BACKGROUND:Quality of life (QoL) is impaired in childhood obesity, but the literature on this is all from Western countries. Aim. To test for impairment of QoL in obese children in Malaysia, using parent-reported and child-reported QoL.
METHODS:Health-related Quality of Life was measured using the Paediatric Quality of Life Inventory version 4.0. Comparison of QoL between a community sample of 90 obese children (as defined by US CDC and Cole-IOTF definitions), median age 9.5 y (interquartile range [IQR] 8.6, 10.5 y) and 90 control children of healthy weight (BMI less than the 85th centile of US reference data), median age 10.0 y (IQR 9.6, 10.5 y). Children were matched pair-wise for age, gender, and ethnic group, and controls were recruited from schools in the same area as obese participants.
RESULTS:For child self-report, the healthy weight group had significantly higher QoL for the physical (median 82.9, IQR 65.7, 90.6), and psychosocial domains (median, 73.3, IQR 64.4, 83.3), and total QoL (median 76.1, IQR 64.1, 84.8) compared to the obese group (median 67.2, IQR 59.4, 81.3; median 62.5, IQR 53.3, 75.4; median 60.9, IQR 50.8, 73.9; all p < 0.001). There were no significant differences between the obese and healthy weight group for parent-reported physical health, psychosocial health, or total QoL.
CONCLUSION:Obese children in Malaysia have markedly poorer QoL than their peers, but this is not evident when parent reports of QoL are used.
Study name: Malaysian Childhood Obesity Treatment Trial (MASCOT)
Study site: Two primary schools, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.