Quality of Life Research

, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 263–272 | Cite as

Association between body mass index and perceived weight status with self-rated health and life satisfaction in Iranian children and adolescents: the CASPIAN-III study

  • Ramin Heshmat
  • Roya Kelishadi
  • Nazgol Motamed-Gorji
  • Mohammad-Esmaeil Motlagh
  • Gelayol Ardalan
  • Tahereh Arifirad
  • Hadith Rastad
  • Hamid Asayesh
  • Shirin Djalalinia
  • Bagher Larijani
  • Mostafa QorbaniEmail author



Adolescent obesity is a well-known worldwide issue with growing prevalence and complications. The concept of body image and complications of its misperception has been noted more recently. Life satisfaction (LS) and self-rated health (SRH) have also been known as independent morbidity and mortality factors. The objective of this study was to evaluate the associations of perceived weight status (body image) and actual body mass index (BMI), with LS and SRH in a nationally representative sample of a pediatric population in Iran, as a country located in the Middle East and North Africa region.


This nationwide population-based survey was conducted among 5,570 (2,784 female and 2,786 male) Iranian students, aged 10–18 years, living in urban and rural areas of 27 provinces, which were selected via multistage sampling method. Agreement between BMI and perceived weight status (underweight, about right and overweight/obesity) was assessed. Adjusted association between BMI and perceived weight status with LS and SRH was assessed using multiple logistic regressions after adjustment for potential confounders.


Nearly 40 % of the participants misperceived their body image. Misperception as overweight or underweight was found to be associated with lower odds for both LS and SRH [overweight SRH OR 0.796 (95 % CI 0.647–980), underweight SRH OR 0.701 (95 % CI 0.588–0.835), overweight LS OR 0.884 (95 % CI 0.718-998), underweight LS OR = 0.676 (95 % CI 0.577–0.793)], whereas the association between actual BMI with LS and SRH was not statistically significant (P value > 0.05).


A mismatch between BMI and body weight perception was found in this study. Moreover, LS and SRH were not related with BMI, but had negative association with body weight perception.


Adolescents Self-rated health Life satisfaction Body mass index Perceived weight status 



This nationwide survey was conducted in Iran with corporation of the Ministry of Health and Medical education, Ministry of Education and Training, Child Health Promotion Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, and Endocrinology and Metabolism Research Institute of Tehran University of Medical Sciences.

Conflict of interests

The authors declared no conflict of interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ramin Heshmat
    • 1
  • Roya Kelishadi
    • 2
  • Nazgol Motamed-Gorji
    • 3
  • Mohammad-Esmaeil Motlagh
    • 4
  • Gelayol Ardalan
    • 2
  • Tahereh Arifirad
    • 5
  • Hadith Rastad
    • 7
  • Hamid Asayesh
    • 8
  • Shirin Djalalinia
    • 9
    • 10
  • Bagher Larijani
    • 9
  • Mostafa Qorbani
    • 6
    • 11
    Email author
  1. 1.Chronic Diseases Research Center, Endocrinology and Metabolism Population Sciences InstituteTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  2. 2.Pediatrics Department, Faculty of Medicine, Child Growth and Development Research CenterIsfahan University of Medical SciencesIsfahanIran
  3. 3.Faculty of MedicineTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  4. 4.Department of PediatricsAhvaz University of Medical SciencesAhvazIran
  5. 5.Department of Exercise Physiology, Science and Research BranchIslamic Azad UniversityTehranIran
  6. 6.Non-communicable Diseases Research Center, Endocrinology and Metabolism Population Sciences InstituteTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  7. 7.Research Development Center, Arash Women’s HospitalTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  8. 8.Department of Medical EmergenciesQom University of Medical SciencesQomIran
  9. 9.Endocrinology and Metabolism Research Center, Endocrinology and Metabolism Research InstituteTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  10. 10.Development of Research and Technology Center, Deputy of Research and TechnologyMinistry of Health and Medical EducationTehranIran
  11. 11.School of MedicineAlborz University of Medical SciencesKarajIran

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