Preferences help
enabled [disable] Abstract
Number of results
2020 | 30 | 2 | 17-25
Article title

Obesity among adults with moderate and severe intellectual disabilities

Title variants
Languages of publication
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.
Physical description
  • James WP. The epidemiology of obesity: the size of the problem. J Intern Med 2008;263:336-352.
  • WHO European region and the strategies for response: Summary. Copenhagen, WHO Regional Office for Europe 2007.
  • Bertoli S, Battezzati A, Merati G, Margonat V, Maggioni M, Testolin G, et al. Nutritional status and dietary patterns in disabled people. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis 2006;16(2):100-12.
  • Bardugo E, Moses L, Shmmer M, Dubman I. Gain for pain: a model of a healthy lifestyle intervention in a population of mentally disabled adults. Harefuah 2010;149(10):645-9.
  • George V, Shacter S, Johnson P. BMI and attitudes and beliefs about physical activity and nutrition of parents of adolescents with intellectual disabilities. J Intellect Disabil Res 2011;55(11):1054-63.
  • Lin J, Lin P, Lin L, Chang Y, Wu S, Wu J. Physical activity and its determinants among adolescents with intellectual disabilities. Res Dev Disabil 2010;31(1):263-9.
  • Emerson E. Underweight, obesity and exercise among adults with intellectual disabilities in supported accommodation in Northern England. J Intellect Disabil Res 2005;49(2):134-43.
  • Philips A, Holland A. Assessment of objectively measured physical activity levels in individuals with intellectual disabilities with and without Down’ Syndrome. PLoS One 2011;6(12):286-18.
  • de Winter CF, Bastiaanse LP, Hilgenkamp TI, Evenhuis HM, Echteld MA. Overweight and obesity in older people with intellectual disability. Res Dev Disabil 2012;33(2):398-405.
  • Hilgenkamp T, Reis D, van Wijck R, Evenhius H. Physical activity levels in older adults with intellectual disabilities are extremely low. Res Dev Disabil 2012;33(2):477-83.
  • Begarie J, Maiano C, Ninot G, Azema B. Overweight prevalence in preadolescents, adolescents and young adults with intellectual disability schooled in specialized institutions in Southeast of France: An axploratory study. Rev Epidemiol Sante Publique 2009;57(5):337-45.
  • Hamilton S, Hankey CR, Miller S, Boyle S, Melville CA. A review of weight loss interventions for adults with intellectual disabilities. Obes Rev 2007;8(4):39-45.
  • Melvill C, Boyle S, Miller S, Macmillan S, Penpraze V et al. An open study of the effectiveness of a multi-component weight-loss intervention for adults with intellectual disabilities and obesity. Br J Nutr 2011;105(10):1553-62.
  • Draheim D, Stanish H, Williams D, McCubbin J. Dietary intake of adults with mental retardation who reside in community setting. Am J Ment Retard 2007;112(5):392-400.
  • Bhaumik S, Watson J, Thorp C, Tyrer F, McGrother C. Body mass index in adults with intellectual disability: distribution, associations and service implications: a population-based prevalence study. J Intellect Disabil Res 2008;52(4):287-98.
  • WHO: Obesity: Preventing and managing the global epidemic. Report of a WHO consultation. Geneva, WHO Technical Report Series 894, 2000.
  • Janssen I, Heymsfield SB, Allison DB, Kotler DP, Ross R. Body mass index and waist circumference independently contribute to the prediction of nonabdominal, abdominal subcutaneous, and visceral fat. Am. J. Clin. Nutr 2002;75:683-688.
  • Lohman TG, Roche AF, Martello R. Anthropometric standardization reference manual. Champaign, Human Kinetics 1988.
  • National Cholesterol Education Program. Th ird report of the expert panel on detection, evaluation, and treatment of high blood cholesterol in adults (Adult Treatment Panel III). Circulation 2002;106:3143-3421.
  • Stewart L, Van de Ven L, Katsarou V, Rentziou E, Doran M. High prevalence of obesity in ambulatory children and adolescents with intellectual disability. J Intellect Disabil Res 2009;53(10):882-6.
  • Stedman K, Leland L. Obesity and intellectual disability in New Zealand. J Intellect Dev Disabil 2010;35(2):112-5.
  • de Winter CF, Magilsen KW, van Alfen JC, Penning C, Evenhuis HM. Prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors in older people with intellectual disability. Am J Intellect Dev Disabil 114(6):427-36.
  • Sohler N, Lubetkin E, Levy J et al. Factors associated with obesity and coronary heart disease in people with intellectual disabilities. Soc Work Health Care 2009;48(1).
  • Mann J, Zhou H, McDermott S, Poston MB Healthy behavior change of adults with mental retardation: attendance in health promotion program. Am J Ment Retard 2006;111(1):62-73.
  • Saunders RR, Saynders MD, Donnelly JE, Smith BK, et al. Evaluation of an approach to weight loss in adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities. Intellect Dev Disabil 2011;49(2):103-12.
Document Type
Publication order reference
YADDA identifier
JavaScript is turned off in your web browser. Turn it on to take full advantage of this site, then refresh the page.