Niyati Parekh

Associate Professor of Nutrition and Public Health

Niyati Parekh

Phone: 212.998.9008

Curriculum Vitae/Syllabi

Niyati Parekh, PhD, RD is an Associate Professor of Public Health Nutrition in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies and Public Health. Dr. Parekh received her MS in Foods, Nutrition, and Clinical Dietetics in 1997 and is a credentialed Registered Dietitian from India. In 2005, she earned a PhD in Nutritional Sciences and Population Health from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Thereafter, she was awarded a 2-year Department of Defense postdoctoral fellowship at the Rutgers-Cancer Institute of New Jersey. Dr. Parekh is a nutritional epidemiologist whose broad research interest is diet in relation to chronic diseases, particularly cancer, and has made important contributions to the relationships between diet, physical activity, obesity and cancer. Her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, American Cancer Society and the Steinhardt School. Dr. Parekh’s current research seeks to investigate the impact of obesity-related metabolic abnormalities, lifestyle and genetic factors in relation to cancer development among American adults. Additionally, she has contributed to eye disease research. She was one of the first investigators to describe the associations of vitamin D and eye health among older adults, for which she received awards. In the past decade, Dr. Parekh has led numerous community outreach activities related to nutrition in disease prevention in urban and rural settings in India and the US. She has authored several peer-reviewed scientific publications as well as popular press articles to communicate the intricacies of nutrition and health to lay persons. In future work, Dr. Parekh is interested in international health and issues related to racial disparities. As a scientist and humanist, she is committed to advancing the link between nutrition and cancer, while continuing to teach and participate in professional service.

Degrees Held

  • B.S. St. Xavier's College, Mumbai, India 1995
    Life Sciences and Biotechnology
  • M.S. Nirmala Niketan College Mumbai, India 1997
  • Ph.D. University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 2005
    Nutritional Epidemiology
  • Registered Dietitian's Certification (RD) Indian Dietetic Association 1998

Research Interests

  • Nutrition and cancer
  • Diet, lifestyle and chronic diseases in older adults
  • Obesity, metabolic syndrome, related blood biomarkers and cancer
  • Interrelationships of dietary and genetic factors and cancer
  • Lifestyle and dietary determinants of obesity and the metabolic syndrome
  • Racial disparities
  • Lifecourse epidemiology

Funded Grants and Contracts


  • The Healthy Eating and Living against Breast Cancer (HEAL-Breast Cancer) Study.  Funding agency: Private donor, NYU-Cancer Institute, Langone School of Medicine.  Role: Principal Investigator.
  • Researcher Scholar Grant: Epidemiology RSG-12-005-01-CNE. Funding agency: American Cancer Society. Role: Principal investigator.
  • Steinhart Challenge Grant, 2010-IDEA mechanism. Funding agency: Steinhardt School, NYU. Role: Principal investigator.
  • Small Grants Program for Cancer Epidemiology R03: PAR-06-294. Funding agency: National Cancer Institute/National Institutes of Health (NCI/NIH). Role: Co-principal investigator.
  • Obesity Center Grant 1U48DP001904-01. Funding agency: Centers for Disease Control. Role: Consultant.
  • Steinhardt Challenge Grant 2009. Funding agency: Steinhardt School. Role: Principal investigator.


