International Review of Research in Developmental Disabilities, Volume 61, January 2021,
Children and youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) are at increased risk for obesity, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and a host of other co-morbidities. By adulthood, this population is at very high risk for multiple co-morbidities that significantly shorten life expectancy and have negative impact on quality of life. Despite these disparities, children and youth with I/DD have limited access to resources and opportunities to engage in programming that appropriately address their needs. Thus, the development and adaptation of lifestyle interventions are a critical need for this population. This article includes literature on and best practices in adaptation across multiple levels of intervention, provides examples of adapting lifestyle interventions for children and youth with I/DD using pilot and efficacy trials conducted by affiliates of the Healthy Weight Research Network, provides frameworks to guide adaptation work, and discusses themes and areas for future research.