Center on Nutrition and Disability

The newly established Center on Nutrition and Disability (CND) is happy to provide you with a reliable page to find news relevant to the health and wellness of individuals with disabilities.

Study Finds Weight to be a Concern for Adolescents with Autism

Get FITThe 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.

Read more about this study at: http://www.cdc.gov

Free Webinar on Healthy Transitions with Get FIT

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.

More Fruits, Vegetables Available to Low-income Women and Children

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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!

Read the full article “U.S. expands healthy food assistance to women, infants and children” on Reuters.com.

With flu season on the horizon, there are many ways you can stay healthy

1. Prevent the spread of germs

  • Wash your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Practice good health habits. Get plenty of sleep and exercise, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat healthy food.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • If you are sick with flu-like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone without the use of fever-reducing medicine.

2. See if the flu vaccine is right for you

  • This must be an informed choice made by you or your caregiver.
  • Ask your doctor for more information.
  • Tell your doctor if you or a child who is getting the flu vaccine has ever had a seizure.

3. Take flu antiviral drugs. If they are prescribed by your Doctor

  • If you get the flu, antiviral drugs can treat your illness.
  • Antiviral drugs are not the same as antibiotics.
  • Antiviral drugs are prescription medicines (pills, liquid or an inhaled powder) and are not available over-the-counter.
  • Antiviral drugs can make illness milder and shorten the time you are sick. They may also prevent serious flu complications.

This information can be accessed at www.cdc.gov.