Date of Award


Document Type

Union College Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts






health, approach, childhood, obesity integrated


The development of effective solutions for the prevention and treatment of childhood obesity would be a great advance to ensure the future health of today’s children. Childhood obesity is caused by a combination of social, environmental and personal factors. It is seemingly impossible to successfully address one cause without also considering other related causes, which poses a great barrier to those who are currently attempting to curb the rates of childhood obesity. The basis of this study involves the analysis and comparison of the clinical and public health perspectives for the prevention and treatment of childhood obesity. After identifying the practices, strengths and barriers of each approach, the main purpose of this study is to develop an integrated approach to childhood obesity incorporating both the clinical and public health perspective. Interviews were conducted with twelve individuals directly involved in the issue, including parents, public health workers, school health workers and a physician. Based on these interviews, considerations for integrated solutions were expanded to also include the parenting approach in addition to the public health and clinical approaches. There was an overwhelming amount of support for an integrated approach, with participants recognizing that establishing communication between each party was critical to its success. Once communication and cooperation are established, an integrated approach could be achieved through enhanced education, increased access to community and school-based healthcare programs and expanded community-wide fitness opportunities.