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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Health and Nutritional Sciences

First Advisor

Elizabeth Droke


Childhood obesity continues to be a public health issue in the United States. Previous research demonstrated that children living on food deserts (FD) in Pennsylvania had greater weight statuses than children who did not live on FDs. Almost half of the state of South Dakota (SD) is classified as a FD and childhood obesity continues to be an issue in the state. The objective of this study was to determine whether SD children who live on FDs or on the border of FDs have greater weight statuses than children who live on non-FDs. School height and weight data collected by the SD Department of Health was used to calculate weight status for students in six schools; weight was categorized as: underweight, healthy weight, overweight, and obese. It was discovered that the pair of border-FD areas had the lowest total percentage of students who were classified as obese while the non-FD areas had the highest percentage of students who were classified as obese. The FD areas fell in between the aforementioned areas. The results from this study could potentially help SD community leaders determine where interventions targeted at childhood obesity would be the most effective.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Children--Anthropometry--South Dakota
Children--Nutrition--South Dakota
Body weight
Food supply--South Dakota
Food security--South Dakota
Grocery shopping--South Dakota


Includes bibliographical references (pages 50-54).



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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