Dietary factors are associated with coronary heart disease risk factors in college students

Document Type


Date of Original Version



It is hypothesized that healthy dietary and physical activity choices will be inversely associated with coronary heart disease (CHD) risk factors. Results from a cross-sectional study of 294 first-year University of Rhode Island students were used for the analyses. The presence of CHD risk factors was defined by the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III guidelines. Diet was assessed by three 24-hour food recalls, and physical activity was assessed by the International Physical Activity Questionnaire. Logistic regression models adjusted for sex estimated the odds of having CHD risk factors. A higher percent of kilocalories from alcohol was associated with a 9.9% increased risk for elevated triacylglycerol (odds ratio [OR], 1.099; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.000-1.207). Sugar intake (OR, 1.015; 95% CI, 1.004-1.026), saccharin intake (OR, 1.047; 95% CI, 1.015-1.080), and body mass index (BMI; OR, 1.139; 95% CI, 1.037-1.252) were associated with an increased risk of low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol; dietary fiber intake (OR, 0.934; 95% CI, 0.873-1.000) was associated with a decreased risk of low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Participants with a higher BMI were 9.4% more likely to have elevated fasting glucose (OR, 1.094; 95% CI, 1.004-1.192) and 193.6% more likely to have a larger waist circumference (OR, 2.936; 95% CI, 1.543-5.586). Dietary factors and BMI are better indicators of CHD risk than physical activity is in this population. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Nutrition Research