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05-02-2018 | Uitgave 6/2018 Open Access

Quality of Life Research 6/2018

How does age affect the relationship between weight and health utility during the middle years of childhood?

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 6/2018
Katie Eminson, Alastair Canaway, Peymané Adab, Emma Lancashire, Miranda Pallan, Emma Frew
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The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s11136-018-1790-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



The limited literature examining weight status and preference-based health-related quality of life (HRQL) in young children is equivocal. This study aims to examine how the association between weight status and preference-based HRQL changes as children develop between the ages of 6 and 10 years old.


The Child Health Utility 9D (CHU-9D) was used to determine preference-based HRQL. Height and weight data were also collected and used to calculate z-BMI adjusted for age and gender. 1467 children were recruited from 54 schools across the West Midlands. Data were collected at four time points over 5 years. Impact of weight on dimensions of HRQL was assessed via the distribution of responses to CHU-9D dimensions by weight status. Multi-level regression analysis controlling for ethnicity, deprivation and other relevant co-variates was conducted to examine the relationship between weight and HRQL.


There was no evidence to suggest that the weight status impacted upon the distribution of responses to CHU-9D dimensions. Correspondingly, the multi-level regression analysis found no statistically significant differences in CHU-9D scores between underweight, healthy weight, overweight and obese children.


The evidence surrounding the link between preference-based HRQL and weight status in children is limited. This study found no association between weight status and HRQL as measured by the CHU-9D in children between the ages of 5 and 10 years in the UK. Given this, it is recommended that future studies aiming to prevent obesity in children in their middle years do not rely solely on preference-based measures for economic evaluation, and instead focus on capturing clinical or wellbeing outcomes.

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