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Predictors of Weight-Related Quality of Life in Adolescents Who Are Overweight or Obese

Ievers-Landis, Carolyn E. PhD*; Olayinka, Oluwatomisin RN, MPH; Burant, Christopher PhD; Moore, Shirley PhD

Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics: February/March 2018 - Volume 39 - Issue 2 - p 126–135
doi: 10.1097/DBP.0000000000000507
Original Articles

Objective: Weight-related quality of life (WRQOL) is a type of health-related QOL that may serve as a patient-reported outcome of the potential burden of overweight. The present study uses structural equation modeling path analysis methods to examine body mass index (BMI) and other potential predictors of WRQOL components among adolescents who were overweight/obese from predominantly low-income, urban households.

Methods: Baseline data were obtained from 360 participants (10–13 year olds; 57.8% female; 76.7% black; average BMI of 27.12) and their parents/legal guardians from a randomized, controlled, treatment trial. Youth completed measures of WRQOL, depressive symptoms, and family/friend social support for healthy eating. Parents completed measures of demographics and child social problems.

Results: The initial model included BMI, gender, parent education, family/friend social support for healthy eating, child social problems, body esteem and social life WRQOL, and depressive symptoms. The final model fit the data well (χ2 = 27.738; df = 16; p = .034). Higher BMI was indirectly related to lower social life and body esteem WRQOL through greater social problems. Physical comfort and family relations WRQOL were unrelated to BMI and were not included. Lower social life and body esteem related to more depressive symptoms. Family/friend discouragement for healthy eating was associated with lower body esteem; also, family discouragement was related to lower social life.

Conclusion: Body mass index may not directly relate to WRQOL but may be associated through other factors, including child social problems. Interventions should screen for and treat mood and social problems and address family/friend support for healthy eating.

*Division of Developmental/Behavioral Pediatrics and Psychology, Department of Pediatrics, Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, Cleveland, OH;

Francis Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH.

Address for reprints: Carolyn E. Ievers-Landis, PhD, Division of Developmental/Behavioral Pediatrics & Psychology, Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, WO Walker Center, 10524 Euclid Avenue, Suite 3150, Cleveland, OH 44106-6038; e-mail:

Supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Development, and the National Institutes of Health Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (Grant Number U01 HL103622). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Heart, Lung, And Blood Institute; the National Institutes of Health; or the National Institute of Child Health and Development.

Disclosure: The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Received November 02, 2016

Accepted July 26, 2017

Copyright © 2018 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.