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      A cross-sectional study of Health Related Quality of Life and body mass index in a Norwegian school sample (8–18 years): a comparison of child and parent perspectives

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          Because consequences of pediatric overweight and obesity are largely psychosocial, the aim of this study was to describe health related quality of life (HRQoL), the prevalence of overweight and obesity, and to examine the relationships between HRQoL and body mass index (BMI), age, and gender in a Norwegian sample of schoolchildren. In addition, because children are dependent upon their parents’ judgment of their condition, the aim was also to compare child- and parent-reported HRQoL and BMI, age, and gender.


          This cross-sectional study involved 1238 children (8–18 years) and 828 parents. HRQoL was measured with the Norwegian version of the KIDSCREEN-52, child and parent version. Child BMI was calculated based on objective measures of height and weight, and adjusted for age and gender. Multiple regressions were used to determine how variations in BMI, age, and gender affected child- and parent-reported HRQoL.


          HRQoL decreased significantly with age and girls had lower HRQoL than boys on the majority of the KIDSCREEN subscales. Of the total sample, approximately 16% were overweight and 3% were obese. BMI contributed significantly to explaining the variations in the KIDSCREEN subscales of Physical well-being and Self-perception. Higher BMI was associated with lower HRQoL scores. Although there were significant differences between child and parent ratings on most KIDSCREEN subscales, the direction of the differences varied. In some scales, parents rated their child’s HRQoL higher than the child, and in some scales lower. Increasing age of the child seems to increase the differences, while gender and the child being overweight and/or obese affected the differences to a smaller extent.


          This study showed that almost 20% of the children and adolescents in a representative Norwegian school sample were overweight or obese. Age and gender were the most significant factors associated with variations in HRQoL in the sample; however, increasing BMI added to the negative effect of other factors. The study also found substantial differences between the child and parent ratings of the child’s HRQoL. Misinterpretations of the child’s well-being might result in less targeted actions to improve the child’s HRQoL.

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          Childhood obesity.

          Worldwide prevalence of childhood obesity has increased greatly during the past three decades. The increasing occurrence in children of disorders such as type 2 diabetes is believed to be a consequence of this obesity epidemic. Much progress has been made in understanding of the genetics and physiology of appetite control and from these advances, elucidation of the causes of some rare obesity syndromes. However, these rare disorders have so far taught us few lessons about prevention or reversal of obesity in most children. Calorie intake and activity recommendations need reassessment and improved quantification at a population level because of sedentary lifestyles of children nowadays. For individual treatment, currently recommended calorie prescriptions might be too conservative in view of evolving insight into the so-called energy gap. Although quality of research into both prevention and treatment has improved, high-quality multicentre trials with long-term follow-up are needed. Meanwhile, prevention and treatment approaches to increase energy expenditure and decrease intake should continue. Recent data suggest that the spiralling increase in childhood obesity prevalence might be abating; increased efforts should be made on all fronts to continue this potentially exciting trend. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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            Childhood obesity, other cardiovascular risk factors, and premature death.

            The effect of childhood risk factors for cardiovascular disease on adult mortality is poorly understood. In a cohort of 4857 American Indian children without diabetes (mean age, 11.3 years; 12,659 examinations) who were born between 1945 and 1984, we assessed whether body-mass index (BMI), glucose tolerance, and blood pressure and cholesterol levels predicted premature death. Risk factors were standardized according to sex and age. Proportional-hazards models were used to assess whether each risk factor was associated with time to death occurring before 55 years of age. Models were adjusted for baseline age, sex, birth cohort, and Pima or Tohono O'odham Indian heritage. There were 166 deaths from endogenous causes (3.4% of the cohort) during a median follow-up period of 23.9 years. Rates of death from endogenous causes among children in the highest quartile of BMI were more than double those among children in the lowest BMI quartile (incidence-rate ratio, 2.30; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.46 to 3.62). Rates of death from endogenous causes among children in the highest quartile of glucose intolerance were 73% higher than those among children in the lowest quartile (incidence-rate ratio, 1.73; 95% CI, 1.09 to 2.74). No significant associations were seen between rates of death from endogenous or external causes and childhood cholesterol levels or systolic or diastolic blood-pressure levels on a continuous scale, although childhood hypertension was significantly associated with premature death from endogenous causes (incidence-rate ratio, 1.57; 95% CI, 1.10 to 2.24). Obesity, glucose intolerance, and hypertension in childhood were strongly associated with increased rates of premature death from endogenous causes in this population. In contrast, childhood hypercholesterolemia was not a major predictor of premature death from endogenous causes. 2010 Massachusetts Medical Society
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              The levelling off of the obesity epidemic since the year 1999--a review of evidence and perspectives.

              The purpose was to investigate a possible levelling off in the obesity epidemic, by systematically reviewing literature and web-based sources. Eligible studies and data sources were required to have at least two measures of obesity prevalence since 1999. A literature and Internet search resulted in 52 studies from 25 different countries. The findings supported an overall levelling off of the epidemic in children and adolescents from Australia, Europe, Japan and the USA. In adults, stability was found in the USA, while increases were still observed in some European and Asian countries. Some evidence for heterogeneity in the obesity trends across socioeconomic status (SES) groups was found. The levelling off was less evident in the lower-SES groups. No obvious differences between genders were identified. We discussed potential explanations for a levelling off and the utility of investigating obesity trends to identify the driving forces behind the epidemic. It is important to emphasize that the levelling off is not tantamount to calling off the epidemic. Additionally, it is worthwhile to keep in mind that previous stable phases have been followed by further increases in the prevalence of obesity. Therefore, research into the causes, prevention and treatment of obesity should remain a priority. © 2010 The Authors. obesity reviews © 2010 International Association for the Study of Obesity.

                Author and article information

                Health Qual Life Outcomes
                Health Qual Life Outcomes
                Health and Quality of Life Outcomes
                BioMed Central (London )
                9 April 2015
                9 April 2015
                : 13
                [ ]Faculty of Health, Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, P.O. box 4, St Olavs Plass, 0130 Oslo, Norway
                [ ]Faculty of Health- and Sport Sciences, University of Agder, P.O. box 422, 4604 Kristiansand, Norway
                [ ]Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Oslo, P.O. box 1084, Blindern, 0317 Oslo, Norway
                © Helseth et al.; licensee BioMed Central. 2015

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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                Health & Social care

                kidscreen, parents, adolescents, children, bmi, hrqol


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