Obesity and overweight prevalence among adolescents with disabilities

Rimmer JH, Yamaki K, Davis BM, Wang E, Vogel LC.  Center on Health Promotion Research for Persons with Disabilities, Department of Disability and Human Development, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60608-6904, USA. jrimmer@uic.edu.  Prev Chronic Dis. 2011 Mar;8(2):A41. Epub 2011 Feb 15.

INTRODUCTION:  We examined overweight and obesity prevalence among adolescents with disabilities by disability type (physical vs cognitive) and demographic factors (sex, age, race/ethnicity).

METHODS:  Parents (N = 662) of adolescents aged 12 to 18 years with disabilities from 49 states responded to an online survey from September 2008 through March 2009.

RESULTS:  Prevalence of obesity among adolescents with physical and cognitive disabilities (17.5%) was significantly higher compared with that among adolescents without disabilities (13.0%). Obesity prevalence was higher among males, 18-year-olds, and youths with cognitive disabilities than among females, younger adolescents, and youths with physical disabilities.

CONCLUSION:  The higher prevalence of obesity among youths with disabilities compared with nondisabled youths, particularly in certain subgroups, requires further examination in future surveillance research.