Date of Publication


Degree Type

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Dr. Susan E. Lowey PhD, RN, CHPN, Assistant Professor, Nursing


Obesity in the United States has become the most widespread nutritional disease affecting adults, adolescents and children. Statistics show that one-third of all children and adolescents living in the United States are either overweight or obese. The need for interventions to reduce obesity during these critical childhood and adolescent years is crucial in the effort to stop it from continuing on into adulthood. The purpose of this project is to investigate the parental perceptions of their child’s weight and apply the information to rural areas. By using a review of literature, data will be analyzed about both parental perceptions and the unique challenges of living in a rural community. Findings from this study will help to identify areas that warrant improvement in nutrition and healthy lifestyles for adolescents. In order to design interventions, we must first begin to understand areas that parents and their children perceive to be problematic in regards to healthy eating and weight.