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2020 | 30 | 2 | 17-25

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Obesity among adults with moderate and severe intellectual disabilities


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Introduction Obesity is a common health problem among adults people with intellectual disabilities. The aim of the present study was to determine the prevalence of obesity among people with moderate and severe intellectual disabilities by gender, age and degree of disability. Material and methods The study group comprised 194 individuals with moderate and severe intellectual disability, aged 20 to 50 years. They were all participants of an occupational therapy workshop. Measurements of height and body weight, waist and hip circumference were conducted. BMI and WHR were calculated. A double-classification ANOVA was carried out to compare outcomes by age and gender. Analysed parameters were standardised by gender and age. Standardised variables were subject to comparative analysis (one-way ANOVA) with respect to the level of disability. Results Over a half of the examined individuals exhibited excessive weight gain. Obesity was found in almost 30% of our female participants while among male participants this proportion equalled 19.4%. Waist circumference (p≤0.008) and WHR (p≤0.001) differed significantly between men and women, women had android obesity more often. Conclusions Obesity appears to be a common problem among people with intellectual disabilities; to a greater extent among women. Gender was a factor determining the type of obesity since android obesity was more commonly diagnosed in women. The prevalence of obesity did not seem to be associated with age.









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