Obesity is a major health concern in adults with learning disabilities. This study set out to evaluate the impact of a locally delivered NHS health promotion programme.
191 adults with learning disabilities took part in the evaluation and were screened and monitored over a 2-year period with attendance rates and body mass index (BMI) used a outcome measures.
The researchers found 69% were overweight/obese/morbidly obese at the beginning of the programme. 21% of the sample failed to attend at year 1 and 34% failed to attend at year 2.
Measurements of BMI showed 52% of the ‘at risk’ BMI category remaining static, 26.7% had a worsening weight status and 20.7% showed improvements in weight status.
The authors discuss both the possibilities and also the main difficulties in working on a health promotion model within the NHS. They suggest specifically that long-term obesity-specific interventions need to incorporate primary carers if they are to be successful in the future.
Longitudinal Follow-up of Weight Change in the Context of a Community-Based Health Promotion Programme for Adults with an Intellectual Disability, Thomas, G & Kerr, M, in Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 24: 381–387