Utility-based quality of life of overweight and obese adolescents

Catherine Keating, Marjory Moodie, Jeffrey Richardson, Boyd Swinburn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Objective - To explore the relationship between overweight/obesity and utility in adolescents. Methods - Data were collected from 2890 adolescents attending 13 secondary schools in the state of Victoria, Australia. The Assessment of Quality of Life 6-Dimension (AQoL-6D) questionnaire was used to measure individual utility. Adolescent s height and weight were measured and weight status categories assigned according to the World Health Organization adolescent growth standards. Multivariate linear regression analyses were undertaken for the whole population and subpopulations of boys and girls to estimate the mean differences in utility scores between 1) overweight and healthy weight and 2) obese and healthy weight adolescents, while controlling for demographic and socioeconomic status variables. Results - The mean age of adolescents was 14.6 years, 56.2 were boys, 22.2 were overweight, and 9.4 were obese. The mean utility of healthy weight adolescents was 0.860. After adjustments, the overweight and obese groups reported significantly lower mean utility scores (differences: - 0.018 and - 0.059, respectively, relative to the healthy weight group). This can be interpreted as equivalent to a stated willingness to sacrifice 1.8 and 5.9 of a life in perfect health or 2.3 and 6.8 of a life at healthy weight. A significant utility difference associated with overweight was only experienced by girls (-0.039, P = 0.003). Both sexes experienced significant utility differences associated with obesity, but the magnitude was double for girls (-0.084, P <0.001) relative to boys (-0.041, P = 0.022). Conclusion - Utility is lower among overweight and more so among obese adolescents.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)752 - 758
Number of pages7
JournalValue in Health
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Cite this