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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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            Author and article information

            [ ]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
            Health Qual Life Outcomes
            Health Qual Life Outcomes
            Health and Quality of Life Outcomes
            BioMed Central (London )
            9 April 2015
            9 April 2015
            : 13
            4396077 239 10.1186/s12955-015-0239-z
            © 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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            © The Author(s) 2015

            Health & Social care

            kidscreen, parents, adolescents, children, bmi, hrqol


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