1. Assistant Director of Nurse Education, College of Mental Health Nursing, Purdysburn Hospital, Saintfield Road, Belfast BT8 8BH, Northern Ireland
    Search for more papers by this author


While recognizing that many factors may contribute to the causation of ischaemic heart disease, this project attempts an in-depth examination of just one of them — obesity. The author has endeavoured to discover if there are sex differences in the incidence of obesity and whether or not obesity is related to age. Whilst recognizing the limitations of the small sample used in this project some tentative conclusions/speculations will be outlined. Some attempt has been made to discover if the average person is aware of what is meant by the term ‘obesity’ and if they sec themselves as having this problem. Because of an intuition that people may become obese due to bad eating habits and ignorance about the nutritional value of certain foodstuffs, subjects were asked to list the calorific value of certain foods and their responses are discussed. A further attempt was made to ascertain whether the respondents had ever gone on a diet and if so, the type of diet and the success or otherwise of this measure. The subjects were further questioned to discover their level of knowledge regarding the possibility of certain disorders arising as a consequence of obesity and asked to outline what action they would take if they were faced with these consequences. Some conclusions have been drawn regarding the actions which would be taken when faced with crippling consequences. Finally, an attempt has been made to discover if some psychosocial states contributed to the causation of obesity or whether obesity leads to some psychosocial problems. As a result of these findings and a review of current literature on the subject, certain recommendations have been made.