Eating a healthy diet is important for everyone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “people with disabilities can find it more difficult to eat healthy, control their weight, and be physically active.”
Whether you are a caregiver or an individual with autism, cerebral palsy, or Down syndrome, exercise is an important part of a healthy body and mind. The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion states that adults with disabilities should “engage in regular physical activity according to their abilities and should avoid inactivity.” People living with disabilities may need some assistance with their physical activities, such as lifting weights or swimming.
Furthermore, “adults with disabilities should consult their health-care providers about the amounts and types of physical activity that are appropriate for their abilities.”
A healthy diet is encouraged for everyone, whether they have autism, cerebral palsy, Down’s syndrome or are of typical abilities and providing care for someone living with developmental disabilities:
*Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits, and limit sugary foods
*Drink more water and less sugary drinks
*Choose foods low in saturated fats, sodium, and trans fats.
Individuals with developmental disabilities could be at risk for being overweight and even obesity. While obesity is a problem across the country, there are many possible contributors to the issue of obesity in the developmentally disabled, including side effects from some medications, pain, physical limitations, and more. Exercise and a healthy diet can help reduce this risk.