Graduation Year


Document Type

Senior Thesis


Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Primary Major


Thesis Advisor

Patricia Harris, PhD, RN



In the past years childhood obesity has increased tremendously and currently ⅓ of children in the United States are obese today. Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes are illnesses that can later on lead to more severe health complications when as a child enters adulthood. Children who are obese have a greater risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, and currently more than 80% of children who already are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes are obese. In school and often by health care providers we are told daily physical activity and healthy diet are the best ways to maintain optimal health, but what they fail to take into consideration is the social impact surrounding the child from obtaining goals related to health.


The purpose of this investigation is to find methods of prevention for Type 2 diabetes and obesity in children by taking into consideration their surroundings influences including their social, economic, cultural, and geographical factors with an emphasis on how parental support can directly impact the developing dietary and physical habits a child needs to maintain optimal health.


Through a thorough review of the research this thesis explores the following questions:

  • How do a children’s surroundings, such as social, economic, cultural, and geographical factors, and parental support impact their developing dietary and physical habits, which ultimately are needed to maintain optimal health?

  • Are the recommendations of health care providers for healthy lifestyle changes taking into consideration the influences of child's homes and the environment?

Based on the findings of the Literature Review, a proposal for further research is described.