Man in wheelchair near pool

Healthy Communities: Improving Access and Integration for People with Disabilities

Originally presented on February 17, 2011

James H. Rimmer, PhD
National Center on Physical Activity and Disability

Obesity is one of the most significant public health problems confronting our society today.  The environment where we live work and play can either contribute to increasing rates of obesity or play a critical role in reducing obesity trends.  The Healthy Communities movement strives to create or improve environments that promote and support a healthy lifestyle.  To that end, communities must offer opportunities to be physically active, opportunities to make healthy food choices, and opportunities to access proper health care services.  And those opportunities must be for everyone.

The prevalence of obesity among persons with disabilities is even higher than the general population.  According to the NYS Behavioral Risk Factors Surveillance System, the obesity rate in the general population is 21.6%, among persons with disabilities that rate climbs to 35.5%.  Physical inactivity is just one of the contributing factors to this prevalence among persons with disabilities.  Our communities and the opportunities they provide are vital to reducing obesity and improving overall health for everyone, including persons with disabilities.

James H. Rimmer, Ph.D. will document the prevalence of obesity in youth and adults with disabilities and will further explore the resultant secondary conditions and their impact.  Dr. Rimmer will identify community characteristics that promote health for persons with disabilities, and discuss the effective use of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention MAPPS strategies (Media, Access, Point of decision, Price, Social support/services) to ensure applicability among persons with disabilities. 

Learning Objectives
After watching this webcast participants will be able to:

  • Describe the prevalence of obesity among individuals with disabilities across the lifespan
  • Explain the health impact of obesity among individuals with disabilities
  • List the environmental and societal contributors to obesity among persons with disabilities, as well as the facilitators in reduction of obesity among persons with disabilities