Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Applied Statistics and Data Science

First Advisor

Dr. Xiaouhi Wang

Second Advisor

Dr. Shantanu Chakraborty

Third Advisor

Dr. Hansapani Rodrigo


Obesity has become more ubiquitous during the past few decades, and still, its prevalence is increasing. It is in every population in the world and all regions, including rural parts of low and middle-income countries. In the USA, regardless of age, the severity of obesity is no different from the global trend. Although numerous pieces of literature are available, that tried to find answers to some pressing issues like how obesity can be controlled, but there is little to no study focused on younger children, especially the 4-6-year-old Hispanic population. Our study aimed to determine the causal path among literature suggested factors for obesity using NHANES 2014-2018 data. We also build a predictive ML model to predict obesity based on given features. Our analysis discovered a significant path from increased physical activity to decreased BMI. In addition, a significant causal path was found from education to BMI via physical activity. The Hispanic population has a significant causal path from nutrient intake to BMI.


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