Beyond diet and exercise: A system dynamics approach to understanding the relationships between weight and well-being.
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- Department of Geography 
Over the past decade, the province of British Columbia has experienced undesirable rates of overweight and obesity among its residents. These rates result in challenges for both overweight and obese individuals, as well as for health care practitioners and policy makers. The objective of the thesis was to look beyond the generally accepted influencers of weight (diet and exercise) and develop greater insight into the causal relationships among factors that influence one's weight and well-being. System dynamics methodology was applied to construct a simulation model that investigates the underlying system structure of such relationships. The model serves as a dynamic hypothesis addressing how feedbacks between individual and environmental factors impede one's ability to maintain a healthy weight. The simulation model serves to aid policy makers in improving their understanding of the current system and to aid in the identification of policy leverage points to halt or reverse the obesity trend.