Gender, race, and obesity-related quality of life at extreme levels of obesity

Obes Res. 2004 Jun;12(6):949-55. doi: 10.1038/oby.2004.116.


Objective: Research investigating obesity-related quality of life (QOL) has shown that at increasing levels of overweight, individuals report more impaired QOL. Further, some research has indicated that white women suffer more impairment than men and African Americans. The current study sought to expand the existing literature by investigating an extreme subsample of the obese population. It was expected that participants in the current study would report more impaired obesity-related QOL than in previous research conducted with less obese individuals. It was also hypothesized that race and gender groups would differ in obesity-related QOL and that the relationship between degree of overweight and QOL would not be consistent across race and gender groups.

Research methods and procedures: Impact of Weight on Quality of Life Questionnaire-Lite Version data were collected from 512 individuals seeking gastric bypass surgery (mean BMI = 53.3)

Results: Results confirmed the study hypotheses. In general, white women reported the most QOL impairment, despite having significantly lower BMI than other race/gender groups. Compared with previous studies, the observed relationships between BMI and QOL were somewhat attenuated.

Discussion: Various domains of QOL may be differentially affected by degree of obesity; these relationships are not homogeneous throughout the obese population.

MeSH terms

  • African Continental Ancestry Group
  • Body Mass Index
  • European Continental Ancestry Group
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Obesity, Morbid / physiopathology
  • Obesity, Morbid / psychology*
  • Quality of Life / psychology
  • Regression Analysis
  • Self Concept
  • Sex Factors
  • Sexual Behavior / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires