The food pyramid divided into sections on a plate

National Public Health Week: Eat Well

It is well known that individuals with disabilities face health disparities, particularly in weight-related health outcomes, when compared to the non-disabled population. What is less well known is that among people with disabilities, those with intellectual disabilities have poorer health outcomes than those with physical or developmental disabilities. This can be attributed mainly to a lack of cognitively appropriate health information and programming.

The Center for Leadership in Disability recently submitted a proposal for funding for a health promotion program for youth and young adults with intellectual disabilities. If funded, 224 youth and young adults with ID will receive a brief (3-week, 90-minutes per week) health education curriculum combined with several self-monitoring approaches, including photo-enhanced self-monitoring of food intake using an Apple device such as an iPod, using a FitBit to self-monitor physical activity, and a smartplate to monitor and control portion size. The research team will use a variety of methods to better understand which components of the program work best for individuals with ID and expect that the program will improve participants’ health outcomes, health-related self-efficacy, and health-related quality of life.

For more information on portion control and healthy eating visit