Obesity as a Confounding Health Factor Among Women With Mobility Impairment

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PurposeTo examine the relationships between self-reported height and weight and factors associated with disabilities that impair mobility among adult women.Data SourcesSurvey data were gathered from a convenience sample of 83 women with disabilities at community events targeting the disabled population. Height, weight, and factors associated with their disabilities were reported on a demographic questionnaire. Body mass index (BMI) was estimated using a conversion table and the self-reported height and weight of each participant.ConclusionsThe average self-reported weight was 168.3 lb. Only 38% of the women fell into the normal range on estimated BMI, but 62% of the women fell into the categories of overweight or obese. The incidence of overweight and obesity exceeded that reported for the general population of women in a national sample X2= 6.48, p= 03, 2 df). Self-reported weight was positively correlated with the number of comorbidities reported by the women (r= .419, p < .0001).ImplicationsThe issue of obesity is an important problem facing women with disabilities. Women who have mobility limitations need to be weighed periodically, and strategies should be devised for weight management, including both dietary plans and appropriate exercise regimens given their limitations.

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