Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts

First Advisor

Nancy C. Higgins

Second Advisor

James D. Evans

Third Advisor

Michael R. Stern


This research project consisted of seven case studies of obese women who sought treatment for their weight problems at a hospital weight loss clinic and fitness center. The purpose of these studies was to consider the extent to which heredity and /or environmental factors contributed to these subjects being overweight. The case studies suggested that six of the subjects' overweight. problems were mainly caused by environmental factors. It was determined that one subject was overweight largely due to genetic predisposition, but that environmental factors also played a role. The two primary environmental factors appeared to be eating large portions of food and l ack of physical activity. Once the relative influence of genetic and environmental factors was determined, appropriate treatment plans were made. These treatment plans included behavior modification techniques, a nutritionally-balanced diet, and regular exercise sessions.