Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Public Policy & Administration

First Advisor

Sarah Jane Brubaker

Second Advisor

Richard Huff

Third Advisor

Sarah Raskin

Fourth Advisor

Dina Garcia



Obesity has reached nearly 40% of the adult public in the United States, costing the citizen taxpayer over $200 billion annually in healthcare costs. Those suffering from obesity deal with multiple physical and mental repercussions. Through a content analysis of four Centers for Disease Control (CDC) documents and guided by the conceptual framework of the social ecological model, this research explores the federal approach to preventing obesity. The analysis finds that CDC solutions to obesity involve connecting people to each other and healthier choices, an orientation toward local public administration, and an emphasis on environmental and infrastructure improvements. The research makes multiple public policy recommendations to improve upon the current CDC guidance, chief among them, promoting tactics and strategies in a comprehensive manner where multiple social ecological levels of influence are engaged simultaneously. Ultimately, according to the CDC prevention strategies, it is the public policy level of influence, particularly at the local level, that must prompt prevention of and solutions to obesity.


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