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01-08-2011 | Uitgave 6/2011

Quality of Life Research 6/2011

Weight loss and changes in generic and weight-specific quality of life in obese adolescents

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 6/2011
D. L. Patrick, A. M. Skalicky, T. C. Edwards, A. Kuniyuki, L. S. Morales, M. Leng, D. S. Kirschenbaum



To investigate how weight loss correlates with changes in generic and weight-specific quality of life (QoL).


Youth generic (YQOL-S) and weight-specific instruments (YQOL-W) from 133 youth age 11–19 were analyzed at the beginning and end of 4-week immersion camp sessions known to produce weight loss. Paired samples t tests were used to test mean difference between baseline and final Body Mass Index (BMI) and YQOL-S and YQOL-W scores. YQOL-S and YQOL-W scores were transformed to values between 0 and 100, with higher values indicating better QOL. Cohen’s d effect sizes were calculated to assess magnitude of effects. Percent weight loss (as % of baseline weight), change in BMI (baseline kg/m²—follow-up kg/m²), and change in % overweight ((BMI—50th% BMI for age and sex)/50th% BMI for age and sex × 100) were calculated. Multiple regressions were used to model final YQOL scores in the 11–14 and 15–19 age groups as functions of each measure of weight change, sex, age, and baseline YQOL score.


Youth experienced significant reductions in BMI (Mean change = 3.7, SD = 1.4, t = 34.1, P < 0.001) and in the other measures of weight change. YQOL-S and YQOL-W scores improved significantly (P < 0.001), and effect sizes were 0.61 and 0.66, respectively.


Changes in generic and weight-specific quality of life scores are associated with weight loss. The weight-specific measure is slightly more sensitive to weight changes; however, when controlling for modifiers, the YQOL-W remained significantly associated with weight loss, while the generic QoL measure did not.

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