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When ignorance is bliss: weight perception, body mass index and quality of life in adolescents

Hayward, J, Millar, L, Petersen, S, Swinburn, B and Lewis, AJ 2014, When ignorance is bliss: weight perception, body mass index and quality of life in adolescents, International journal of obesity, vol. 38, pp. 1328-1334, doi: 10.1038/ijo.2014.78.

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Title When ignorance is bliss: weight perception, body mass index and quality of life in adolescents
Author(s) Hayward, J
Millar, L
Petersen, S
Swinburn, B
Lewis, AJORCID iD for Lewis, AJ orcid.org/0000-0002-2519-7976
Journal name International journal of obesity
Volume number 38
Start page 1328
End page 1334
Total pages 7
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Place of publication London, England
Publication date 2014
ISSN 0307-0565
Keyword(s) body weight
adolescents
Health-related quality of life (HRQoL)
weight perception
Australia
body perception
Summary Background/Objectives:
Body weight is negatively associated with adolescent Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQoL). Despite this well-established relationship, some adolescents with obesity do not display the expected HRQoL decreases. This study hypothesised weight perception as a moderator of the association between weight status and adolescent HRQoL.

Subjects/Methods:
Subjects were secondary school students from an obesity prevention project in the Barwon South-West region of Victoria, Australia, entitled It’s Your Move (N=3040). Measures included standardised body mass index (BMI-z; World Health Organization growth standards), weight perception and HRQoL, measured by the Paediatric Quality of Life Inventory. Linear regression and average marginal effect analyses were conducted on cross-sectional baseline data to determine the significance of any interaction between weight perception and measured weight status in shaping adolescent HRQoL.

Results:
The BMI-z/perceived weight status interaction was significantly associated with adolescent HRQoL outcomes. Adolescents with BMI z-scores in the overweight/obesity range who perceived themselves as overweight had lower HRQoL than those who perceived themselves as ‘about right.’ Conversely, adolescents with BMI scores in the lower end of the normal range or in the thinness range who perceived themselves as underweight had lower HRQoL than those with ‘about right’ perceptions.

Conclusions:
This was the first study to report third-variable impacts of a body-perception variable on the relationship between adolescent weight status and HRQoL. Adolescents’ weight perceptions significantly moderated the relationship between overweight/obesity and reduced HRQoL. Adolescents who were outside the normal weight range and misperceived their objectively measured weight status enjoyed a higher HRQoL than adolescents whose weight perception was concordant with their actual weight status. These findings suggest that practitioners may need to exercise caution when educating adolescents about their weight status, as such ‘reality checks’ may negatively impact on adolescent HRQoL. It is suggested that more research be conducted to examine this potential effect.
Language eng
DOI 10.1038/ijo.2014.78
Field of Research 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 920501 Child Health
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2014, The Authors
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30064536

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Population Health
Open Access Collection
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Created: Wed, 18 Jun 2014, 11:36:45 EST by Penny Andrews

Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.