Date of Conferral



Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)


Health Education and Promotion


Jill Nolan


Obesity has been identified as a global health problem and a risk factor for many chronic diseases. While previous studies discussed the weight status and factors associated with overweight and obesity among adults enrolled in traditional universities, few studies have yet estimated the obesity rate among adults who choose online education. Guided by the social cognitive theory, this descriptive exploratory quantitative study used a survey to collect primary data from adult online students of three higher educational institutions. The survey examined the effect of quality of life and physical activity level on the weight status of the participants; taking into consideration the effects of age, race, gender, geographic location, employment status, and program of study on the weight status. The results of the binary logistic regression model indicate that quality of life was a statistically significant predictor of weight status (OR = .429, 95% CI = .200 - .921, p = .030), while physical activity level (OR = .807, 95% CI = .354 – 1.843, p = .612) wasn’t statistically significant; holding age, gender, race, employment status, and program of study constant in this sample of adult online students. The results of this study could enrich academic research through a better understanding of quality of life, physical activity, and weight status of adults in online education. The findings from this study may support positive social change by providing findings that can promote prevention and promotion programs aimed at empowering online students to practice healthy lifestyles based on their gender, age, ethnicity, employment status, and educational level. Such programs may enhance the adoption of healthy lifestyles and positive behavior change targeting adults in online education.