142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Predictors of obesity among adolescents with disabilities

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Monday, November 17, 2014 : 8:50 AM - 9:10 AM

Mia Papas, PhD , Department of Behavioral Health and Nutrtition, University of Delaware, Newark, DE
Michelle Axe, BS , Department of Behavioral Health and Nutrition, University of Delaware, Newark, DE
Introduction  Childhood obesity is a major public health concern.  Children with a broad range of disabilities have a higher prevalence of obesity.  We examined risk factors for obesity among US adolescents with disabilities. 

Methods  Data for high school aged adolescents were obtained from the 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) for four states.  Logistic regression models were fit to assess the effects of dietary habits and physical activity on obesity, defined as an age and gender adjusted body mass index (BMI) greater than the 95th percentile.  Effect modification by disability status was explored.

Results  Twenty percent of the 9,775 eligible survey participants reported a learning, emotional, or physical disability.  After adjustment, adolescents with disabilities were more likely to be obese (adjusted odds ratio (AOR)=1.3; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.1, 1.5), drink soda (AOR=1.2; 95% CI: 1.1, 1.3), have an eating behavior disorder (AOR=2.8; 95% CI: 2.5, 3.2), and were less likely to be physically active (AOR=0.6; 95% CI: 0.5, 0.7).  Associations between all risk factors and obesity were similar among adolescents with and without disabilities (p-for-interaction >0.05). 

Conclusions  Adolescents with a broad range of disabilities are more likely to be obese, have poor dietary habits, and be less physically active relative to adolescents without disabilities.  Successful obesity interventions need to target diet, physical activity, and eating behavior disorders among adolescents with disabilities.  Understanding barriers to healthier diets and physical activity for this population is critical to developing effective obesity prevention programs.

Learning Areas:

Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Assess the role demographics, diet, and physical activity play in influencing obesity for adolescents with disabilities. Describe targeted intervention areas for public health obesity interventions among adolescents with disabilities.

Keyword(s): Adolescents, Disabilities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an epidemiologist with expertise in the area of dietary factors and obesity among mothers and children. I have published peer reviewed papers that explore multilevel risk factors for obesity within high risk populations. I have conducted research on the impacts of disability on health that I have presented at National Disability conferences.
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.