Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis




Nutrition and Food Science

First Advisor

Dr. Janet Kurzynske

Second Advisor

Dr. Kwaku Addo


Childhood obesity has increased significantly in the past decade. The same factors putting adults at risk for obesity apply to children as well. For children, the family environment may be one of the largest factors. Obesity affects both adults and children of low socioeconomic status. It also affects families living in the Appalachian region of the United States more frequently than other regions. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between obesity related behaviors and nutrition education among Appalachian participants in the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP). For this study eleven educators from the Appalachian region who work with the EFNEP/SNAP-Education program were interviewed by telephone. Their responses to questions were coded according to a pre-prepared answer guide. From answers provided by staff there are some areas that the EFNEP program could focus on more. Some of these areas include educating participants on budgeting and family finance, cooking skill, parenting skills and physical activity. Answers provided by participants in this study suggest that educators feel fairly successful with making changes related to healthy eating but less successful with making changes in participant’s physical activity.