Meal Planning and Exercise Program for Adults with Intellectual Disabilities
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): People with intellectual disabilities (ID) have rates of obesity greater than the general population. They often have poor energy dense diets and tend to be inactive. This group also experiences a high prevalence of health related problems: cancer, diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular diseases. There is a pressing need for weight loss programs targeted to the specific learning needs of this population. This project MPEP; Meal Planning and Exercise Program for Adults with ID, will use the best of the behavioral weight loss programs while incorporating a new, innovative, yet research-based approach for this population that focuses on prepackaged meals, meal plans, and simple exercise programs. The primary aims of thestudy are to develop the efficacy of a weight loss/weight maintenance program for overweight and obese adults with ID by providing individuals with ID and their care providers with information on nutrition, easy to implement and cost effective meal planning ideas, and exercise strategies. The intervention will be guided by Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) and will use both sides of the energy equation: energy intake and energy expenditure. The targeted population will be overweight/obese adults with ID who live at home, in foster homes, in group homes, or independently with supports. These living arrangements often make choosing a healthy diet and participating in physical activity difficult. The care providers frequently decide meal with input from the majority of the residents (if living in group situations). It is easy to serve the same foods and portion sizes to all residents or with parent as caregiver to give free choice to unhealthy foods. Financial and transportation issues also make it difficult for individuals with ID to participate in community-based physical activity programs. In this project, we will implement a research-based approach that focuses on healthy eating using a modification of the Stop Light Diet to include meal plans and pre-packaged foods and a home-based progressive walking program. In Phase I we will evaluate the feasibility of the impact of Session 1 (prepackaged entrees and a weekly meal plan). In Phase II we will evaluate the effectiveness of the entire package (meal planning and exercise for three months and weight maintenance for an additional six months) with a traditional diet group. Both groups will participate in a physical activity program that has been shown to improve metabolic risks factors in this population and has had modest weight loss in controlled settings. This program will be modified for home use. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: Research on living a healthy lifestyles by healthy eating, weight loss, and physical activity, due to it implications with cancer, heartdisease, and a host of other secondary conditions, is highly relevant to public health. Individuals with ID are a population at risk due to their sedentary lifestyle. Additionally, a high percentage of them are obese or overweight. There is a pressing need to involve this group in healthy eating, nutrition education, and physical activities. By focusing on these individuals with ID, this program brings needed intervention tools for an underserved population.
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