Virginia Health Promotion for People with Disabilities at the Partnership for People with Disabilities at Virginia Commonwealth University

Promoting healthy lifestyles for people with disabilities

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Nutrition

food pyramid

Eating a healthy and balanced diet is essential for everyone. Developing healthy eating habits increases energy, helps maintain a healthy weight and is part of a healthy lifestyle. A combination of physical activity and a healthy diet can reduce the risk of many chronic conditions such as osteoporosis, obesity, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and high blood cholesterol.

Education and advocacy are vitally important. Because nutrition and physical activity have a major impact on health and well-being, making smart food and lifestyle choices can help strengthen weakened immune systems, prevent the worsening of existing conditions, aid in the prevention of chronic diseases, and promote general wellness.

The USDA recently revised the food pyramid. The USDA Website has useful information, including a personal assessment that will tell you how much food you should be eating from each food group and an assessment of how much physical activity you should get each day.

Children and adults with special health care needs frequently have added concerns that may require extra planning and caution with regard to nutrition. Failure to thrive, metabolic disorders, seizures, medication interactions, and partial/total dependence on enteral or parenteral nutrition all require additional care with meal planning.

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The USDA recently revised the food pyramid. The USDA Website has useful information, including a personal assessment that will tell you how much food you should be eating from each food group and an assessment of how much physical activity you should get each day.

More information can be found on the Disability Publications and Links pages.