Date of Conferral





Health Services


Clarence J. Schumaker


Knowledge, Attitudes, and Beliefs about Food Additives and Obesity


Lorna Theresa Ingram

MS, Long Island University, 2007

BA, Florida International University, 1999

Dissertation Submitted in Partial Fulfillment

of the Requirements for the Degree of

Doctor of Philosophy

Walden University

November 2019

Obesity is a chronic health problem that affects the health and well being of its population. The purpose of this cross-sectional, descriptive study was to examine whether there is a relationship between individuals’ knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs regarding food additives and obesity. The research questions concerned knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs participants had regarding food additives and obesity. The theoretical foundation for this study was the social learning theory. The participants for this study were recruited from a religious organization in central Florida via announcements in the church bulletin. The method of study was a survey using Survey Monkey online website and the data analysis method was using SPSS software program. According to study results, on average, the level of knowledge regarding food additives and obesity was a score of 5 out of 7, and there was no difference in knowledge, attitudes, or beliefs among the study participants based on age, income, gender, education, or racial group. The linear regression model indicated that there was a statistically significant relationship between associate degree and knowledge; however, assumption testing revealed that there were issues of heteroscedasticity indicating that the results should be treated with caution. Social change implications based on the findings of this study include a need for additional education regarding the relationship between food additives and obesity, particularly among individuals with lower levels of education.