Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Rehabilitation Counseling

First Advisor

Dr. Eva Miller

Second Advisor

Dr. Veronica Umeasiegbu

Third Advisor

Dr. Bruce Reed


According to the World Health Organization (WHO, 2017), more than 1.9 billion adults age 18 and older are overweight and over 650 million are obese. Data collected through the Centers for Disease Control indicates the prevalence of U.S. adults who are overweight and obese is estimated at 36.5% and the national childhood obesity rate is more than 12.7 million (17%), with approximately one in six school-aged children reaching the obesity level (Ogden, Carroll, Fryar, & Flegal, 2015). Hispanic children have the highest levels of obesity among all racial/ethnic groups (21.9%) and obesity rates are especially prevalent among impoverished Hispanics residing along U.S.-Mexico borders where the population is (1) heavily underserved, (2) inadequately educated, and (3) experiencing higher rates of poverty than Hispanics residing in other areas of the U.S. The present study was designed to examine attitudes and knowledge regarding obesity among Hispanic parents to determine if there was a relationship between parents’ knowledge and attitudes toward obesity and their children’s body mass index (BMI). Results indicated knowledge of obesity-related risks, level of physical activity, and dietary habits were predictive of Hispanic parents’ attitudes toward obesity. Implications of the study and recommendations for research to prevent the snowballing obesity epidemic are provided.


Copyright 2017 Renée Starr. All Rights Reserved.