Open Access Research article

Health related quality of life of obese adolescents in Kuwait

Shurooq A Boodai1* and John J Reilly2

Author Affiliations

1 University of Glasgow College of Medical, Veterinary, and Life Sciences, Yorkhill Hospitals, Glasgow G3 8SJ, Scotland

2 Physical Activity & Public Health Science, Physical Activity for Health Group, School of Psychological Sciences & Health, University of Strathclyde, 40 George St, Glasgow G1 1XQ, Scotland

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BMC Pediatrics 2013, 13:105  doi:10.1186/1471-2431-13-105

Published: 11 July 2013



Obesity impairs health related quality of life (HRQL) in adolescents, but most evidence in this area has mostly come from western societies. We wanted to test the hypothesis that obesity impairs HRQL in Kuwaiti adolescents, and to test for differences in HRQL assessed by self-report and parent-proxy report.


In 500 Kuwaiti 10–14 year olds HRQL was assessed using the Peds QLTM with both adolescent self-reports (n = 500) and parent-proxy reports (n = 374).


Obesity was not significantly associated with HRQL in regression analysis. In a paired comparison of 98 pairs of obese adolescents vs. 98 healthy weight peers, impairment of HRQL reached significance only for physical score (95% CI = −1.5, -9.4), not for psychosocial score or total score. In a paired comparison of parent-proxy vs. self-reports for the obese adolescents, total score (95% CI = −4.9, -10.9), physical score (95% CI = −3.2, -11.0), and psychosocial score (95% CI = −4.2, -10.8) were all significantly lower in the parent reports.


Obesity is not associated with marked impairment of HRQL in adolescents in Kuwait, in contrast to studies in western societies. This may reflect cultural differences in attitudes towards obesity.

Obesity; Adolescent; Health-related quality of life