12th September 2002
Disabled adults are much more likely to be obese than non-disabled people.
Researchers in Boston, Massachusetts surveyed 145,000 adults and found 25% of those with a disability were obese compared with 15% of those without. The survey excluded people living in nursing homes or assisted living facilities.
Those with a disability affecting their legs or feet were among the most likely to be obese and were less likely to make an effort to lose weight.
Part of the problem, say the researchers, is that doctors lack guidelines on how to help disabled adults lose weight. Physicians should recognise that patients with disabilities face increased risks for obesity and address their weight concerns.
The study was reported in The Journal of the American Medical Association.