Release Date: July 16, 2013 | By Glenda Fauntleroy, HBNS Contributing Writer
Research Source: American Journal of Preventive Medicine

  • 41.6 percent of people with a disability that affects mobility are obese, compared to 29.2 of people without a disability.
  • People with disabilities were more likely to have high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes and be prescribed medication for these conditions.

Obesity and its related health problems impacts far more people with a disability than previously reported, according to new research in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
About 54 million people in the U.S. have a disability that affects mobility. The study looked at how these disabilities affect the prevalence of obesity and chronic conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
Lead author Katherine Froehlich-Grobe, Ph.D., associate professor at University of Texas School of Public Health in Dallas, said the main impetus of the study was to assess the rate of obesity among people with disabilities based on actual measurements rather than people’s self-reported height and weight, which are often inaccurate.
“While we expected to see higher prevalence than earlier estimates based on self-reports, we were surprised to see how high obesity prevalence was among those with a disability,” she said.
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