College Health and Nutrition Assessment Survey (CHANAS)
What is CHANAS?
The College Health and Nutrition Assessment Survey (CHANAS) is an ongoing project examining the health of traditionally aged college adults (18-24 years old). CHANAS focuses on diet and lifestyle behaviors and their impact on health status. *CHANAS was previously known as YAHRSI, the Young Adult Health Risk Screening Initative.
Why is CHANAS important?
The college years are a time of significant transition as young adults move away from parents/caregivers and establish independence. This period of life has been associated with declines in health, including weight gain and sedentary lifestyles. As limited data currently exists, CHANAS hopes to gain a better understanding of the factors associated with the current health of college students.
Who participates in CHANAS?
UNH students (18-24 years old) are recruited from the introductory nutrition course (Nutrition in Health & Well Being – NUTR 400) at the Durham campus. As this large general education course enrolls approximately 900 students annually, it is estimated that 35-40% of all UNH students will participate in CHANAS prior to graduation.
All activities and methods are explained and each participant grants consent before data is collected. The use of human subjects in the CHANAS project has been approved by UNH's Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects (#3329, #5524).
What data does CHANAS collect?
The confidential data [from each participant is added to a database] include:
- Anthropometrics such as height, weight, and body composition
- Biochemical such as cholesterol levels and blood glucose
- Clinical data such as blood pressure and health history
- Dietary information via a three-day food record
- Fitness level through field tests of endurance, strength, and flexibility
Who directs the CHANAS project?
CHANAS is directed by UNH faculty and students of the Nutrition Program, housed in the Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Biomedical Sciences. In addition, faculty and students from the Kinesiology Department provide their expertise for the Fitness Assessment.
What we have learned from CHANAS?
CHANAS is an on-going project and we learn more each day! To date, findings suggest:
- Approximately one-third of UNH students are overweight/obese (roughly half of men and one-quarter of women)
- More than 90% of UNH students report being nonsmokers
- More than half of UNH students (both men and women) report at least one episode of binge drinking in the past two weeks
- 10% of male and 3% of female students meet the clinical definition of the metabolic syndrome
- Two-thirds of UNH students report a known family history of cancer; half of students report a known family history of heart disease
Read more about CHANAS' findings:
Morrell JS, Lofgren IE, Burke JD, Reilly RA. Metabolic
syndrome, obesity, and related risk factors among college men and women.
J Am Coll Health. 2012;60(1):82-9.
Burke JD, Lofgren IE, Morrell JS, Reilly RA The University of New Hampshire's Young Adult Health Risk Screening Initiative. J Am Diet Assoc. 2009 Oct:109(10):1751-8.
Recent Research Abstracts/Posters related to CHANAS
Morrell JS, Carey GB, Burke JD, Reilly RA. Weight status, activity, and health indices of college-age adults. Society for Nutrition Education, 2010.
Morrell JS, Quinn TJ, Carey GB, Reilly RA, Burke JD. Metabolic syndrome risk is associated with lower cardiovascular fitness and daily activity levels among young adults. FASEB J. 2010 24:933.3
Morrell JS, Burke JD, Lofgren IE, Reilly RA. Metabolic syndrome risk is associated with higher CRP levels in young adults. FASEB J. 2009 23:221.5
Burke JD, Lofgren IE, Morrell JS. Reilly RA. College students dietary and lifestyle practices compared to recommendations of the American Institute for Cancer Research and World Cancer Research Fund. FASEB J. 2008 22:886.6
Morrell JS, Burke JD, Lofgren IE, Reilly RA. Metabolic syndrome risk is associated with dietary & lifestyle factors. FASEB J. 2008 22:295.3
Lofgren IE, Burke JD, Morrell JS, Reilly RA. Cardiovascular risk in young adults. FASEB J. 2008 22:1101.1
Reilly RA, Burke JD, Lofgren IE, Morrell JS. Housing is associated with quality of diet in college students. FASEB J. 2008 22:1084.3
Burke JD, Lofgren IE, Morrell JS. Reilly RA. Health indicators, body mass index and food selection practices in college age students. FASEB J. 2007 21:834.5
Lofgren IE, Burke JD, Morrell JS, Reilly RA. Development of risk factor screening protocol for college populations. FASEB J. 2007 21:30.1
Lofgren IE, Burke JD, Morrell JS, Reilly RA. Lipid profile and dietary monounsaturated fatty acids in college aged students. FASEB J. 2007 21:541.18
Morrell JS, Burke JD, Lofgren IE, Reilly RA. Prevalence of the metabolic syndrome in young adults. FASEB J. 2007 21:233.1
Reilly RA, Burke JD, Lofgren IE, Morrell JS. Folate intake in college-age women. FASEB J. 2007 21:686.3
Burke JD, Reilly RA, Lofgren IE, Morrell JS. Dietary intakes of college-aged students. FASEB J. 2006 20:A620
Lofgren IE, Burke JD, Morrell JS, Reilly RA. Comparing lipid profiles of college students to national recommendations. FASEB J. 2006 20:A137
Morrell JS, Burke JD, Lofgren IE, Reilly RA. Screening young adults for the metabolic syndrome. FASEB J. 2006 20:A858
Reilly RA, Burke JD, Lofgren IE, Morrell JS. Nutrition and health behaviors of college students. FASEB J. 2006 20:A1312
Get Involved in CHANAS
CHANAS is a wonderful venue for those interested in undergraduate and graduate research projects. Each semester UNH students work as research assistants for the project and, in the process, gain valuable research and clinical skills. A variety of credit-based mechanisms at UNH support this including independent study projects, senior thesis projects, and INCO 590. Further, UNH’s Hamel Center for Undergraduate Research offers numerous programs (i.e. UROPs, URAs, and SURFs) to support undergraduate activities involving research like CHANAS. Learn more about getting involved in research here!
Below is a sampling of undergraduate projects involving CHANAS:
Maggie Donovan (B.S., 2013) - Exploring Weight Maintenance and Perceived Stress in College Students
2012 Undergraduate Research Conference Award of Excellence - UNH
Laura Mayo (B.S., 2011) - The effects of perceived social support on exercise habits among college students
Amanda Shumway (B.S., 2011) - Risk of metabolic syndrome in college-age EMTS.
Natalie Delfosse (B.S., 2010) – Chronic Disease Risk Factors in College-Aged Adults
2009 Undergraduate Research Award – UNH
Evelyn Yuen (B.S., 2010) – Physical Activity and Bone Health of College Students
2010 Undergraduate Research Conference Award of Excellence – UNH
2009 Undergraduate Research Award – UNH
Jenna Madore (B.S., 2008) – The Association between Chronic Disease Risk Factors
and Prescription Medication Use of Young Adults
2008 Undergraduate Research Conference Award of Excellence – UNH
2008 Undergraduate Research Award – UNH
Heather Carmichael (B.S., 2008) – Evaluating the Relationship between Body Composition
and Physical Activity of College Students
2007 Oliver J. Hubbard Summer Research Award – UNH
Ginny King (B.S., 2007) – Bone Health in the College-Age Population
2007 Undergraduate Research Conference Award of Excellence – UNH
2006 Undergraduate Research Award – UNH
Please contact us at YAHRSI.Project@unh.edu
Department of Molecular, Cellular & Biomedical Sciences
129 Main Street, Kendall Hall
Durham, NH 03824
(603) 862-1148 (fax)