University of Delaware
Mia Papas

March 22: CDS Lunchtime Learning

Preventing obesity, disease in people with disabilities through good nutrition


9:41 a.m., March 4, 2013--People with disabilities and special health care needs are at greater risk for obesity, diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure. At the next University of Delaware Center for Disabilities Studies Lunchtime Learning session, UD assistant professor Mia Papas and Irene Soucy, a registered dietician, will review the relationship between disabilities and chronic diseases and provide information about how to reduce this risk through a healthy lifestyle.

The session, “Preventing Obesity and Chronic Disease in People with Disabilities through Good Nutrition and a Healthy Lifestyle” will be held from noon to 1 p.m. on Friday, March 22, at the Center for Disabilities Studies, 461 Wyoming Road, Newark.

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Papas, a member of the Department of Behavioral Health and Nutrition in the College of Health Sciences, will discuss the research that links disabilities to obesity and chronic diseases. Her research has been related to maternal health, children’s health, cancer prevention, obesity and nutrition. She is knowledgeable about effects on health related to the "built environment" (man-made surroundings such as buildings and neighborhoods).

Soucy, who is president of Dietary Directions Inc., and has been a presenter in the center’s Healthy Transitions program, believes that changes in health result from changes in lifestyle. She will address the challenges that people with disabilities face in pursuing a healthier lifestyle. Soucy will also provide guidance about how individuals can adapt suggestions for better nutrition and increased physical activity to match their own abilities.

Lunchtime Learning is free of charge and open to the public. Contact Katie Hoffman at or 302-831-3632 to register. Reply by March 15 if you need an accommodation. 

Those who have a particular concern or question about this topic that they would like addressed at the session should include it in their reply. Those who attend are welcome to bring a bag lunch. Water and snacks will be provided. Plan to arrive before noon so the program can start on time.

About the Center for Disabilities Studies

The Center for Disabilities Studies in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Delaware supports the well-being, inclusion and empowerment of people with disabilities and their families. The mission of the center is to enhance the lives of individuals and families through education, prevention, service and research related to disabilities. CDS promotes independence and productivity so individuals and families can fully participate in the life of their communities in Delaware and beyond. For further information, visit the CDS website or call 302-831-6974.

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