Weight-related concerns are associated with women's substance use and treatment relapse. The prevalence of overweight, obesity, disordered eating behavior, and substance abuse history was assessed among female inmates incarcerated for 6 to 24 months at an Oregon state prison, using a self-administered survey and physical measurements. Average weight gain was 20 pounds, 87% of women were overweight (39%) or obese (48%), and 24% reported using one or more unhealthy strategies to lose weight in the past 6 months. Women who used tobacco and illicit substances before incarceration gained more weight. Integrating nutrition and weight gain issues into substance abuse treatment could benefit incarcerated women--both soon after entering prison to prevent weight gain and close to release to prevent relapse into substance use.
Keywords: obesity; prisoners; substance-related disorders; treatment needs; women’s health.
© The Author(s) 2016.