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Keywords:

  • Child;
  • Overweight;
  • Parent report;
  • Quality of life;
  • Questionnaire

Abstract

Aims

To determine the effects of being obese or overweight on quality of life (QoL) of children from a community-based sample and to compare their self-ratings of QoL with their parents' ratings for their children's QoL.

Methods

Dyads of 8- to 12-year-old children [60 obese, 34 overweight and 127 normal weight (N = 221)] and their parents or caregivers were recruited from southern Taiwan. QoL was assessed by both parent proxy ratings and child self-ratings using the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL) questionnaire.

Results

Obese children reported significantly lower QoL than did their normal-weight counterparts (83 ± 15 vs. 88 ± 10; p = 0.04). Obese children rated their QoL lower than did their parents in all (Cohen's d = −0.38 to −0.22) but the school domain. Overweight children's and normal-weight children's self-reported QoL was not significantly different, nor were they different from parent-reported QoL.

Conclusions

Community-based obese children reported a lower QoL than did normal-weight children; however, their parents seemed unaware of their children's decreased QoL. Caution is required when using only parent proxy reports to assess the QoL of obese children. More effort is needed in Taiwan to improve parents' understanding of their obese children's QoL.