Health-related quality of life of adolescents with overweight or obesity in the north of Jordan


Nemeh Al-Akour, School of Nursing, Jordan University of Science and Technology, PO Box 3030, Irbid 22110, Jordan. E-mail:


Background  Previous studies showed that overweight and obesity in children and adolescents are associated with impaired health-related quality of life (QOL). The objective of this study was to describe health-related QOL among Jordanian adolescents who were overweight or obese.

Methods  This is a cross-sectional study conducted among Jordanian students aged between 13 and 18 years in three educational directorates in Irbid City in the north of Jordan. Using simple random sampling, two male schools and two female schools were selected from the list of each directorate to represent all schools in north of Jordan. In each selected school, all adolescents aged 13–18 years were visited in their classes and were invited to participate in the study. Of the total number of 1561 subjects, 1433 (91.8%) agreed to participate in the study. The short-form 15-item Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory version 4.00 was used to measure health-related QOL among participants. Body mass index (BMI) was calculated and interpreted according to the BMI-for-age growth charts of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

Results  This study included 707 boys and 726 girls; 17.6% of participants were overweight and 7.8% were obese. For boys and girls, adolescents who were overweight or obese had significantly lower average scores for psychosocial health summary scale and physical functioning scale. Female gender, age of 16–18 years, fathers' education of high school or less and unemployed fathers (for social functioning and physical functioning) were significantly associated with decreased average scores of all scales and subscales of Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory.

Conclusions  Compared with healthy adolescents, adolescents who were overweight or obese reported significantly lower health-related QOL in all domains. Girls reported greater effect of overweight and obesity on their health-related QOL.