Date of Conferral



Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)


Public Health


Nicoletta Alexander


Obesity is becoming an increasing health concern for young adults. There have been numerous studies on the potential predictors of obesity. However, few studies have researched the predictors of obesity in young adults. Guided by the health belief model, this quantitative cross sectional study investigated the potential predictors of obesity in young adults. The 2011 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System was used to gather data on the potential predictors of obesity, including physical activity, health care coverage, excessive alcohol consumption, and demographic characteristics on 1,511 young adults, aged 18-34 years, who were living in New York State. Data were analyzed using a combination Pearson correlation and multiple regression analyses. The findings on physical activity were statistically significant and revealed that physical activity had the strongest association to young adult obesity. The study provides information for public health professionals that can be used to develop more effective obesity interventions targeting young adults. The implications for positive social change include improving young adult health through the reduction of obesity rates and the promotion of physical activity.