Date of Conferral





Public Health


Chinaro M. Kennedy


A lack of adequately built environments can negatively affect obesity rates among adolescents. The purpose of this quantitative cross-sectional study was to determine if there is a relationship between the presence of built environments and childhood obesity among the immigrant population living in Cobb County Georgia. The social ecological model was used to explain how environmental factors may influence behavior. The research questions addressed whether walkability and elements of built environments such as to healthy foods and access to parks and recreational areas of census tracts affect childhood obesity when adjusting for race/ethnicity and immigrant population in Cobb County. Data was collected from government websites. Student enrollment, school ethnicity, and free/reduced lunch data were retrieved from the website, School Digger, which gathered their information from the National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Census Bureau, and the Georgia Department of Education data sources. Average BMI data were gathered from the Georgia Department of Education 2016-2017 Georgia fitness assessment report. Data were analyzed using independent t-test, Pearson correlation and 1-way ANCOVA. Findings showed a statistical significance with the existence of farmer's markets and child obesity but no significance among the other built environment variables. The results from this study can help community leaders develop an inclusive plan to reduce the occurrence of obesity in adolescents within the target area.