Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


Public Health

First Advisor

Dr. Ike Okosun

Second Advisor

Dr. Rodney Lyn


Over the past 30 years, obesity has been primarily identified by the body mass index (BMI). Due to its ease of calculation, the BMI has become the most widely used diagnostic tool to identify weight problems. This study examined the association between hypertension and BMI in White, Black, and Hispanics in the United States. The study’s hypothesis was that this relationship was weaker in Blacks than in the other groups. Data for the study came from the 2007-2008 and 2009-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys. The association was weaker in Black men than in Whites or Hispanics on a univariate basis, and at most BMI levels on a multivariate basis. For females, it was also weaker in Blacks at most BMI levels on a univariate basis. However, multivariate logistic regression analysis did not indicate that the hypothesis held for Black women when adding covariates to the models.