Quality of Life, Motor Ability, and Weight Status among School-Aged Children of Tehran

Article excerpt

Abstract

Background: This study aimed to investigate the relationship between health Related quality of life (HRQOL), motor ability and weight status in children.

Methods: Two hundred forty children ages 9-11 yr who were selected via multi stage cluster sampling design from primary schools in the Shahre Qods at Tehran, Iran in 2007. HRQOL was assessed by the pediatric quality of life inventory (PedsQL). Motor abilities were determined by a Basic Motor Ability Test (BMAT). Body mass index was calculated to determine weight status.

Results: Psychosocial, physical, and total health related qualities of life (all P< 0.05) were significantly lowered for obese when compared to normal weight participants. In contrast, the mean scores for each HRQOL domain in motor ability category were not significant. No significant interaction was apparent when examining HRQOL scores, BMAT variables and weight status.

Conclusion: Regardless of motor ability levels, reducing body weight among children is a potential avenue for promoting improved HRQOL. Over weight boys reported significantly worse school performance than over weight girls, suggesting the importance in considering such dimensions in programs aimed at further understanding obesity in children.

Keywords: Body mass index, Children, Motor ability, Quality of life, Iran

Introduction

Few problems in childhood are so obvious to others, so difficult to treat and have such long-term effects on health as obesity (1). Childhood obesity is now one of the most significant public health challenges internationally (2, 3) with prevalence rates doubling or tripling over the past 15 years (3). Limited studies in Iran have reported this trend as 13.3%-24.8% over weight and 7.7%-8% obese children (4, 5). The development of overweight in childhood is related to subsequent overweight/ obesity in adulthood (6, 7), where it is associated with an increased risk of morbidity and mortality (8). When discussing the health related sequel of obesity, two prominent domains of health emerge the psychosocial and the medical (9). Contributing to the burden of overweight in children are the psychosocial aspects associated with overweight such as self-esteem, peer interactions, social interactions, depression, shame, and decreased self-confidence (10). Being overweight increases a child's risk of developing type 2 diabetes, hyper lipidemia, elevated blood pressure, sleep apnea, and asthma (11). Childhood obesity does not singularly affect the overweight child; its impacts are globally seen in the social, economic, and psychological environment surrounding the child (10, 12).

An important aspect of childhood that may be greatly affected by the state and outcomes of being overweight is a child's quality of life (13). Health Related Quality of life (HRQOL) can be defined as a multidimensional construct that reflects one's self-perceptions of enjoyment and satisfaction with life (14). Assessing childhood HRQOL can provide insights into a child's selfrating of physical, psychosocial, and overall functioning (15, 16).

Movement abilities are an integral part of a primary schools curriculum for personal development, health, and physical education. Their positions is based on the importance of motor development to children's physical, cognitive, and social growth and development (17) and are the foundations of physically active lifestyle (18). These also seem to be related to young people's health. For example, children and adolescents whit greater movement ability tend to be more physically active (19-21), have higher levels of aerobic fitness (22) and self esteem (21), and are less likely to be overweight (23).

Several studies have shown that overweight children report significantly lower quality of life than their healthy-weight counterparts do. For example, Friedlander et al. (24) found that overweight children had significantly lower scores on psychosocial, physical functioning, and global health-related quality of life with compared to healthy-weight children. …

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