PHE – Obesity and weight management for people with learning disabilities

 In Clinical Guidelines, Mental Health, Public Health England

People with learning disabilities are more at risk of being overweight or obese than the general population, due to poorly balanced diets and a lack of physical exercise.

PHE found that unhealthy diets and lack of physical exercise have close links with social factors such as poverty, poor housing, and social isolation which is experienced disproportionally by people with learning disabilities.

PHE further emphasise their point by suggesting “Primary care data shows that people with learning disabilities have substantially higher rates of conditions associated with being overweight, such as diabetes, heart failure, and strokes.”

The following advice is given by the PHE to manage and prevent excess weight in people with learning disabilities:

  • Raising awareness of excess weight in people with learning disabilities.
  • Annual health checks.
  • Support from family members and social care staff.
  • Ensuring weight loss programmes are accessible by all.
  • Improving environmental, social and personal factors
  • Understanding the person’s capacity and choice around their diet and exercise

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