Obesity Research Paper

| June 22, 2015

You are the long-suffering aide to State Assemblywoman Smith, a well-meaning but excitable senior member of the California State Assembly. She has been too busy working on her re-election campaign to learn about a topic her constituents are concerned about- the rise in obesity rates. She needs to be educated on the topic of obesity. Because she knows that you are a CSUF student, and therefore highly scientifically literate, she has asked you to prepare a 1000-word (maximum) topic summary paper. Your state assemblywoman is extremely busy, has many other commitments, and is not a biologist. Therefore you need to be concise and clear, yet thorough.

In your paper, you will include the following (about a paragraph for each point):
1. How is obesity defined? What are the dangers of being overweight, even if not in the “obese” range? Support your answer with evidence and reasoning.
2. What factors strongly influence the probability of becoming obese?
3. The mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, proposes a ban on the sale of large sugary drinks, while providing “Health Bucks” to use at farmers markets. Would you support a similar program in Orange County? Why or why not?
4. Propose a project or bill that the state assemblywoman could become involved in that would help decrease the obesity rates in our population (aside from the ideas proposed in New York City). Describe who you would target (i.e. people already suffering from the problem, kids, etc), and how. Remember, we are in a recession right now, so your plan must be cost effective.

Make sure to read the following articles:
“How to Fix the Obesity Crisis” by David H. Freedman, February 2011, Scientific American
“New York Plans to Ban Sale of Big Sizes of Sugary Drinks” by Michael Grynbaum, May 30, 2012, NY Times

You should also review relevant chapters in your textbook, and use other sources to fill in missing information. You must use and reference at least one additional source for this paper besides the Scientific American and NY Times articles listed above and your textbook (making the minimum references for your paper 4). Keep in mind that your paper should be well supported by evidence and having a good number of quality sources will help in this regard.

It is important that your paper be thoroughly researched and clearly written. You should define all your terms and be concise (1,000 words maximum). This assignment is designed to give you the experience of applying your knowledge of biology to a current controversy or topic of interest. You will use the same sort of method that you will later use as an informed citizen and consumer when making decisions that involve biology.

Other resources
Primary Sources: You will find information in the “primary literature,” which is where the research was originally published. You can find these articles by using CSUF’s on-line search engines, or by asking for the help of a CSUF librarian. Examples of the primary literature include Science, Nature, Proceedings of the National Academy, and Genetics.
Secondary Sources: You may also find relevant articles in recent newspapers, popular magazines, or popular science journals. These are referred to as “secondary” sources, since they describe research that was published elsewhere. Examples of these include The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, Time, Scientific American, Discover, New Scientist, and Science News.
Websites: If you choose to use a website, be aware that most websites are not peer-reviewed, and often present inaccurate information. Examples of excellent websites include those of the National Academy of Science, the National Institute of Health, the Centers for Disease Control, and WebMD. If you are unsure of the appropriateness of a website, check with your instructor. Alternatively, the CSUF library has an excellent guide to evaluating websites at http://library.fullerton.edu/ under Guides for Undergraduates.

The structure of your response
• Be sure to cover all four points mentioned above and define all technical terms that you use.

• Your paper must be between 750 to 1000 words (not including references). Your paper should be double-spaced with one-inch margins, using 12 point Times New Roman font. No cover page is required.

• You are not allowed to include any quotes in your paper. All of your writing must be original. You must paraphrase ideas from the literature, even if you provide an in-text citation.

• Information and ideas that are paraphrased must be accompanied by proper in-text citations in the body of your paper and a corresponding reference in APA format.

• You need to review your paper for format, spelling, grammar and usage errors before you submit it, or you will lose points.

• Please also review the grading rubric on Titanium before submitting your paper to make sure that you have done everything you can to receive a good grade.

Guidelines for Citing References
In-Text Citations
In-text citations should be in APA format. You can find a summary of APA guidelines for your reference page at: http://www.lscc.edu/library/Documents/apacite.pdf

Reference Page
Your bibliography should be formatted using APA (American Psychological Association) guidelines. You can find a summary of APA guidelines for your reference page at:
http://www.lscc.edu/library/Documents/apacite.pdf

Submitting your response
Late papers will not be accepted. You must submit an electronic copy of your paper to Turnitin.com before the beginning of class on the day it is due.
1. Submitting your response to Turnitin.com
An electronic copy of the paper with references is due to Turnitin.com by the beginning of your class on XXX, 2012. Turnitin.com will not accept papers after the start time of your class. If you do not submit your paper to Turnitin.com by XXX, 2012 you will receive a zero for the assignment. Your response must be submitted to Turnitin.com, which is a plagiarism detection program, in order for your paper to be graded. All submissions will be evaluated, but if you submit a paper with a similarity index greater than 10% you will probably be reported to the Vice President for Student Affairs and receive a zero for the assignment. Refer to the attached instructions on how to submit your paper to Turnitin.com.

Preparing your paper for submission
Turnitin can accept files in the following formats: MS Word, WordPerfect, PostScript, PDF, HTML, RTF, and plain text. Be sure that you save your paper in one of these formats.

The beginning of your paper should include the following information:
Your name
The date the assignment is due
Biology 101, and your section number
Your instructor’s name
Your paper title

This writing assignment is designed to provide opportunities for the student to find, evaluate, select, synthesize, organize, cite, and present information and arguments clearly and effectively for understanding scientific issues on personal, societal, and global levels.

NOTE: Your electronic submission should include all in-text citations as well as your reference page.

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