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Prevalence of obesity in International Special Olympic athletes as determined by body mass index

  • Nancy Harris
    Affiliations
    N. Harris is a lecturer in the Department of Nutrition and Hospitality Management, School of Human Environmental Sciences; A. Rosenberg is a professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Brody School of Medicine; S. Jangda is a graduate student in the Department of Nutrition and Hospitality Management, School of Human Environmental Sciences; K. O'Brien is a professor with Allied Health Science; and M. L. Gallagher is a professor and senior scientist in the Department of Nutrition and Hospitality Management, School of Human Environmental Sciences, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC
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  • Allan Rosenberg
    Affiliations
    N. Harris is a lecturer in the Department of Nutrition and Hospitality Management, School of Human Environmental Sciences; A. Rosenberg is a professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Brody School of Medicine; S. Jangda is a graduate student in the Department of Nutrition and Hospitality Management, School of Human Environmental Sciences; K. O'Brien is a professor with Allied Health Science; and M. L. Gallagher is a professor and senior scientist in the Department of Nutrition and Hospitality Management, School of Human Environmental Sciences, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC
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  • Sehr Jangda
    Affiliations
    N. Harris is a lecturer in the Department of Nutrition and Hospitality Management, School of Human Environmental Sciences; A. Rosenberg is a professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Brody School of Medicine; S. Jangda is a graduate student in the Department of Nutrition and Hospitality Management, School of Human Environmental Sciences; K. O'Brien is a professor with Allied Health Science; and M. L. Gallagher is a professor and senior scientist in the Department of Nutrition and Hospitality Management, School of Human Environmental Sciences, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC
    Search for articles by this author
  • Kevin O'Brien
    Affiliations
    N. Harris is a lecturer in the Department of Nutrition and Hospitality Management, School of Human Environmental Sciences; A. Rosenberg is a professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Brody School of Medicine; S. Jangda is a graduate student in the Department of Nutrition and Hospitality Management, School of Human Environmental Sciences; K. O'Brien is a professor with Allied Health Science; and M. L. Gallagher is a professor and senior scientist in the Department of Nutrition and Hospitality Management, School of Human Environmental Sciences, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC
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  • Margie Lee Gallagher
    Correspondence
    Address correspondence to: Margie Lee Gallagher, PhD, RD, Department of Nutrition and Hospitality Management, School of Human Environmental Sciences, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27858-4353
    Affiliations
    N. Harris is a lecturer in the Department of Nutrition and Hospitality Management, School of Human Environmental Sciences; A. Rosenberg is a professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Brody School of Medicine; S. Jangda is a graduate student in the Department of Nutrition and Hospitality Management, School of Human Environmental Sciences; K. O'Brien is a professor with Allied Health Science; and M. L. Gallagher is a professor and senior scientist in the Department of Nutrition and Hospitality Management, School of Human Environmental Sciences, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC
    Search for articles by this author

      Abstract

      The heights and weights of 1,749 Special Olympics athlete volunteers participating in the Special Olympics Games in 1999 and 2001 were measured, and body mass index (BMI) was computed. Results indicated that athletes from the United States (US) under 18 years of age had a significantly (P<.001) higher prevalence of being overweight or at risk of being overweight compared with athletes from other countries. Similarly, adult athletes from the United States were at least 3.1 times more likely to be overweight or obese compared with their non-US counterparts. The risk of obesity in US Special Olympic athletes parallels the prevalence of obesity in the general US population. There is a clear need for further research, surveillance, and treatment of the risky health behaviors that contribute to the development of obesity in this group. J Am Diet Assoc. 2003;103:235-237.
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