The primary purpose of this study is to determine if certain lifestyle and health behaviors (e.g. smoking, physical activity, diet) in the medically underserved population have any influence on particular health statuses. This study also looked to determine if these health behaviors resulted in particular medical aliments being more prevalent or specific to this community. The secondary purpose of this study aims to gain information that may help health care providers practicing in this community to earlier identify risk factors in patients before a medical problem becomes more severe, difficult and expensive to treat. A survey, adapted from the CDC's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), was created to allow for the collection of descriptive statistical data. The survey contains questions on the various topics of diet, physical activity, chronic diseases, and self-perception of overall health status. The survey was distributed to 20 older adult participants at Hebni Nutrition, LLC, all from disadvantaged backgrounds. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the data. Of the 20 surveys collected, about half of the respondents reported consuming close to the recommended fruit and vegetable servings and participating in regular physical activity. Furthermore, the participants reported rates of diabetes and hypertension well above average. This study's results were inconclusive as to whether any specific health behaviors among medically underserved individuals influence the prevalence of chronic diseases in this population; more likely a combination of many factors and overall poorer health habits that persist over a lifetime are contributors to chronic diseases among the medically underserved population.

Thesis Completion




Thesis Chair/Advisor

Valdes, Anna


Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


College of Education and Human Performance


Educational and Human Sciences

Degree Program

Sport and Exercise Science


Orlando (Main) Campus



Access Status

Open Access

Release Date