Quality of life of children and adolescents with clinical obesity, perspectives of children and parents

Laila B. van der Heijden, Edith J.M. Feskens, Hein Raat, Arieke J. Janse*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background/objectives: Childhood obesity can have important psychological impacts. The objective of this study was to evaluate the Health Related Quality of Life (HRQoL) of children and adolescents with overweight and obesity. The participants were referred to an outpatient hospital-based obesity treatment. Additionally, we investigated the differences between parent- and self-reported HRQoL. Subjects/methods: Children and adolescents aged 3−18 years with overweight or obesity, referred by their general practitioner or youth health care physician to the pediatric outpatient clinic of Hospital Gelderse Vallei (Ede, the Netherlands) for multidisciplinary obesity treatment, were enrolled in this cross-sectional study (n = 119). Interventions/methods: Parent-proxy reported HRQoL was assessed using the Child Health Questionnaire Parental Form 50 (CHQ-PF50, n = 119) and the Infant Toddler Quality of Life Questionnaire 97 (ITQOL-97). Adolescents completed CHQ Child Form 87 (CHQ-CF87, n = 45) and Impact of Weight on Quality of Life-Kids (IWQOL-Kids, n = 38) to assess self-reported HRQoL. Results: The mean age of the children was 9.6 years (SD 4.3). Both parent-proxy reports and child self-reports showed lower HRQoL in children with a higher degree of obesity, especially in the physical domains of HRQoL (p < 0.05). Child self-reported scores were significantly lower than parent-proxy scores on the subscales ‘bodily pain/discomfort’ and ‘general health perceptions’, and significantly higher on ‘behavior’ and ‘family cohesion’ (p < 0.05). Conclusions: Childhood obesity has a negative effect on HRQoL, especially on the physical aspects. The discordance between parent and child reports underscores the importance of using a combination of parent-proxy and child self-reports to assess HRQoL.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)466-472
JournalObesity Research and Clinical Practice
Issue number5
Early online date28 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Children
  • Health related quality of life
  • Obesity


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