Submitted to: Obesity
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/13/2007
Publication Date: 11/1/2007
Citation: Fullerton, G., Tyler, C., Johnston, C.A., Vincent, J.P., Harris, G.E., Foreyt, J.P. 2007. Quality of life in Mexican American children following a weight management program. Obesity. 15(11):2553-2556. Interpretive Summary: Currently, there is a high rate of Mexican American children who are heavier than normal weight (i.e., at-risk for overweight (BMI >= 85th to < 95th percentile) and overweight (BMI >= 95th percentile). Overweight status is associated with significant physical and social and emotional health consequences in childhood and adolescence and can lead to adult obesity and disease. Quality of life (QOL) is evaluated in Mexican American children after a 6-month weight management intervention. Sixth and seventh grade at-risk for overweight and overweight Mexican American children were randomly assigned to either intensive instructor-led intervention (ILI) or self-help (SH). Participants in the ILI had a greater improvement in weight status and greater increases in QOL than that of SH participants. The results are encouraging for Mexican American children in that even slight weight reduction accompanied by healthy lifestyle changes result in improved 6-month QOL.
Technical Abstract: Our objective was to evaluate quality of life (QOL) in at-risk for overweight and overweight Mexican American children after participating in 6 months of intensive weight management or self-help. Eighty sixth- and seventh-grade at-risk for overweight (BMI >= 85th to < 95th percentile) and overweight (BMI >= 95th percentile) Mexican American children were randomly assigned to either intensive instructor-led intervention (ILI) or self-help (SH). The ILI condition included daily participation for 12 weeks in a school-based program comprised of nutrition education, physical activity, and behavior modification, followed by ongoing monthly maintenance. QOL was assessed at baseline and 6 months via child self-report PedsQLTM. QOL outcomes were compared across treatment groups, and the impact of change in zBMI on change in QOL was evaluated. Children in the ILI condition not only achieved significantly greater weight loss (zBMI, -.13 +/- .14; p < .001) but also significantly greater physical QOL improvements than those in the SH condition at 6 months (p < .05). Furthermore, physical QOL increases were associated with zBMI reduction (p < .05). However, neither psychosocial nor total QOL were significantly impacted by intervention or zBMI change. These findings show that even modest decreases in zBMI following weight management results in improved physical QOL in Mexican American children. These results illustrate the clear need to include evaluation of QOL in the process of identifying effective weight management programs.