Selected Publications

  • Makarem N, Scott M, Quatromoni P, Jacques P, Parekh N. Trends in carbohydrate consumption from 1991-2008 in the Framingham Heart Study Offspring Cohort. Brit J Nutr; in press.
  • Vaughn CB, Ochs-Balcom HM, Nie J, Chen Z, Thompson CL, Parekh N, Li L. Racial differences in the association of insulin-like growth factor pathway and colon adenoma risk. Cancer Causes Control; in press.
  • Parekh N, Lin Y, Hayes R, Lu-Yao G. Biomarkers of insulin-glucose metabolism and incidence of obesity-related cancers in the Framingham Heart Study Offspring cohort. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2013 Oct;22(10):1825-1836.
  • Parekh N, Zizza C. Life course epidemiology in nutrition and chronic disease research: a timely discussion. Adv Nutr. 2013 Sep;4(5):551-3.
  • Vadiveloo M, Scott M, Quatromoni P, Jacques P, Parekh N. Trends in dietary fat intake and high-fat foods from 1991-2008 in the Framingham Heart Study participants. Br J Nutr. 2013 Sep;9:1-11.
  • Parekh N, The "Sweet" Truth About Cancer. Oncology Nutrition Connection. 2013 Jun; 21(2):13-17.
  • King MG, Chandran U, Olson SH, Demissie K, Lu SE, Parekh N, Bandera E. Sugary foods and drinks and risk of endometrial cancer in the Estrogens, Diet, Genetics and Endometrial Cancer (EDGE) study. Cancer Causes Control. 2013 Jul;24(7):1427-36.
  • King MG, Olson SH, Paddock L, Demissie K, Lu SE, Chandran U, Parekh N, Rodriguez-Rodriguez L, Bandera EV. Sugary food and beverage consumption and epithelial ovarian cancer risk: a population-based case-control study. BMC Cancer. 2013 Feb;13:94.
  • Makarem N, Chandran U, Bandera E, Parekh N. Dietary fats in Breast cancer survival. Ann Rev Nutr. 2013 May;33:319-48
  • Vadiveloo M, Dixon B. Parekh N. Associations between dietary variety and measures of body adiposity: a systematic review of epidemiologic studies. Br J Nutr. 2013 May;109(9):1557-72.
  • Parekh N, Lin Y, Craft L, Vadiveloo M, Yao GL. Longitudinal associations of physical activity and cancer mortality in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
  • Parekh N, Chandran U, Bandera E. Obesity in Cancer Survival. Accepted for publication in Annual Review of Nutrition. Annu Rev Nutr. 2012 Aug 21;32:311-42.
  • Luo J, Chelebowski R, Liu S, McGlynn KA, Parekh N, White DL, Margolis K. “Diabetes mellitus as a risk factor for gastrointestinal cancers among postmenopausal women in the Women’s Health Initiative. In press in the Cancer Causes and Control Journal.
  • Romaneiro S, Parekh N. Dietary Fiber Intake and Colorectal Cancer Risk: Weighing the Evidence from Epidemiological Studies. Accepted for publication to the Topics of Clinical Nutrition Journal Volume 27; Number 1, January-March 2012
  • Millen AE, Voland R, Sondel SA, Parekh N, Horst RL, Wallace RB, Hageman GS, Chappell R, Blodi BA, Klein ML, Gehrs KM, Sarto GE, Mares JA; CAREDS Study Group. Arch Ophthalmol Vitamin D status and early age-related macular degeneration in postmenopausal women. Archives of Ophthalmol. 2011 Apr;129(4):481-9.
  • Ryan AM, Duong M, Healy L, Ryan SA, Parekh N, Reynolds JV, Power DG.Obesity, metabolic syndrome and esophageal adenocarcinoma: epidemiology, etiology and new targets. Cancer Epidemiol. 2011 Aug;35(4):309-19.
  • Katz K, Brar PC, Parekh N, Liu YH, Weitzman M. Suspected nonalcoholic Fatty liver disease is not associated with vitamin D status in adolescents after adjustment for obesity. J Obes. 2010;2010:496829.
  • Parekh N, Lin Y, DiPaola RS, Marcella S, Lu-Yao GL. Obesity and prostate cancer detection: insights from three national surveys. Am J Med. 2010 Sep;123(9):829-835.
  • Mares JA, Voland R, Adler R, Tinker L, Millen AE, Moeller SM, Blodi B, Gehrs KM, Wallace RB, Chappell RJ, Neuhouser ML, Sarto GE; CAREDS Group* Healthy diets and the subsequent prevalence of nuclear cataract in women. Arch Ophthalmol. 2010 Jun;128(6):738-49. *Parekh N is a member of the CAREDS Research Group.
  • Parekh N. Protective Role of Vitamin D Against Age-Related Macular Degeneration: A Hypothesis. Topics in Clinical Nutrition. Volume 25.4, Nov 2010.
  • Parekh N, Lin Y, Hayes RB, Albu, JB, Lu-Yao GL. Longitudinal associations of blood markers of insulin and glucose metabolism and cancer mortality in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Cancer Causes and Control 2010 Apr;21(4):631-42.
  • Parekh N, Roberts C, Vadiveloo M, Puvananayagam T, Albu JB, and Lu-Yao GL: Lifestyle, anthropometric and obesity-related physiologic determinants of insulin-like growth factor-1 in the Third National Health And Nutrition Examination Survey. Ann Epidemiol 2010 Mar;20(3):182-93.
  • Parekh N, Voland RP, Moeller SM, Blodi BA, Ritenbaugh C, Chappell RJ, Wallace RB, Mares JA, CAREDS Research Study Group. Association between dietary fats and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in the Carotenoids in Age-Related Eye Disease Study (CAREDS), an ancillary study of the Women’s Health Initiative. Arch Ophthalmol. 2009 Nov;127 (11):1483-93.
  • Parekh N, Okada T, Lu-Yao G. Obesity, insulin resistance and cancer prognosis: implications for practice for providing care among cancer survivors. JADA 2009 Aug; 109 (8): 1364-53.
  • Parekh N. Dietary fats and age related macular degeneration. Topics in Clinical Nutrition. 2008 Oct/Dec;23(4):347–356.
  • Moeller S, Voland R, Tinker L, Blodi B, Klein M, Gehrs K, Johnson E, Snodderly M, Wallace R, Chappell R, Parekh N, Ritenbaugh R, Mares JA. “Associations between age-related nuclear cataract and lutein and zeaxanthin in the diet and serum in the Carotenoids in Age-Related Eye Disease Study (CAREDS).” Arch Opthalmol; 2008 Mar;126(3):354-364.
  • Parekh N, Lin Y, Marcella S, Kant AK, Lu-Yao GL. Associations of lifestyle and physiological factors on prostate specific antigen concentrations from NHANES(2001 2004). Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention 2008;17(9):2467-72.
  • Parekh N, Chappell R, Millen AE, Albert D, Mares JA. Association between vitamin D and age-related macular degeneration in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III), 1988-94. Arch Ophthalmol; 2007 May;125 (5):661-669.
  • Moeller SM, Parekh N, Ritenbaugh C, Chappell R, Mares JA. Associations between intermediate age-related macular degeneration and lutein and zeaxanthin in the Carotenoids in Age-related Eye Disease Study (CAREDS): ancillary study of the Women’s Health Initiative. Arch Ophthalmol. 2006 August;124(8):1151-62.
  • Parekh N, Fitzgerald N. Vegetables Intake as a Preventive Measure Against Type 2 Diabetes and Cancer. Nova Science Publishers, Inc. Hauppauge, NY 2009; 81-99.

