Date of Publication
Kinesiology, Sport Studies and Physical Education
Dr. Craig Mattern, Associate Professor, Exercise Science
Arterial stiffness has been found to be an independent predictor of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Those who consume a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, and participate in habitual physical activity may experience reduced arterial stiffness, thereby decreasing the risk of CVD. Purpose: To examine the relationship of fruit intake, vegetable intake, and moderate-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) on arterial stiffness in college students. Methods: 19 college students (age 19.8±1.1 yr, height 166.1±9.6 cm, weight 73.1±18.0 kg) completed a modified Dietary Guidelines for American Index (DGAI) questionnaire for 10 days. MVPA was assessed via accelerometery for an average of 12.7±4.66 days. Arterial stiffness was then measured using carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (PWV). While supine, a cuff was placed around the right thigh and inflated. Concurrently, a tonometer was placed over the carotid artery and data were obtained from both carotid and femoral waveforms after 10 consecutive seconds. Results: Participants completed the DGAI for an average of 9.1±1.9 days, and the average servings per day of fruits and vegetables was 2.1±1.2 and 2.1±1.2, respectively. The average servings per day of fruits and vegetables combined was 4.2±2.02. Participants engaged in 42.0±17.9 min/day of MVPA. The average blood pressure was 126±13/72±9 mmHg and PWV was 5.1±0.99 m/s. Pearson correlation found no significant relationship between total fruit and vegetable servings/day and PWV (p=.68). A multiple regression was run to predict PWV from fruit servings/day, vegetable servings/day, and MVPA/day. There were no significant differences in the three variables combined in predicting PWV (F (3,15)= .893, p=0.467, R=0.389). Conclusion: While most participants did not obtain the recommended 5 daily servings of fruits and vegetables, it had no affect on arterial stiffness. However, participants achieved the recommended amounts of MVPA. It is possible that the onset of CVD has not yet been recognized due to the age and physical activity levels of the sample.
Nave, Allison L., "The Relationship of Physical Activity and Fruit and Vegetable Intake on Pulse Wave Velocity" (2019). Senior Honors Theses. 260.