.
It is also important to know that the three main topics I want to elaborate for this literature
review are physical activity, proper nutrition and diets, and each will be discussed in depthly. I
have chosen these three aspects because I perceive them to be the biggest contributors in the area
of healthy living.
There have been numerous studies about physical activity and the benefits linked to it. In
a study conducted regarding cancer survivors, physical activity was known as a strategy
survivors used to assist themselves during medical procedures (Schwartz, 2008). This study
shows the benefit of physical exercise for even those diagnosed with a serious illness by
providing them with a coping mechanism that can help them as they go through treatment and
healing. In the SMILE (Standard Medical Intervention and Long-term Exercise) study, it was
discovered that at the end four-month intervention period, participants experienced their

depressions lift and reported fewer dysfunctional attitudes and increased happiness and selfesteem (Lyubomirsky, 2007). Remarkably as well, a randomized intervention states that
physical exercise may be the most successful happiness boosting endeavor there is
(Lyubomirsky, 2007). With this information, it is interesting to know how exercise can positively
affect the human emotions. There has also been a link between long life and physical activity. In
a study done by Dan Buettner, the National Geographic and National Institute of Aging, some
significant findings were discovered. Interestingly, the oldest and healthiest people set up
themselves in activities that would force them to move around such as walking to a store or do
gardening (Buettner, 2009). Now, it is interesting to know that these researches have highlighted
the positive impact exercise can do for protecting the body against illnesses, mood and aging.
Proper nutrition is also one of the key components in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Food can be be compared to a gasoline that fuels the body in order for it to function efficiently.
According to Dean Ornish (2004), Americans tend to consume bad carbs like sugar and white
rice, which then makes the insulin level spike up and drop down easily and quickly. Instead,
Ornish suggested consuming good carbs such as fruits, vegetables and whole wheat in order to
achieve a better health. Most recently, there have been news regarding the Lead contamination of
water in Flint, Michigan. But according to Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, giving children foods that
are rich in nutrients such as Calcium, Iron and Vitamin C can help in the prohibition of lead
absorption into the bodys system (Kruth, 2016). This demonstrates that healthy eating can also
be beneficial even during crisis. Although there are numerous benefits healthy eating can do,
there are some issues regarding the evolution of food over time. Mark Brittman emphasized how
food was changed negatively in a way. During the early 1900s food was very simple, it wasnt
canned or frozen and most especially not processed (Brittman 2007). But he noted that food

eventually became processed and canned due to the fact that there wasnt anybody available to
cook for the family because both parents work. Processed food can be potentially detrimental
due to the concentration in energy it possesses, which then can cause obesity issues when over
ingested (Zheng & Zhen, 2008). It is then suggested that people should consume more fruits and
vegetables, and fewer of the meat and processed food (Britmann, 2007). Nutrition has become
more controversial over the years. It has its good and bad side. There are processed foods
everywhere and families seldom cook food for the household due to time constraint. And this has
led people to rely on fast food as time went on. Doing this resulted to both a positive and
negative outcome. People had more time to do other activities, but the health is neglected.
Last but not the least is diet, which is also another controversial subject of living a
healthy lifestyle, having a positive and negative view. Although, it is astounding to know that
American diets are positively changing over the years (Wilson, et. al 2015). There are a variety
of diets that are helpful for ones well-being and could possibly help in lessening the risk of
acquiring diseases. In a research study about preventive diets, it was indicated that including
food that is rich in unsaturated fat specifically Omega-3, whole grains and plenty of vegetables
and fruits in a diet, can help in the prevention of developing cardiovascular diseases; and
longside with this diet is the inclusion of having a healthy weight and exercise (Hu & Willett,
2002). Interestingly, there was no specific diets like Atkins, Low-Fat and Low-Carb that were
mentioned. Although we have seen its good side, diets can also cause damage to ones body
according to Aamodt. She stated that Weight obsession leads to eating disorders, especially in
young kids (Aamodt, 2014). This is very alarming because young children need a variety of
nutrients and not only that, this can damage their self-confidence or self-esteem. In an interview
by Santiago (2016) with Carmela Roxas RPT, it was stated that diets do not work. These fad

diets can only achieve short-term goals and after some time, the weight that was lost eventually
comes back (Roxas, 2016). Regarding Santiagos observations, there were patterns observed.
They all did not adhere to any specific diet but they were quite certain on the food they ate. The
participants in the observations consumed food that are mostly plant based and lean meat. To
summarize this, people have different views when it comes to diet. Some attest to its
effectiveness while others dont. I can see from the studies that diet is not specifically about
restricting ones self from a food group but it is more of being moderate with the proportions in
each food group. More importantly, it is about indulging to food that will not give you energy
but will also benefit the health.

