Student NameAbhaya Dilip
Faculty Mentor NameDr. Michelle Cardel
CollegeCollege of Medicine
MajorNutritional Sciences
Research InterestsPreventative Health; The Built Environment; Obesity and Overweight in Adolescents
Academic AwardsCollege of Agricultural Life Sciences Dean's List; Florida Academic Scholar
OrganizationsUniversity of Florida Honors Program; Alpha Epsilon Delta; University of Florida Campus Kitchens; Children's Medical Services - Fun & Fit Wellness Center; Vital by Design
Hobbies and InterestsTennis; Dance; Cooking

Research Project

Impact of the built environment on weight, body composition, cardiometabolic markers, and feelings of depression in Hispanic American (HA) adolescents

The risk of obesity is significantly higher in Hispanic American (HA) adolescents compared to their non-Hispanic counterparts, thus increasing their risk for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease (CVD). With inverse relationships consistently shown between socioeconomic status (SES) and obesity, the predominance of obesity in HA may be related to the lower SES often observed in Hispanic families. Additionally, SES is associated with the built environment (BE) which includes access to healthcare, food, and housing; transportation services; air and water quality; and socioeconomic factors. Furthermore, this places low SES minority groups potentially at a higher risk of developing obesity, along with other comorbidities because their BE may not promote healthy behaviors. In an effort to explore this adolescent population in more detail and to inform the development of treatments for obesity, Dr. Michelle Cardel’s study investigates the relationship between experimentally manipulated social status, dietary intakes, and CVD risk factors among HA adolescents. My project utilizes the data collected through this study to examine the extent to which neighborhood disorder affects aspects of physical and mental health in HA adolescents.