Obesity Strategy Adaptation for Youth with Disabilities: Increasing Physical Activity Time in Physical Education Class

Dec 05, 2011
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The rate of obesity among adolescents aged 12 to 19 years has more than tripled over the past three decades, and the rate among children aged 6 to 11 years has more than doubled. Unfortunately, the rates of obesity are even worse among children and adolescents with disabilities. Reversing the U.S. obesity epidemic requires a comprehensive approach that uses policy and environmental change to transform communities into places that promote healthy lifestyle choices for all.

To help communities, the CDC initiated the Common Community Measures for Obesity Prevention Project to identify a set of strategies that communities and local governments can use for obesity prevention. The process used to create the 24 strategies can be viewed  here. These strategies for the prevention or reduction of obesity have been developed from an evidence-base of research that typically excludes participation by individuals with disabilities. The “Adaptations to Community-based Obesity Reducing National Strategies” (ACORNS) website is part of a grant funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) to promote more inclusive community-based obesity prevention programs that represent the needs of youth and young adults with disabilities. The obesity-prevention strategy adaptation portal, www.24acorns.org, was created so that persons with disabilities, teachers, clinicians, researchers, policy makers, and more could have a place to contribute their input on how to best adapt the CDC’s obesity-prevention strategies to be inclusive.

The featured strategy this month focuses on physical education. This specific strategy has to do with being active during physical education classes and recommends communities increase the amount of physical activity in physical education (PE) programs in schools. As a reader you can visit the website to help in the development of a set of adaptations that will help our schools and young adults. Consider what methods can be used to make sure youth and young adults with physical and cognitive disabilities are included in PE? What suggestions do you have to help PE teachers make class more engaging? After all, time spent in PE classes does not necessarily mean that students are physically active during that time. To contribute your suggestions, visit the 24ACORNS website and click on the “Featured Strategy” button on the bottom of the page.

Please help to spread the word! Direct anyone you know who may have experience or expertise on how to adapt programs for persons with disabilities to www.24acorns.org. There, you can submit your suggestions for physical, cognitive, or cultural adaptations to any of our 24 featured strategies.

Author: Jennifer Green



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    It’s becoming the national tragedy ti reduce the obesity among the younger ones. This is a matter of great thoughts that if this way obesity get going faster then every young one will be in trouble for sure in their early ages. Most importantly the physically disable young people also having a tough time to make the problem ease without proper and precise guidance. Therefore to prevent it and make the nation a healthy one immediate major should take to reduce the havoc soon.