Date of Award

7-26-2007

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)

Department

Public Health

First Advisor

Russ Toal - Chair

Second Advisor

Dr. Michael Eriksen

Third Advisor

Dr. Valerie Hepburn

Abstract

The prevalence of overweight and obesity among children and adolescents has increased considerably over the last few decades. As a result, increasing numbers of American children are developing multiple risk factors for cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, hyperinsulinemia, hypertension, dyslipidemia and hepatic steatosis. This thesis examines the use of Monte Carlo computer simulation for understanding risk factors associated with childhood overweight. A computer model is presented for predicting cardiovascular risk factors among overweight children and adolescents based on BMI levels. The computer model utilizes probabilities from the 1999 Bogalusa Heart Study authored by David S. Freedman, William H. Dietz, Sathanur R. Srinivasan and Gerald S. Berenson. The thesis examines strengths, weaknesses and opportunities associated with the developed model. Utilizing this approach, organizations can insert their own probabilities and customized algorithms for predicting future events.

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