Date of Award

5-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Food, Nutrition, and Culinary Science

Committee Member

Vivian Haley-Zitlin

Committee Member

Julia Sharp

Committee Member

Katherine Cason

Committee Member

Loreto Jackson

Abstract

In order to determine blood pressure changes during the football season and the causes of the changes in collegiate football athletes, forty-seven National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) division 1 athletes were recruited to participate in the study. Each participant had a pre-season, mid-season, and post-season blood pressure measurement taken. A questionnaire was completed at the mid- and post-season blood pressure assessments to determine blood pressure knowledge, dietary intake, and physical activity levels. An educational tool was provided in order to encourage knowledge growth regarding general blood pressure knowledge and causes of high blood pressure. Overall, blood pressure levels showed a decrease in both systolic (6.71 ± 12.3 mmHg) and diastolic (1.64 ± 8.71 mmHg) measures from the mid-season to post-season measurements. There were no notable changes in knowledge levels. Some significant positive changes were made in dietary intake, specifically in athletes eating more meals at home and fewer meals at the athletics’ cafeteria, and a decrease in sweet snack intake. Other significant changes took place in physical activity levels, specifically an increase in resistance training. The information gained from the study can be used in the future to improve blood pressure management in elite level college athletes.

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