Date of Conferral

2019

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Health Services

Advisor

David Anderson

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to more fully understand the reasons underlying poor nutritional status among adults in the United States (US) and to provide research findings that can be used to develop programs and policies to help improve nutritional status in the US. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) dataset and the correlational quantitative study design were used to explore the associations between food security, household smoking, and demographics and nutritional status. The social ecologic theory, specifically the social ecology of health as it relates to interventions, was used as the study's theoretical framework. The results of the regression analyses conducted found statistical significance with respect to the effect of food security on nutritional status. In addition, significant moderation of the relationship by the demographic variable race/ethnicity was found using additional regression models, which incorporated interaction effects. Additionally, correlational analysis was conducted between independent and dependent variables in order to determine whether multicollinearity was present, and strong multicollinearity was found with food security but not with living in a smoking house. Public health professionals should focus on these findings when creating new programs and policies. Doing so may help to improve the nutritional status of the U.S. population.

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