Obesity Prevention for Children with Developmental Disabilities

UMMS Affiliation

Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center; Shriver Center

Publication Date


Document Type



Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms | Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Mental Disorders | Pediatrics


The prevention of obesity in children with DD is a pressing public health issue, with implications for health status, independent living, and quality of life. Substantial evidence suggests that children with developmental disabilities (DD), including those with intellectual disabilities (ID) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD), have a prevalence of obesity at least as high if not higher than their typically developing peers. The paper reviews what is known about the classic and unique risk factors for childhood obesity in these groups of children, including dietary, physical activity, sedentary behavior, and family factors, as well as medication use. We use evidence from the literature to make the case that primary prevention at the individual/family, school and community levels will require tailoring of strategies and adapting existing intervention approaches.

DOI of Published Version



Must A, Curtin C, Hubbard K, Sikich L, Bedford J, Bandini L. Obesity Prevention for Children with Developmental Disabilities. Curr Obes Rep. 2014 Jun;3(2):156-170. PubMed PMID: 25530916; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4267572. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Current obesity reports

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID