Date of Defense


Date of Graduation



Human Performance and Health Education

First Advisor

Julie Raedy

Second Advisor

Nicholas Hanson


While the rise and spread of Western culture has created remarkable advances in science, healthcare, and technology, it has also brought about a variety of chronic diseases that never once existed. Much of these ailments can be attributed to the typical Western diet, which places heavy emphasis on meats, dairy, and refined grains, contrasting the typical Eastern or Oriental diet which primarily focuses on fruits, vegetables, fish, and whole grains. This dietary transition has resulted in increased glycemic load, increased levels of unhealthy fats and cholesterol, decreased micronutrient and fiber levels, and skewed acid-base and sodium-potassium ratios. All of these factors have adverse effects on the body and its specific systems, which over time has resulted in an ever-rising rate of disease. Transitioning to a more plant-based diet by decreasing consumption meat and dairy has been shown to prevent and even decrease levels of disease in individuals. Promoting such a dietary transition will help provide individuals with the nutrients necessary to promote health, as well as decrease the prevalence of the epidemics currently plaguing society.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access