By Christina Samuels
A study examining weight and physical activity in adolescents found that teenagers with disabilities are more likely than their typically developing peers to be obese, and also more likely to engage in harmful activities intended to drop that weight, such as using laxatives and vomiting, taking diet pills, or fasting.
The findings were presented at the Nov. 17 meeting of the American Public Health Association. The lead researcher was Mia Papas, an assistant professor of behavioral health and nutrition at the University of Delaware in Newark.
To draw her conclusions, Papas examined questionnaires that were given to nearly 10,000 adolescents in Delaware, North Carolina, North Dakota, and Rhode Island as part of the 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Survey. The survey, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, asks students about a variety of risk behaviors.