Entering The Conversation


As I compiled these studies, I have noticed a similar result. Most of the materials stated
the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle of either through physical activity, nutrition and diets,
mostly in the physical aspect. Although having knowledge about the benefits of healthy living in
the physical aspect are relevant, I think that research should expand more to the other areas of a
persons well being like the social and emotional aspect. What can healthy lifestyle do to a
persons social development? What does having a healthy lifestyle do to a persons emotional
stability? Can doing a complete lifestyle change alter a persons emotions and socialization
positively, negatively or does it remain the same? These are questions that I believe can
transform how healthy lifestyle can be viewed.
Without a doubt, the other studies that were shown demonstrates the importance of living
a healthy lifestyle in the physical aspect. What is lacking though is the knowledge about the
impact of a healthy lifestyle in the social and emotional aspect of a person. Clearly, I cannot
conduct such study due to the limitations I have with time and other resources, but what I intend

to do is to propose a study that will measure the social-emotional development of a person who
intends to lose weight. I want to focus on this part of healthy lifestyle because I think that it is the
most popular lifestyle change that people engage in. Aside from it being a study, it will also
serve as a health and fitness program for the participants. The study will be called the I Can!
Lifestyle Switch Study. First of all, I want to discuss the methods to be used for this study. The
study will have 200-250 participants, composed of both men and women, from the young adults
population (20-35 years old). Prior to engaging in this program, their social and emotional base
points will be measured through a rating scale. More specifically, their social-emotional
competencies will be measured in the following aspects: empathy, valuing relationships, selfconfidence, social self-concept and conflict resolution. The ranking to be used will be Strongly
Agree (5), Agree (4), Neutral (3) , Disagree (2) and Strongly Disagree (1). The social-emotional
rating scale will measure their current engagement with people including friends, family, coworkers and also how they feel about themselves. They will also encounter an audiotaped
interview about their personal health lifestyle and how they currently feel about it. As a part of
the data collection and analysis, the participants are going to answer again the social-emotional
rating scale and also encounter the audiotaped interview after their participation in the study.
In this lifestyle switch study, numerous areas will be tracked such as the following: social
development, emotional development, physical development and food intake. This program will
last for 6 months (minimum) to 1 year (maximum) in order to obtain its full potential for the
participants. First of all, let me discuss the nutritional aspect of the program. Although it will last
for 6 months to 1 year, the participants are allowed to have a cheat meal every week wherein
they can eat a meal that they have been wanting to have. The purpose of this is to prevent the
participants from getting tired of the healthy food that they would usually eat for the majority of

the week. For their food intake, they will be given a food diary wherein they will have to list
down all the food that they will eat for each day. This will help the participants to stay motivated
and keep track of their food choices. In order for the food diary collection to be uniformed and
convenient, the participants will use the Smartphone application MyFitnessPal. MyFitnessPal is
a free online food diary that lets who add the meals you have eaten and also the beverages and
also calculates the calorie intake of each food (MyFitnessPal, 2005). After each week, their food
diary will be reviewed. They will be advised to eat healthy, making sure that it will mostly be
plant based and when it comes to meat, sticking to lean proteins instead. The participants will be
advised as well to avoid fast food and processed food. If they seem to want to eat those kinds of
unhealthy food, they are allowed to as a part of their cheat meal once a week. They will be
reminded to drink lots of water and sticking to plain tea or coffee for the other beverages.
For the purpose of the study, the participants height, weight, BMI and fitness level will
be recorded by an RPT (Registered Physical Therapist). For the physical activities that the
participants will engage in, they are going to do at least 30 to 45 minutes of physical activity for
3-5 times a week, depending on their fitness level. They have the freedom to choose which type
of physical activity they opt to do. The options that they can choose from are running, power
walks, weights training, sports (e.g. tennis, basketball, soccer) or group classes such as Zumba or
Barre. They can also put variety to the physical exercises that theyre engaging in by switching
from one type to another, as long as they stick to it. When it comes to monitoring their weight,
BMI and fitness level it will be measured and recorded every month and also at the end of the
study by the professional.
Perhaps it will be important to know that another vital area is the data analysis. The type
of data analysis to be used are a mixture of both qualitative and quantitative research type. The

qualitative research type will be used because this study wants to know how the participants
quality of life changed as they engage into a healthier lifestyle. It involves qualities, such as
feeling more confident. As I said previously, their social-emotional aspect will be measured by a
rating scale and an audiotaped interview will also be conducted. This study is also quantitative in
such a way that it will measure their weight, BMI and fitness level. Therefore, it involves
numerical data that needs to be analyzed. In addition to measuring their social-emotional wellbeing through a rating scale, they will also answer a questionnaire which will measure their
perception of whether their quality of life was changed positively, negatively or or it remained
neutral. Although this will be used to measure their perception, its downside is that
questionnaires rarely tend to adequately measure the change of emotions and behaviors. The data
will be presented through a bar graph. This will be used because it will accurately demonstrate
how the data changed over time. Below is just an example of how the bar graph will appear, if
ever the study will done. The computer application Google Sheets was used to create this graph.

