Graduation Year


Document Type

Senior Thesis


Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Primary Major


Primary Minor


Second Minor


Thesis Advisor

Patricia Harris, PhD, RN


Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Both modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors contribute to the development of this disease. One modifiable risk factor is diet. Potentially, the right diet, i.e. one that is deemed heart healthy, can aid in the prevention of heart disease.

This thesis aims to determine what constitutes a heart healthy diet First, a literature review related to the use of diet and nutrition for the prevention of heart disease will be provided. Next, this thesis will present a research proposal for a longitudinal study that will compare five-year and 10-year outcomes for a group of people who follow a diet defined as heart healthy, compared to a group of people who follow their usual eating patterns. This proposed study will plan to include 200 people, 100 men and 100 women. Participants will be divided into either a control group or an experimental group. The control group will be allowed to continue their usual diet whereas the experimental group will follow a carefully monitored heart healthy diet. A follow-up will be done after one year, five years, and at 10 years to determine how many people from each group develop heart disease.