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Psicologia, Saúde & Doenças

Print version ISSN 1645-0086


GOUVEIA, Maria João; FRONTINI, Roberta; CANAVARRO, Maria Cristina  and  MOREIRA, Helena. Body image and quality of life in pediatric obesity. Psic., Saúde & Doenças [online]. 2016, vol.17, n.1, pp.52-59. ISSN 1645-0086.

Obesity is a serious pediatric health condition that is associated with poorer quality of life and higher levels of body image dissatisfaction (BID). However, the role of body image in the psychosocial adjustment of these youth as well as the developmental and gender specificities remains unknown. Therefore, this study aims to compare the levels of quality of life and BID of boys and girls, children and adolescents, with normal-weight and obesity. Specifically, it aims to explore whether the association between weight status and quality of life is mediated by BID as well as the moderating role of youth's gender on these associations. The sample comprised 362 children and adolescents aged 8-18 years with normal weight (n = 155) and obesity (n = 207). All participants completed KIDSCREEN-10 and Collins Body Image scale. Obese children and adolescents reported poorer quality of life and higher BID compared with their normal-weight counterparts. Additionally, girls reported poorer quality of life and higher rates of BID than boys. BID mediated the relationship between weight status and quality of life, but only for youth above 12 years old. Pediatric obesity is associated with poorer psychosocial adjustment, which underlines the need for preventive and early interventions in multidisciplinary teams. An important target in psychological interventions seems to be BID, which proved to be an important mechanism linking obesity and decreased quality of life among adolescents.

Keywords : Body image dissatisfaction; Quality of life; Pediatric Obesity.

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