Is body shame a significant mediator of the relationship between mindfulness skills and the quality of life of treatment-seeking children and adolescents with overweight and obesity?

Body Image. 2017 Mar;20:49-57. doi: 10.1016/j.bodyim.2016.11.004. Epub 2016 Dec 6.


This study aimed to examine (a) whether mindfulness skills were associated with higher quality of life through lower body shame for treatment-seeking children/adolescents with overweight and obesity and (b) whether this indirect effect was moderated by children/adolescents' age and gender. The sample included 153 children/adolescents with overweight/obesity followed in individual nutrition consultations. Participants completed self-report measures of mindfulness, body shame, and quality of life. Moderated mediation analyses showed that higher levels of mindfulness were associated with better perceived quality of life through lower body shame, but only among girls. For boys, higher levels of body shame did not translate into a poorer perception of quality of life, and the indirect effect of mindfulness on quality of life via lower body shame was not significant. These results suggest that body shame is an important mechanism to explain why mindfulness may help girls with overweight/obesity perceive a better quality of life.

Keywords: Body shame; Mindfulness; Pediatric obesity; Quality of life.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Body Image / psychology*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mindfulness*
  • Overweight / psychology*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Pediatric Obesity / psychology*
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Sex Factors
  • Shame*