Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Valerie Duffy and Jane Ungemack

Field of Study

Public Health


Master of Public Health

Open Access

Open Access


BACKGROUND: To date, no studies have evaluated if moderate and/or vigorous PA physical activity (mv-PA) mitigates the adverse effect of a pro-inflammatory diet. METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional analysis using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) and constructed the Dietary Inflammatory Index (DII) score. Expenditure of mv-PA was obtained from two sources. Multivariate Logistic Regression was performed to calculate Odds Ratios (OR) and 95% Confidence Intervals (CIs). RESULTS: Participants with a DII score in the top quartile were 33% more likely to exhibit elevated CRP than persons with a DII score in the lowest quartile (referent). This estimate did not vary appreciably when either mv-MET-mins/wk or mv-PA.Mnt.mins/wk were added to the model. When examining the independent effect of self-reported leisure-time mv-PA, those who expended the recommended 1000 or more mv-MET-mins/wk were less likely to have elevated CRP compared to the referent group of < 250 mv-MET-mins/wk. Likewise, with accelerometer-assessed PA, the topmost quartile of mv-PA minutes per week was associated with lower CRP compared to the referent quartile. These estimates did not vary appreciably when the DII score was added to the model. CONCLUSIONS: Both a pro-inflammatory diet and mv-PA appear to be independently associated with a chronic low-grade inflammatory state.

Major Advisor

Helen Swede