The aim was to assess perceived health status and health-related quality of life (HRQL) according to persistence of and variation in weight status among children from the age of 4 to 6 years.
Longitudinal study of 1883 participants in the ELOIN cohort (Madrid Region, Spain), with physical examination at ages 4 and 6 years. Perceived health status and HRQL were assessed using parent-reported Kidscreen-10 scores, with excess weight being defined on the basis of body mass index (BMI) using the WHO reference tables (z-BMI > 1 standard deviation), and abdominal obesity being defined on the basis of waist circumference (percentile ≥ 90) using the tables proposed by Fernández et al. Variation in these two parameters at age 6 years was associated with incident cases of suboptimal health by logistic regression, and with HRQL by linear regression.
Compared to children without excess weight or abdominal obesity in both periods, incident cases of excess weight or abdominal obesity had odds ratios (ORs) of suboptimal health of 2.41 (95% CI 1.21 to 4.80) and 2.99 (95% CI 1.31 to 6.84) respectively. In terms of HRQL, children with remission of excess weight had a higher Kidscreen-10 score: β coefficient = 2.02 (95% CI 0.36 to 3.68), whereas new cases of abdominal obesity had a lower Kidscreen-10 score: β = − 2.22 (95% CI − 4.40 to − 0.03).
Incident cases of excess weight and abdominal obesity had a higher risk of suboptimal health. Incident cases of abdominal obesity were also associated with worse HRQL.