Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy



Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

Anne Fish


Roxanne K Vandermause

Umit Tokac

Marc Spingola


Background: The prevalence of obesity is increasing among adults in the United States and is related to a high risk to health. Obesity has been linked to lifestyle behaviors such as diet behaviors and physical activity.

Purpose: This study aimed to determine if an association exits between foods prepared outside of the home, walking or biking, vigorous/moderate recreational activities, sociodemographic factors and the outcomes, body mass index, percentage of body fat, and waist circumference.

Method: A secondary analysis was conducted using data from 3942 adults from the U.S. aged 20 years, as recorded in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 2017-2018. This study used an independent t-test and two-way MANOVA.

Results: Statistically significant findings are as follows. Walking or biking and vigorous recreational activities were associated with body mass index, percentage of body fat, and waist circumference (PPP

Conclusion: Using lifestyle change to prevent obesity remains the cornerstone of wellness. Further study on lifestyle change that is population based is warranted.