Lastly, the study needs to analyze and describe the outcomes or findings. This study
needs to be very in depth because it involves perception, behaviors and feelings. The outcomes
will be presented through a detailed description of the experience which will be derived from the

audiotaped interview after the study.

For this research study, two of the complications that can be encountered is the funding
and the professionals to be involved in the study. It will take a lot of professionals (physical
therapists, nutritionist, clinical psychologists) to be involved in this study. The physical
therapists will be responsible
for the physical measurement, nutritionists will be responsible for the analyzing the food choices
participants eat based on their food diary and clinical psychologists will be responsible for
constructing the rating scales, questionnaire and conducting the interview. In this, I would like
to propose that the professionals that can work for this study are senior university/college or
postgraduate students in the said professions. This can benefit both the project and the students.
First of all, the students can get an experience on their profession early on. Second, the study can
save financial resources by doing so. As for the funding, it can be possibly be provided by the

U.S. Government through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention since this project can
possibly help Americans on achieving weight loss, but more so a better holistic health.
Overall, I believe that this proposed lifestyle switch study is important because of two
reasons. First of all, this study can hopefully answer some questions most people have about
nutrition and physical exercise; how will exercising and eating healthy benefit me? Is trying to
switch to a healthier lifestyle difficult? What good will come out of this?. Through this
program, people will gain a better understanding of their own bodies but also their behaviors and
feelings regarding healthy lifestyle. It will inform them as well on how far they can take risks to
achieve their fitness goal. Second, researchers can have a more elaborate knowledge on what
living a healthy lifestyle can do to peoples social and emotional well being. This can lead to a
better understanding of peoples social and emotional development when something in their
lifestyle is altered, such an example is whether they will become more sociable as they got into
the study and whether they had less mood swings as they tried to become healthier. I do know
that my proposed lifestyle switch program can be ambitious and needs more planning, but I am
hopeful that this can open doors for peoples curiosity on what living healthily can do for the
social-emotional aspect.

Conclusion/ So What?
Since I only proposed a study that can be done to measure the social-emotional benefits
of healthy lifestyle, I cannot present a research finding. But what I can think of as a result of this
paper is the formation of the framework to be done if such a study is to be pursued. I have
presented which areas of the development will be studied (social and emotional), the tools that
can be used (rating scales, questionnaires and audiotaped interviews), the professionals to be
involved, the areas in healthy lifestyle the study will concentrate on (exercise and nutrition), and

the fitness goal intended (weight loss). This paper also resulted into coming up how much time
will be spent for this study, which can last for a year or even more. This study is doable and
compelling. But clearly, this needs to be improved and be more detailed but it provided the
necessary ideas for the intention of the study.
As I research about the science of healthy lifestyle, there are a some implications that I
have encountered and pondered upon to be significant. First of all, I have noticed that most of the
research studies being conducted are about its benefits for the physical health. So far, I have only
read the research findings of Lyubomirsky (2007) about the happiness boosting capacity of
physical activity in a person. This is may seem to be the closest that I have found to be related to
the emotional benefits of healthy lifestyle. But if you analyze it, the author only talked about
physical activity and happiness. Physical activity is only an area of healthy lifestyle and
happiness is also just a part of the emotional dimension. What I am trying to say here is that,
future research needs to pay attention to the other parts of a persons development. It cannot be
denied that the physical aspect is important, but so are the social and emotional aspects because
these are the ones that drive peoples behaviors and feelings.
Another implication that I have seen was the growth of processed food over the years
(Brittman, 2007). It seemed like people relied on processed food because schedules became too
hectic and people prefer something that is convenient. Although this is the truth, it is sad to know
that it evolved negatively. Food used to be fresh from farms but it is now pre-packed, frozen or
processed. I hope though that people will be open to switching to a healthy lifestyle because I am
a firm believer that food is the fuel of the body. If you invest in good fuel (food), it will result to
a better performance (health).

There are still a lot of topics that can be researched about healthy lifestyle. I believe that
knowing more about it can improve the quality of our health and life in general. This can also
lead to more awareness of what we eat and what we do with our bodies. One of the most
intriguing questions that I can think of was whether healthy lifestyle has an effect in the
cognitive functioning of a person, specifically for a college student like me. I wonder if this helps
in students being able to concentrate more and actually have better academic performance due to
healthy living. Or if this inhibits students from reaching their full potential. Another question that
I have thought of was whether people are switching to a healthy lifestyle because of weight loss,
weight maintenance, muscle toning or they just want to be healthy. This is interesting to know
because everybody has a different goal in doing this. I want to know as well which goal is the
most popular among men and women, and whether theyre able to attain the fitness goals. How
do men and women differ when it comes to setting their fitness goals? Is there a difference in the
attainment of these goals for younger and older people as well? These are just some questions
that I think scientific research can answer over time. To end this paper, I want to tell you that
healthy lifestyle can be achieved, whether you want to live healthy, lose weight or to tone your
muscles. Lastly, it all starts with making that choice for yourself.

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