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Research paper about health belief mode Personal beliefs and perceptions determine health behaviour The mention of fast food generates varied perceptions on different people. The truth is that, there are about 350,000 fast food restaurants across the United States (Schlosser, 2001)…
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One needs to regulate consumption of these food components for health reasons. Consumption of more calories than recommended by health experts means that the body will store up the excess calories. This will result in weight gain and other associated complications like obesity. Further health statistics shows that fast food brings about high level of blood cholesterol. High blood cholesterol may result in the hardening of blood veins, causing some cardiovascular diseases and even stroke. Despite these statistics, it is evident that fast food is becoming part of most people’s lifestyle (Schlosser, 2001). This warrants the need to study the factors that drives students to eat fast food. It is common to use the Health Belief Model in explaining situations pertaining health (Edlin & Golanty 2009). The theoretical concept advocated for by the Health Belief Model is that individual’s health behaviour depends on the individual’s personal beliefs and perceptions. This model uses four main perceptions in explaining the various variables in the study subject ( Karen & Rimer 2008).The first one is the perceived seriousness. In health issues, an individual’s health behaviour depends on that person’s perceived effect of a disease in his or her life. The other one is the perceived susceptibility. ... In the context of the perceived seriousness, the model will explain how these students perceive the seriousness of consuming fast food on their health (Edlin & Golanty 2009). For example, a student may belief that he/she can deal with the issue of weight gain caused by the high calories in the fast food by doing regular exercises. This will mean that the student does not perceive fast food as a danger to his/her health. On the perceived risk, since most students are of young age, they may excuse their consumption of fast food on the fact that their bodies burn more calories and fat then adults. Therefore, they may perceive the risk posed by fast food to be minimal on their health (Breakiron, 1989). On the perceived benefits, a student may find nothing useful in changing health behaviour. For example, a student may find that substituting fast food with fruits and vegetables might be time consuming. In this case, the student will be reluctant to change his/her health practise because he/she sees no benefit in changing the behaviour. On the perceived barriers, a student may be having a liking for chicken. Overcoming the graving for the chicken might be hard for this student. In the end, the student will opt to continue with his/her trend for fast food (Porche, 2004). Objective The main objective of this research is to substantiate the level of influence on an individual’s health practice based on the individual’s beliefs and perceptions. The way an individual interprets information concerning a health issue seems to determine his/her behavioural response concerning that health issue. Moreover, personal belief seems to modify someone’s practices concerning health
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