The health of adolescents with developmental disabilities continues to be a concern as a new study suggests that youth with autism may struggle more with weight issues than others their age. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that adolescents with learning and behavioral developmental disabilities were about 1.5 times more likely to be obese than adolescents without developmental disabilities. The study also found that adolescents with autism were about 2 times more likely to be obese than adolescents without developmental disabilities. A higher risk of asthma, eczema, and migraine headaches were also reported. With medications being a possible cause of weight gain in some cases, practitioners are advised to closely monitor the weight of individuals taking antipsychotic medications while encouraging regular exercise.
Get FIT partnered with the Family Support Center of NJ this week to give a free webinar for parents of children with disabilities preparing for their child’s healthy transition to adult life. Check it out below!
Creating a transition plan can sometimes be a journey in itself. Through Get FIT, you can create a transition plan that integrates multiple dimensions of wellness. Get FIT promotes the importance of physical activity and a balanced diet in people of all abilities. This webinar will discuss the importance of including wellness goals in activities of daily living, while sharing best practices that have proven to work for people of all abilities. The presentation will feature snippets from our Get FIT @ School curriculum, with the goal to help you incorporate health and fitness into your transition plan.
Food insecurity is a significant contributor to the obesity epidemic and is disparately affecting the quality of life of people with disabilities and low income families. Last Friday, the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program announced upcoming revisions that are aimed at helping families make healthier decisions. The expansion of the program will result in an increased availability of fruits, vegetables and whole grains to approximately 9 million underserved women and young children. This change to federal food assistance programs will increase the flexibility of state and local WIC agencies to promote healthier diets. With March being National Nutrition Month, and the 40th anniversary of the WIC program, we are happy to see an increased commitment at the federal level that promotes a healthier lifestyle for all!