Date of Award

Spring 5-2014

Degree Type

Honors College Thesis


Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Kathleen Masters

Advisor Department



Resource limitations contribute to obesity in southern rural populations. An examination of published research provides evidence related to factors that lead to obesity and to related health consequences. Resource limitations in southern rural areas include a lack of access to healthy foods, a lack of safe areas to exercise or fitness equipment, and a lack of funding to promote the hiring of adequate numbers of healthcare workers to implement prevention programs and treat obesity related diseases. An investigation of obesity rates in Mississippi and Louisiana demonstrate that high rates of obesity exist. Through an exploration of published interventions in both states, many types of obesity focused interventions have been found that address the resource limitations of these areas. Mississippi and Louisiana were used as the study areas in this investigation. Statistics related to rural obesity used in this study were obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to determine obesity prevalence in these states. In addition, intervention strategies published in the targeted states in the past ten years were analyzed on their ability to meet resource limitations.