We live in a world where there is unlimited access to unhealthy foods. Fast food is easily available and cheap. For someone on a limited budget, the lure of unhealthy foods is difficult to overcome.
There are a number of nutritional factors characteristic of this population that have a negative impact on weight control. People with ID tend to have limited nutritional awareness and poor eating habits. Individuals with ID generally eat a diet low in complex carbohydrates, fruits, and vegetables. In a recent study, 92% of the adults with ID shows that they exceeded the 35% fat intake level and 73% consumed less than 5 servings of fruit and vegetables a day. A review of the literature on nutrition and adults with ID found that significant nutrition related risks exist for this population that included poor diet, elevated rates of overweight or underweight, and significant cardio-vascular disease (CVD) risk factors.
The conclusions are: adults with ID living in the community frequently eat nutritionally poor diets prepared by poorly trained support staff; their diets are lacking in guidance on making food selections; and their diets may be nutritionally inadequate in essential nutrients and food groups like fruits and vegetables and also may include excessive amounts of fats, sweets, and junk foods.