Investigating the Self-Stigma and Quality of Life for Overweight/Obese Children in Hong Kong: a Preliminary Study

  • Pik Chu Wong
  • Yi-Ping Hsieh
  • Hoi Hin Ng
  • Shuk Fan Kong
  • Ka Lok Chan
  • Tsz Yeung Angus Au
  • Chung-Ying LinEmail author
  • Xavier C. C. Fung


Overweight (OW) children are likely to internalize common weight bias and developed weight-related self-stigma (or self-stigma in short). Also, OW children tended to have poor health-related quality of life (HRQoL) with higher level of self-stigma associated with poorer HRQoL. However, the aforementioned findings have yet been investigated in the East. This study aimed to test the differences of self-stigma and HRQoL between OW and non-OW children, and to examine the correlations between self-stigma and HRQoL in a Hong Kong sample. OW children (n = 50, Mage ± SD = 9.36 ± 1.17) and non-OW children (n = 50, Mage ± SD = 9.73 ± 1.28) completed questionnaires that measure self-stigma (Weight Bias Internalization Scale [WBIS] and Weight Self-Stigma Questionnaire [WSSQ]) and HRQoL (child-reported Kid-KINDL and Sizing Me Up [SMU]). All parents completed parent-reported Kid-KINDL and Sizing Them Up (STU) that measure HRQoL of their children. Compared with non-OW children, OW children had higher self-stigma in WBIS (p = 0.003) and WSSQ (p < 0.001); lower HRQoL in SMU (p < 0.001) and STU (p < 0.001). More significant correlations with stronger magnitude (r = −0.28 to −0.61) were shown between self-stigma and HRQoL in OW children than in non-OW children. This study showed that OW children had significantly higher self-stigma and lower HRQoL than did non-OW children in Hong Kong. Moreover, negative correlations between self-stigma and HRQoL were found in OW children. Future studies may want to investigate whether reducing self-stigma of OW children can improve their HRQoL.


Asia Children Health-related quality of life Overweight Self-stigma 



We sincerely thank for all the participants, including the children and parent. We also thank the assistance from the following organizations: Buddhist Wong Cheuk Um Primary School and Hong Kong Playground Association.


This research was supported in part by (received funding from) the startup fund in the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interests

All the authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Faculty of Health and Social SciencesThe Hong Kong Polytechnic UniversityHung HomHong Kong
  2. 2.Department of Social Work, College of Nursing and Professional DisciplinesUniversity of North DakotaGrand ForksUSA

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