Overweight and obesity are common secondary conditions for women with disabilities. According to Healthy People 2010, only 35 percent of women with disabilities were at a healthy weight compared to 45 percent of women without disabilities.
Obesity is more prevalent among adults with disabilities than among the general population. Rates of overweight and obesity are much higher among women with disabilities than among women without disabilities. According to analyses of data from the 1994-1995 National Health Interview Survey:
- 24.9 percent of persons with disabilities are obese compared to 15.1 percent of those without disabilities
- Rates of obesity were the highest among people with lower extremity mobility difficulties
- Overweight persons with severe mobility limitations were significantly less likely to attempt to lose weight than those who were overweight but did not have mobility difficulties
- Women with three or more limitations were significantly more likely to be overweight (43.2 percent) compared to women without limitations (21.6 percent)
- The highest percentage of obesity (52 percent) can be found among women age 45-64 with three or more limitations, double the statistic (26.1 percent) of women with no limitations
Additionally, Healthy People 2010 reports that, based on data collected between 1991 and 1994, only 35 percent of women with disabilities were at a healthy weight compared to 45 percent of women without disabilities. Among women with arthritis, only 37 percent were at a healthy weight, compared to 47 percent of women without arthritis.