The prevalence of abdominal obesity among pupils with visual impairment in Poland

Magdalena Wrzesińska, Ph.D., Beata Urzędowicz, M.D., Ph.D., Tadeusz Nawarycz, Ph.D., Sławomir Motylewski, Ph.D., Lucjan Pawlicki, M.D., Ph.D.

Disability and Health JournalVol. 10Issue 4p559–564



Obesity particularly affects young people with disabilities, whose ability to participate in health promotion programs is reduced.


The aim of the study is to determine the prevalence of abdominal obesity among students with visual impairment in Poland according to waist-to-height ratio, including indicators such as gender, age or certain additional coexisting disabilities or disorders.


A total of 238 students who were blind or partially-sighted, aged 7.35–23.35 years (mean age 15.5; ±3.9 years), were included in the study. Abdominal obesity was estimated using waist-to-height ratio; a cutoff point of ≥0.50 was determined as central obesity.


Abdominal obesity was identified among 26.9% [N = 64] of the participants: 33.1% [N = 41] of male students and 20.2% [N = 23] of female students (ch2 = 5.02; p = 0.025; Phi = 0.145). Of all the students, the multivariate logistic regression showed that abdominal obesity was one and a half times more likely to be detected in the 7–9 year age group (OR = 1.56; 95% CI 0.58–4.18; P = 0.376) than the 19–23 year age group. However, among the female subjects, abdominal obesity was over six times more common in the 7–9 year group (OR = 6.48; 95% CI 1.29–32.5; P = 0.022) than in the group of early adults. Central obesity was detected almost three times more frequently among students with visual impairment and additional intellectual disability (OR = 2.99; 95% CI 0.52–17.1; P = 0.215) than those with only visual impairment.


Prevention programs aimed at reducing abdominal obesity among pupils with visual impairment from special schools are needed.