Obesity prevalence among a group of Chicago residents with disabilities

Academic Article


  • Objective: To examine the prevalence of overweight, obesity, and extreme obesity in a predominantly minority group of adults with disabilities. Design: Cross-sectional study using secondary data analysis. Setting: Major university medical center. Participants: Adults with physical and cognitive disabilities (N=306). Interventions: Not applicable. Main Outcome Measures: Direct measures of height and weight to classify subjects into 3 obesity categories: overweight (body mass index [BMI] range, 25-29.9kg/m2), obese (BMI range, 30-39.9kg/m2), and extreme obesity (BMI, <40kg/m2). Results: People with disabilities, regardless of sex, race and ethnicity, or age, had significantly higher rates of overweight, obesity, and extreme obesity compared with people without disabilities. Extreme obesity (BMI, <40kg/m 2) was approximately 4 times higher among people with disabilities than in the general population (odds ratio=4.08; 95% confidence interval, 3.50-4.66). There were also substantial differences in obesity prevalence among people with disabilities, using actual measurement data, compared with self-reported data from previously published data sets. Conclusions: The disparity in excess body weight between people with and without disabilities, particularly in the category of extreme obesity, along with substantial differences in obesity prevalence between actual and self-reported data, show a critical need to better understand why these differences exist. © 2005 by American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine and the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Rimmer JH; Wang E
  • Start Page

  • 1461
  • End Page

  • 1464
  • Volume

  • 86
  • Issue

  • 7