Association of Physical Activity and the Risk of Obesity in Adolescents with Physical Disabilities.

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Adults with physical disabilities have an increased risk of obesity. Physical activity is essential to maintaining healthy weight; meanwhile, it is not fully understood how much physical activity is needed in order to decrease the risk of obesity for this population. This paper discusses the association of physical activity to the risk of obesity in adults with physical disabilities. Body Mass Index (BMI) and percent Body Fat (%BF; measure of body composition) are commonly used for determining the prevalence of obesity. Physical activity can help to achieve and maintain optimal BMI and %BF regardless of the presence of physical disabilities. Meanwhile, the effectiveness of physical activity on reducing the risk of obesity may be different between people with and those without physical disabilities. There are limitations associated with using BMI and %BF for determining the degree of obesity particularly for adults with physical disabilities. More research is needed to examine the association between different physical activity levels and the prevalence of obesity among this population. Future research should also focus on developing general physical activity recommendations for the special populations to help them reduce the risk of obesity and improve the quality of life.