Selected Presentations

  • 4/2013 & 5/2013 Panelist; The Weight of the Nation. Langone Medical Center, New York University, New York, NY.
  • 3/2013 Preliminary results on the insulin-cancer link from the Framingham Heart Study. Department of Population Health. Langone School of Medicine. New York University, New York, NY.
  • 2/2013 Eating with a dash of moderation and a pinch of common sense. Seminar for cancer survivors. New York University Cancer Institute, New York, NY.
  • 4/2012 Water and Health; Public Health Nutrition Course. New York University- Guest Lecture.
  • 3/2012 Obesity in cancer screening and survival: Cancer Prevention Lecture Series; University of Medicine and Dentistry of NJ.
  • 3/2012 Results from a systematic literature review on body mass index and cancer survival; New York Obesity Group, Columbia University, New York. NY.
  • 3/2012 “Nutrition, Obesity and Chronic Diseases”. Global Non-communicable Diseases course, Global Public Health Program. New York University.
  • 2/2012 Radio-oncology show; Sirius XM radio: Diet and cancer, specific focus on obesity.
  • 2/2012 The Insulin-Cancer Hypothesis; University of Buffalo, Department of Social and Preventive Medicine. Buffalo, New York.
  • 1/2012 “Obesity, insulin resistance and cancer: potential mechanisms.” Department of Biochemistry, University of Puerto Rico.
  • 11/2011 Biosychosocial model of Obesity and Cancer; Bahacesir University, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 7/2011 “Biospychosocial factors of Obesity.” Department of Life Sciences; St. Xaviers College, Mumbai, India.
  • 7/2010 Public Health Nutrition initiatives in the US; St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai, India.
  • 7/2010 Using large datasets for chronic disease research; St. John’s Hospital, Bangalore, India.
  • 7/2010 Epidemiologic evidence of diet and cancer, insights from large population studies; National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad, India.
  • 5/2010 ‘Water and malnutrition;’ United Nation’s Associations of the United States of America. New York, NY.
  • 3/2010 Moderator for the “Conversations in Global Public Health” event on “Alleviating Vitamin A deficiency in the world;” New York University.
  • 1/2010 ‘Nutrition Transition and the prospect of cancer;’ New York University, Non-infectious disease class, Masters in Global Public Health Program.
  • 10/2009 Markers of insulin and glucose metabolism cancer mortality; The International Congress of Nutrition, Bangkok, Thailand, 2009.
  • 1/2009 ‘Metabolic syndrome and cancer mortality;’ New York Obesity Group, Columbia University.
  • 1/2009 Moderator for the ‘Conversations in Global Public Health’ event on ‘International Food Security Treaty;’ New York University.
  • 8/2008 ‘Facts about fats. Indian Merchants Chamber; Mumbai, India.
  • 4/2008 ‘Obesity and chronic diseases: Biological mechanisms and potential interventions;’ UMDNJ, Department of Family Medicine.


FOOD-GE 2190 - Research Methods in Nutrition

PUHE-UE 1315 - Introduction to Public Health Nutrition

NUTR-UE 1187 - International Nutrition

NUTR-GE 2187 - Global Issues in Nutrition

NUTR-GE 2289 - Advanced Research Seminar in Diet and Cancer

NUTR-GE 2192 - Nutritional Epidemiology 


  • 2013 : Graduate Student Organization Star Award for mentorship of doctoral student
  • 2012 : American Cancer Society Research Scholar Lifetime Honor Award
  • 2012 : Graduate Student Organization (Student Nominated) Star Award For Teaching Excellence, Steinhardt School, NYU
  • 2010 : Dean’s Professional Development Fund Award, Steinhardt School, NYU
  • 2009 : American Soceity of Nutrition award to present at the quart-annual International Congress of Nutrition Bangkok, Thailand
  • 2007 : Gallo Award, Cancer Institute of New Jersey, for outstanding cancer research
  • 2006 : The Department of Defense postdoctoral fellowship for prostate cancer research
  • 2005 : Finalist for the American Soceity of Nutrition, Young Investigators Award, Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, San Diego
  • 2004 : Recipient for the Nell Mondy Research Scholarship Award
  • 2002 : The J. Watumull Scholarship