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New Study Examines the Impact of Obesity on People with Disabilities


Posted on Jul 09, 2013

Northern Californians with disabilities face an additional hardship in the nation’s struggle with obesity, according to a study recently published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine.

The study, available in this year’s July issue, may be the first to collect hard evidence based on real height and weight measurements from the participants. While previous reports relied exclusively on anecdotal evidence, this took information from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The survey combines interviews and physical examinations from participants in the field.

Statistics on obesity and health were collected from more than 11,500 adults with disabilities and 20,000 adults without disabilities.

“Prior to this research, national samples only indicated obesity prevalence in adults with disabilities at 29 to 31%,” said the study’s primary author, Katherine Froehlich-Grobe, who is an associate professor at the University of Texas School of Public Health. 

The results of the study were sobering. Forty-two percent of US adults with disabilities fall into the obese classification. Nine percent are extremely obese. That’s a disturbing increase from the numbers obtained from US adults without disabilities, where 29% have been identified as obese and nearly 4% as extremely obese.

Froehlich-Grobe expressed the need for greater awareness of the issue within the community of people with disabilities. Obesity has been connected with a number of increased health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.

If you are unable to work due to a disability, you need the support that Social Security disability benefits can provide. Speak with a North Valley disability lawyer about your options as soon as possible. Call 888-761-7383, or fill out the online contact form.

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