Date of Award

January 2023

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


School of Public Health

First Advisor

Debbie Humphries


Arguably the most pressing public health issue in the United States today is the obesity epidemic, which has affected children, adolescents, and adults alike. A lack of longitudinal research on distinct factors related to obesity in different groups has made addressing the epidemic difficult. Many lifestyle and environmental factors, including nutrition, sleep, stress, the gut microbiome, screen time, and marketing, are all related to obesity, but many of these factors are also related to each other. The current study investigates these systemic relationships, presents a hypothesis on the complementary causes of obesity, and contributes to contemporary longitudinal research by investigating obesity rates at different levels of daily television and video watching time in the United States. Analysis of long-term obesity trends combined with a systems thinking approach is needed to inform population-level interventions and policy decisions aimed at combatting the obesity epidemic.


This is an Open Access Thesis.

Open Access

This Article is Open Access