Department of Nutrition Student Projects

Submission Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Nutrition Science (MS)

First Mentor

Nadine Mikati, Ph.D, RDN, LDN

Second Mentor

Sophie Pomrehn, RDN, CSSD


cardiovascular disease (CVD), American-style football (ASF), risk factor, hypertension, obesity, college


Background: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is considered the leading cause of death around the world, with risk factors including obesity and hypertension. Collegiate American Style Football (ASF) players make up a unique subset of the population that could be at an increased risk of CVD. This cross-sectional study aims to evaluate the presence of cardiovascular risk factors in a Division 1 ASF team.

Methods: The researchers analyzed the body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), and body fat percentage (BF%) of the team as a whole (n=38); and then compared the data to validated cut-off measurements for obesity and hypertension. Additionally, the participants were split into linemen (n=14) and non-linemen (n=24) groups and compared using an independent t-test.

Results: The overall team analysis showed all the mean measurements fell below the validated cut-offs of 102cm, 25%, 30kg/m2,130mm Hg, and 80mm Hg. In the linemen group, the WC, BF%, SBP and BMI met or exceed the validated cut-offs, while the DBP was below its cut-off. In the non-linemen group, the measurements all fell below the validated cut-offs. When comparing the two groups, the WC, BF%, and BMI measurements of the linemen were significantly higher than the non-linemen (p

Conclusion: The linemen athletes had an increased risk of CVD development due to the presence of measurements indicating obesity and hypertension in this population.