My 19-year-old son came home from his first year in a structured post-high school program having gained 40 pounds. This was in a structured program, where once a week each apartment resident prepares a supervised dinner for his or her roommates—and where students participate in a wellness program. A 2008 National Center on Health Statistics report documented that among adults with a disability, 35.6 percent were obese, compared with 22.7 percent of adults without a disability.
Reducing and preventing obesity is a priority of First Lady Michelle Obama. On June 29, Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation released their seventh annual obesity report, F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America's Future 2010.
CHADD is recognized and financed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to operate the National Resource Center on ADHD (NRC). Reducing and preventing obesity is a priority public health objective of the current CDC director. I will prepare my next several blogs on the connection between obesity and disability. One of the situations I will spend some time discussing is the relationship between consumption of unhealthy products and social isolation experienced by many people with ADHD and other disabilities.
At home this summer, my son has lost 13 pounds, participates in a regular exercise program with a trainer, and is practicing healthier eating. Whether these habits can be sustained when he returns to school in late August will be a challenge.
We all need to better focus on good health habits. Their relationship to ADHD and disability will be discussed in coming blogs.