Submitted to: Open Journal of Preventive Medicine
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/3/2012
Publication Date: 8/7/2012
Citation: Ward-Begnoche, W.L., Weber, J., Gossett, J., Simpson, P., Bogle, M.L., Robbins, J. 2012. Health-related quality of life in obese youth in the Lower Mississippi Delta. Open Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2(3):332-338. Interpretive Summary: Overweight youth are at risk for multiple medical disorders as well as negative emotions themselves and negative reactions from others. Quality of life is a significant concern for these individuals. Overweight youth seen in a medical clinic seem to have poorer quality of life than community samples. The Delta Nutrition Research Initiative (Delta NIRI) study investigated a community sample where high percentages of the population (youth and adults) are overweight. Additionally, this study compared quality of life in different age groups through childhood and adolescence. Results show little evidence of poor quality of life in this community sample, at any age level, suggesting that in communities with a large percentage of overweight individuals in the population, the impact of overweight on quality of life is negligible overall. However, for teens only, there appears to be more difficulty getting along with peers than their non-overweight peers. In summary, investigating the health-related quality of life in this large, at-risk community sample aids in our understanding the relationship between quality of life and overweight youth across the developmental spectrum.
Technical Abstract: Poor health-related quality of life (HRQOL) is associated with overweight youth seen in clinic settings. However, community-based samples have found more variability in HRQOL, possibly due to sociocultural differences. The Lower Mississippi Delta Nutrition Intervention Research Initiative (Delta NIRI) study investigated a community sample with high prevalence of overweight children and adolescents. Additionally, this study is large enough to consider the developmental spectrum in analyses. HRQOL data on children aged 3-17 years were collected as part of a cross-sectional telephone survey of families in the Delta of Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Respondents completed the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL), yielding a total HRQOL score and psychosocial and physical subscales. Four hundred thirty-four participants completed the PedsQL. Results show little evidence of HRQOL differences among overweight youth at any age level, suggesting that in communities with a large percentage of overweight individuals, both adults and children, in the population, the impact on HRQOL is negligible overall. However, for teens only, the psychosocial subscale was lower for overweight youth than non-overweight youth. Examination of specific PedsQL items shows overweight teens report more difficulty getting along with peers than their non-overweight peers. Unexpectedly, they rate their ability to lift heavy objects and their sports/exercise performance as greater than their non-overweight peers. However, self-reported sedentary time and exercise time were similar for overweight and non-overweight youth, suggesting that these overweight teens are not actually more "fit". Investigating the HRQOL in this large, at-risk community sample aids in our understanding the relationship between HRQOL, physical activity and overweight youth across the developmental spectrum.