People with a disability likelier to be obese

Updated: Jun 27, 2013, 16:01 PM IST

Washington: Adults with a disability are more likely to be obese or extremely obese, according to a study.

Researchers at The University of Texas School of Public Health identified participants as having a disability if they reported mobility issues.

According to the study, adults with a disability had a higher prevalence of several chronic illnesses including diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol. People with disabilities were twice as likely to have prescribed medication for hypertension and lipid-lowering medicine.

Katherine Froehlich-Grobe , Ph.D., lead author of the paper and associate professor of health promotion and behavioral science at The UT School of Public Health Dallas Regional Campus, says the obesity disparity between people with disabilities and people without a disability should be addressed.

She suggests that primary care providers should amp up their efforts on counseling patients to change their lifestyle with diet and exercise instead of only prescribing medication to control the chronic illnesses.

Recent guidelines say those with disabilities should participate in moderate physical activity and be as active as they can within the limitations of their disability.

The study was recently published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine.