Prevalence of overweight among the general population has been reported to be 33% for males and 36% for females. We undertook this study to establish overweight prevalence data in a cohort with Down syndrome and to stratify the incidence of overweight by living arrangement. We measured Body Mass Index (BMI) in 283 persons with Down syndrome and found a higher prevalence of overweight in this group compared to the general population. Individuals with Down syndrome living in a family setting had a higher incidence of overweight than did those living in a group home setting. Overweight prevalence among persons with Down syndrome should be considered a major public health concern that warrants further attention from researchers, practitioners, family members, and individuals with Down syndrome.
The authors are grateful for the support of Sheila Hebein, Executive Director of the National Association for Down Syndrome, and Kim Xidas, Donna Mirro, Karen Cornell, and Nancy Halligan of the Adult Down Syndrome Center in Glenview, Illinois, for their contributions in data entry, organization, and management. This project was funded, in part, by Grant No. H133B30069 from the US. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, Rehabilitation Research Training Center on Aging with Mental Retardation and Grant No. 90DD0290 from the US. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Developmental Disabilities Aging Training Initiative. The opinions in this expressed in this article are those of the grantee and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Education.