Graduate Program

Nutrition and Dietetics

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Semester of Degree Completion

Spring 2019

Thesis Director

Melanie T. Burns

Thesis Committee Member

Nichole Hugo

Thesis Committee Member

Melissa K. Maulding


Epidemiological studies indicate that 12.5 million children and adolescents are considered obese (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2017). Obesity is on the rise globally, and while it affects both children and adults, early measures can be taken to reduce the number of children who are obese, and therefore, come into adulthood at a higher risk for obesity-related diseases, such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and sleep apnea. There are many studies in which programs are implemented and tested for effectiveness; therefore, a systematic review of these studies that examine which factors play into overall obesity prevention and health improvements among children is warranted. This study examined which factors of intervention strategies contributed to the success of a program, with success being defined as improved anthropomorphic measures, behavioral changes, environmental improvement, and increase in cardiovascular health. Results of this study indicate that successful intervention programs incorporated both nutrition education and physical activity. Additional factors that supported obesity intervention include community and environmental support, nutritional policies, and length of intervention.