Quality of life in Mexican-American children following a weight management program

Obesity (Silver Spring). 2007 Nov;15(11):2553-6. doi: 10.1038/oby.2007.306.


Objective: The 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.

Research methods and procedures: Eighty sixth- and seventh-grade at-risk-for-overweight (BMI >or=85th to <95th percentile) and overweight (BMI >or=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 PedsQL. QOL outcomes were compared across treatment groups, and the impact of change in zBMI on change in QOL was evaluated.

Results: Children in the ILI condition not only achieved significantly greater weight loss (zBMI, -0.13 +/- 0.14; p < 0.001) but also significantly greater physical QOL improvements than those in the SH condition at 6 months (p < 0.05). Furthermore, physical QOL increases were associated with zBMI reduction (p < 0.05). However, neither psychosocial nor total QOL was significantly impacted by intervention or zBMI change.

Discussion: These findings show that even modest decreases in zBMI after weight management result 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.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Body Mass Index
  • Child
  • Child Nutrition Sciences
  • Disease Management
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Mexican Americans* / ethnology
  • Obesity / ethnology
  • Obesity / prevention & control*
  • Obesity / therapy
  • Quality of Life*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Schools
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Weight Loss*