Obesity is a prominent public health issue. People with disabilities are impacted by this growing public health concern.
According to the 2010 Arkansas BRFSS data:
Of the people in Arkansas who are obese, 42.02% have a disability while only 28.47 of obese Arkansans have no disability.
Ways to Address & Prevent Obesity for People with Disabilities:
- Learn more about your health and health concerns. We currently provide health education classes Healthy Lifestyles for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities, and Living Well
- Increase physical activity either through a hobby or activity you enjoy
- Focus on fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Drink plenty of water (a person should drink 8 glasses of water a day)
- Increase opportunities for activity by using universal design principals to improve the walkability/rollability of your program or community.
- Make available fresh fruits and vegetables through the support and development of Farmers Markets and Community Gardens.
- Educate primary care physicians regarding health disparities and obesity risks for individuals with disabilities.
- Limit the availability of high sugar, high fat foods.
- Reduce sodium levels in processed foods.
- Encourage menu labeling in restaurants.
The CDC Disability and Health Obesity webpage is an excellent resource for more information.