35% vs. 53% – Critical Need for Health Programming

September 28, 2016

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released a report on the prevalence of obesity in adults. Wisconsin’s statistics are staggering – 30-35% of our population is obese. That’s one in three of us. What is even more troubling is how this statistic translates to the population with ID (intellectual disabilities). Through our Healthy Athletes program, findings show that 53% of our adult athletes obese and 25% overweight.


Healthy Athletes

Special Olympics’ Healthy Athletes program provides free health screenings to any SOWI athlete with a current medical record on file. Screenings are offered in a fun, welcoming environment that removes the anxiety and fear that individuals with ID often experience when faced with a visit to a doctor, dentist or other health care provider.

Our impact on the health and well-being of Special Olympics athletes around the world is significant. In some instances, our screenings have saved lives by discovering unknown health conditions. In addition to serving athletes, we also train health care professionals who then return to their practices with increased knowledge and compassion for those with ID.

The CDC reports there is not one simple solution to address the high levels of obesity in the U.S., rather it will require a socio-ecological model where individuals, communities, health institutions and policy makers come together to make change.


On November 12, SOWI will host MedFest®, an annual event where athletes (current or prospective) receive a free physical, performed by volunteer health professionals, that includes assessments of medical history, height and weight measurements, blood pressure, abdominal and musculoskeletal evaluation, and referral for follow-up care as needed. MedFest also addresses questions and concerns of athletes’ parents and guardians. Further, the exam is equivalent to a standard sports physical; a requirement to participate in any Special Olympics sports training and competition.

Special Smiles®, free oral health screenings, will also be offered.

Event Details:
Saturday, November 12
9:00am – 1:00pm
Dale’s Weston Lanes
5902 Schofield Ave
Schofield, WI

Get Involved:
√ Register – Athletes, don’t miss this opportunity for a free health screening! Reserve your spot today. Athletes are assigned appointment times on a first come, first serve basis.  Registration closes at 75 participants, late registration forms and day of walk-in participants will be accepted if space is still available.

√ Volunteer – if you are a health professional and would like to learn more about caring for individuals with ID, contact SOWI’s Director of Health Programming at (608) 442-5676.

Donate – help us deliver critical health programming to more individuals with ID.

Subscribe to Inspire!

Join our mailing list to receive regular updates!