Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences


Public Health


The prevalence of obesity has more than doubled in the United States within the past forty years, and children that are raised obese are more likely to have health complications and a shorter lifespan. The onset of the obesity epidemic coincided with numerous factors which likely played a significant role in drastically shifting the food environment and dietary habits of Americans. The food production industry notable capitalized on industrialism and innovative technology to mass produce packaged products that are energy-dense and full of preservatives to increase shelf-life duration. These measures which aimed to secure widespread food availability have resulted in an imbalance from excess caloric intake and an imbalance in dietary composition. While outright food accessibility is still an issue for nearly one-tenth of Americans, the issue of food security has transformed from one of quantity to quality for many individuals particularly in urban settings and lower socioeconomic populations. The now trilliondollar food processing industry is producing and strategically marketing their most profitable products which have been affiliated with obesity. To combat the obesity epidemic, concurrent interventions must be taken to address inadequate federal policy, production, distribution, and personal perceptions through education in nutritional efficacy.

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Public Health Commons