Date of Conferral



Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)


Public Health


Vasileios Margaritis


Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are exogenous man-made substances that have the ability to interfere with hormone action and are believed to be a contributing factor to chronic illnesses, including but not limited to obesity. Recent studies have suggested that environmental agents (environmental obesogens), such as food additives, plasticizers, and personal care products are contributors that aid in the altering of hormone receptors and hormone mimicry. Such environmental obesogens have the potential to promote adipogenesis and fat accumulation. In this study, the social-ecological model was used to determine the factors that can influence the increased exposure to obesogenic chemicals at the intrapersonal, interpersonal, organizational, and community levels of an individual. This correlational cross-sectional quantitative study analysis of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2015–2016 cycle investigated the possible relationship between the dependent variable of body mass index (BMI) and the independent variables of bisphenols A, F, S, acrylamide (AA), and glycidamide (GA) while controlling for confounding variables that served as markers for each level of the social-ecological model. Linear regression analysis indicated that the endocrine disruptors BPA and AA/GA were the only significant predictors of BMI (p < 0.05) among the confounding variables of income, race, food security, and times healthcare was received over the past year. This study can promote positive social change by offering insights on the levels of exposure to endocrine disruptors, which can be useful for longitudinal epidemiological and biomonitoring studies, conducted by national and international environmental agencies, for precautionary toxicological assessments in the future.