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Int J Pediatr Obes. 2011 Oct;6(5-6):434-41. doi: 10.3109/17477166.2011.590197. Epub 2011 Jul 20.

The health-related quality of life of overweight and obese adolescents--a study measuring body mass index and adolescent-reported perceptions.

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Deakin Health Economics, Deakin University, 221 Burwood Highway, Burwood, Victoria, 3125, Australia.



To determine whether the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of overweight and obese adolescents is significantly lower than that of their healthy weight counterparts, and if so, whether any demographic trends exist and the relative contribution of each HRQOL dimension.


Cross-sectional analysis of 2,890 students participating in the Pacific Obesity Prevention in Communities Project, Australia. HRQOL was measured using the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL) adolescent module. Adolescent height and weight were measured by trained field workers and weight categories assigned according to the International Obesity Task Force BMI cut-off points for adolescents. Multivariate linear regression analyses were undertaken to estimate the mean differences in HRQOL scores between (i) overweight and healthy weight, and (ii) obese and healthy weight adolescents, whilst adjusting for gender, age and socioeconomic status quartile.


The sample had a mean age of 14.6 years (range 11-18), 56.2% boys, 20.2% overweight and 6.3% obese. Higher weight status categories were associated with lower HRQOL scores (mean PedsQL scores: healthy weight: 79.1, overweight: 77.7 and obese: 73.7). Relative to the healthy weight group, and after adjustments, overweight and obese adolescents reported 1.44 (p = 0.005) and 5.55 (p < 0.001) lower HRQOL summary scores, respectively. Overweight adolescents reported significantly lower scores in physical and social functioning, whilst obese adolescents reported significantly lower scores in the same dimensions plus emotional functioning. Girls and younger (< 15 years) adolescents reported greater mean negative HRQOL differences associated with excess weight.


Overweight and obesity in adolescents are associated with significantly lower HRQOL scores.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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