The University of New Hampshire's Young Adult Health Risk Screening Initiative


Few comprehensive studies exist that evaluate the nutrient intake and health indicators of college-aged students. This article describes the University of New Hampshire's Young Adult Health Risk Screening Initiative and examines results from participants evaluated from September 2005 through July 2007. This cross-sectional study included 1,701 students who enrolled in an introductory nutrition course, met age. requirements (18 to 24 years), agreed to participate, and completed related assessments. All evaluation components were built into the semester-long course design, thus minimizing participant burden. Anthropometric measurements, blood lipids, blood glucose, and blood pressure were measured directly by research staff. Online dietary intake was self-reported and evaluated using a software program. Health risk data indicate high rates of overweight (33%), elevated low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (53%), and elevated systolic (47%) and diastolic blood pressures (39%). Less than 30 minutes of physical activity per day was reported by 28% of respondents. The majority of males (94%) and females (73%) exceeded sodium guidelines. Although females were less likely to be overweight than males, few met recommended intakes for vitamin D (26%), calcium (25%), potassium (35%), iron (31%), and folate (32%). Undergraduate and graduate dietetics students assisted with biological assessments, data entry, and record maintenance. Data inclusion rates ranged between 84% and 94% for various measurements. The methods employed in this study could be modified by institutions interested in profiling the health status of students. Results have led to an enhanced understanding of the nutrition practices and health status of this population and will serve to inform university programs and policies. J Am Diet Assoc. 2009;109:1751-1758.

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Journal of the American Dietetic Association



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© 2009 by the American Dietetic Association