Objective: Examine the relationship between disability and overweight/obesity among U.S. adults. Methods: Study sample (N = 30,363) came from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2012 waves. Disability was classified into five domains using standardized indices. Any disability was defined as having any difficulty in performing at least one of the activities in any of the five disability domains. Logistic regressions were conducted to estimate the association between disability and overweight/obesity, adjusted by individual characteristics and multiyear complex sampling design. Results: Over a quarter (25.99%) of U.S. adults 20years and older reported having any disability. The overweight/obesity rates across all disability domains were substantially higher than their nondisabled counterparts. The rate of overweight and obesity combined (BMI≥25kg/m2), obesity (BMI≥30kg/m2), grade 2 and 3 obesity combined (BMI≥35kg/m2), and grade 3 obesity (BMI≥40kg/m2) among people with any disability were 1.14 (73.54% versus 64.50%), 1.38 (41.37% versus 29.99%), 1.71 (19.81% versus 11.60%), and 1.94 (8.60% versus 4.43%) times the corresponding rate among people without disability, respectively. Compared with their nondisabled counterparts, the adjusted odds of overweight and obesity combined, obesity, grade 2 and 3 obesity combined, and grade 3 obesity were 24% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 14%-36%), 32% (95% CI: 22%-44%), 49% (95% CI: 35%-64%), and 55% (95% CI: 27%-89%) higher among people with any disability, respectively. Conclusion: People with disabilities have substantially higher risk of obesity compared to their nondisabled peers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)419-422
Number of pages4
JournalPreventive Medicine Reports
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015


  • Disability
  • Obesity
  • Overweight

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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