Document Type


Date of Degree Completion

Spring 2020

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



Committee Chair

Dominic Klyve

Second Committee Member

David Gee


There is a lack of research regarding how following a vegetarian or omnivores diet effects C-Reactive Protein (CRP) levels of people as seen through results from an analysis of data gathered from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). The level of CRP is a reflection of how much inflammation there is in one’s body and is a popular indicator of risk for heart disease. Thus, in this research, I use the NHANES data to look at the relationship of CRP levels of people who identified themselves as vegetarian or not, while also considering the general healthiness of each diet based on their Healthy Eating Index (HEI) score. While there exists a vast prevalence of studies and research into the health benefits of following a restricted meat or vegetarian diet compared to one including meat, there is a rarity of studies that look at how well either diet meets a nationally accepted healthy diet over time and the C-Reactive Protein levels of either group who met and exceeded or fell below the standard of a nationally accepted healthy diet.