The prevalence of obesity has been continuously increasing in the United States. Obesity has crossed the borders of the able-bodied populations and extended to populations with disabilities, including spinal cord injury (SCI). The magnitude and the prevalence of obesity after SCI are not clearly defined. The purpose of the current review is to discuss the body of literature on the prevalence of obesity among individuals with SCI. The review will show that the prevalence of obesity after SCI is an issue that needs to be further addressed and specifically correlated to mortality rates in SCI. Body mass index (BMI) criteria need to be adjusted to meet the changes in body composition after SCI, specifically increasing fat mass and percent body fat. Prevalence of overweight and obesity in SCI by sex, age, and ethnic group needs further investigation to determine the actual magnitude of the problem, which appears to exceed epidemic proportions. Moreover, SCI-specific factors such as level of injury, American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) impairment classification, and time since injury need to be further correlated to the prevalence of obesity after SCI.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
- Clinical Neurology