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NCJ Number: 228780 Find in a Library
Title: Consequences of High Incarceration Rate and High Obesity Prevalence on the Prison System
Journal: Journal of Correctional Health Care  Volume:15  Issue:4  Dated:October 2009  Pages:318-327
Author(s): Meaghan A. Leddy, M.A.; Jay Schulkin, Ph.D.; Michael L. Power, Ph.D.
Date Published: October 2009
Page Count: 10
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study explored the prevalence of obesity in prison.
Abstract: The evidence suggests that the prevalence of obesity in a prison is associated with the prevalence in the region; that long-term prison sentences are associated with weight gain; and that the effects of weight gain during incarceration on health and life after release warrants preventive care. Obesity and related disorders have significant effects on health care in the United States. With the increasing overweight and obesity rates in the United States, logistical and financial issues arise in the correctional system regarding the provision of medical care, the housing and transportation of inmates, and the safety of employees. As in general society, alterations will be required of the prison system’s basic infrastructure, not exclusive to the health system. The inclusion of screening and preventive care services relevant to obesity and obesity-related disorders appears to be both low and variable in the United States prison system, when compared to screening and preventive services for communicable diseases. Communicable diseases pose a threat to various individuals, whereas cardiovascular disease is a threat only to those afflicted; however, there is an ethical requirement to provide treatment for these chronic diseases. Even as simple a statistic as body mass index (BMI) is not being calculated and recorded on a consistent basis. This failure represents a lost opportunity to collect data on obesity and its associated consequences in prisons, data that could inform decisions regarding future health care needs and budgets. Figures, tables, and references
Main Term(s): Inmate health; Literature reviews
Index Term(s): Communicable diseases; Diseases; Eating disorders; Inmate health care
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