242518 Advancing Disability in the Nation's Health Disparity Agenda Addressing Environmental Disparities Associated with Obesity in Youth and Young Adults with Disabilities

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 4:30 PM

James Rimmer, PhD , Occupational Therapy, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
Background and Purpose. Environmental disparities (i.e., lack of access to community-based and school-based obesity prevention programs) place an enormous burden on youth and young adults with disabilities and their caregiver(s) in adopting health behaviors critical to weight management and obesity prevention. As part of a proposed panel on the nation's health disparity agenda, this presentation describes a formal set of methods and criteria that are being used to address environmental disparities affecting youth and young adults with disabilities from culturally diverse backgrounds. Methods & Results. The project uses a triangulation approach to identify and capture strategies, adaptations, and promising program recommendations through a) online participation from a highly qualified national network of disability organizations; b) an expert panel process with nationally recognized leaders in disability and key content areas related to obesity prevention; c) scoping reviews to identify core elements of successful modifications/adaptations; and d) focus groups with family members and youth/young adults with disabilities to obtain qualitative data on program adaptations. These methods have resulted in a core set of criteria that can be used to examine an obesity prevention program's potential adaptability for youth and young adults with disabilities. Conclusion: There are numerous environmental disparities that exclude youth and young adults with disabilities in national and local obesity prevention initiatives. Given the higher rate of obesity among youth and young adults with disabilities, greater efforts must be made by local, state and federal agencies to ensure that upstream approaches to obesity prevention do not exclude this underserved population.

Learning Areas:
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the environmental disparities associated with obesity in youth and young adults with disabilities. 2. List key strategies for promoting inclusion of youth and young adults with disabilities into community-based and school-based obesity prevention programs.

Keywords: Disability Policy, Adolescent Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been a researcher in the topic area for over 25 years.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.