Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences

Department name when degree awarded

Nutrition and Food Sciences

Committee Chair(s)

Deloy G. Hendricks


Deloy G. Hendricks


Over an 18-year period, beginning in 1955, a group of subjects has been studied six times to determine if any relationship exists among serum cholesterol levels, body weight, health status, diet quality and stress or anxiety. For the first four test periods, extending through ages 7 to 16 years, there were 321 subjects. Later, in 1968, 86 of the original 321 subjects, now aged 19-22 years, were able to participate in a follow-up study. The 1974 study was able to involve 30 of the original 321 subjects now aged 26-29 years. Findings show that from approximately the fifteenth year onward serum cholesterol levels in males continue to rise in an almost linear fashion, whereas females experienced a drop in serum cholesterol levels at ages 19-22 years which was followed by a rise when they reached 26-29 years. Persons who were classified as overweight in the sixth test period had higher serum cholesterol levels than persons classified as either desirable weight or under-weight for both sexes. Anxiety levels as determined by the IPAT anxiety scale questionnaire in the sixth test period showed that for males there was a positive relationship between serum cholesterol and anxiety but for women a negative relationship was shown. Subjects with serum cholesterol levels above 250 mg/100 ml consumed diets higher in saturated fats than the subjects with serum cholesterol levels below 250 mg/100 ml. In males a significant positive correlation was shown between serum cholesterol levels and smoking.