The prevalence and determinants of obesity in adults with intellectual disabilities

Obes Rev. 2007 May;8(3):223-30. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-789X.2006.00296.x.


People with intellectual disabilities experience significant health inequalities compared with the general population, including a shorter life expectancy and high levels of unmet health needs. Another accepted measure of health inequalities, the prevalence of obesity, has been shown to be higher in adults with intellectual disabilities than in the general population. While the factors contributing to the increased prevalence among adults with intellectual disabilities are not well understood, the high rates of obesity among younger adults highlight the need for further research involving children and adolescents with intellectual disabilities. To take forward the priorities for research and the development of effective, accessible services, there is a need for collaboration between professionals working in the fields of intellectual disabilities and obesity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aging
  • Exercise / physiology
  • Exercise / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intellectual Disability
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Obesity / etiology
  • Obesity / genetics
  • Obesity / psychology*
  • Persons with Mental Disabilities*
  • Prevalence
  • Psychotropic Drugs / adverse effects*
  • Psychotropic Drugs / therapeutic use
  • Sex Factors


  • Psychotropic Drugs