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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Graduate Nursing

First Advisor

Margaret Hegge


teenager nutrition, physiological effect of sodium, sodium content of drinking water, blood pressure


In 1979, Tuthill and Calabrese published an initial research study involving two demographically similar communities but with differing sodium levels in their drinking water. One community had a high level of sodium (107 mg/1) in the drinking water while the second had a low level of sodium (8 mg/1) in the drinking water. The current one-group post-test-only research study has replicated the original Tuthill and Calabrese study as it investigated the relationship between blood pressure and total sodium intake.
The study setting was a small rural midwestern town with a public school. The drinking water of this rural community had 500 mg/1 of sodium. The interview format were used to collect demographic and dietary information and a 24-hour dietary recall from the participants. This was followed by an electronic blood pressure monitor taking three consecutive blood pressures of each participating student. The date was analyzed using descriptive statistics, paired and single t-tests, and the Pearson's r correlation coefficient. Strong statistical significance (p = .000) was found for total sodium intake coming mainly from dietary sources and not drinking water. A second finding was that the students 17 years and older had a higher mean systolic blood pressure than those under 17 years old (p = .029). The results from this study will assist future researchers to analyze the sodium intake of adolescents and the possible future health problems which may arise from a high sodium intake. The original findings of Tuthill and Calabrese (1979) and replicated studies were not conclusively supported as a small non-random sample was used.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Teenagers -- Nutrition
Sodium -- Physiological effect
Drinking water -- Sodium content
Blood pressure



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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