Date of Conferral



Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)


Health Services


Namgyal Kyulo


In the past few years, there has been an alarming increase in childhood obesity in the United States and worldwide, however there is little consensus around how to respond to the problem. What has now become an epidemic, was uncommon decades ago. This study assessed the demographic factors associated with childhood obesity among WIC participants in 2014. The study utilized demographic data from 3,011,119 participants in 2014 nationally representative National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, and social cognitive theory (SCT) to understand the demographical factors associated with childhood obesity. Adjusted odds of obesity were calculated to assess association between males and females, non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black, Hispanic, American Indian/Alaskan native, Asian/Pacific Islander, and 24-59 months old WIC participants. To test for differences in obesity trends interaction terms were added to the logistic regression between age, gender, and race. The adjusted prevalence of obesity among WIC participants was higher among males than females, among 36-59 months old, and finally among the Hispanics and American Indians/Alaskan natives compared with other racial groups. Significant impact can be achieved in terms of social change by modifying relative food prices, increasing exposure and gaining access to healthy foods and lowering exposure and access to unhealthy foods, and improving the image of healthy food while making unhealthy food less appealing.