Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 168–176 | Cite as

Weight Misperception and Health-Related Quality of Life in Appalachian Adolescents in the United States

  • Jodi L. Southerland
  • Liang Wang
  • Deborah L. Slawson


Introduction There is limited research on the relation between weight misperceptions and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among U.S. adolescents. Methods Baseline data (n = 1509) collected in 2012 from the Team Up for Healthy Living project were used. Measures included BMI percentiles calculated from measured height and weight; self-perception of weight status; and the 23-item PedsQL™ Inventory. Multiple linear regression was performed after adjustment for covariates to examine associations between weight misperception and HRQoL. Results Compared to accurate weight perception, weight underestimation was associated with higher total HRQoL (β = 2.41), physical health (β = 2.77), and emotional (β = 2.83), social (β = 2.47) and psychosocial functioning (β = 2.38) (all p < 0.05). Weight overestimation was associated with lower social functioning (β = −13.13, p < 0.05). Stratified by gender, associations were observed only in males. Discussion Weight underestimation had greater association with HRQoL than weight overestimation; and varied by gender. Better understanding of these associations will assist in improving the health of adolescents in Southern Appalachia.


Weight perception Quality of life Adolescents Cross-sectional 



The project described was supported by Grant Number R01MD006200 from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities or the National Institutes of Health.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jodi L. Southerland
    • 1
  • Liang Wang
    • 2
  • Deborah L. Slawson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Community and Behavioral Health, College of Public HealthEast Tennessee State UniversityJohnson CityUSA
  2. 2.Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, College of Public HealthEast Tennessee State UniversityJohnson CityUSA

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