How does age affect the relationship between weight and health utility during the middle years of childhood?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Colleges, School and Institutes


The limited literature examining weight status and preference-based health-related quality of life (HRQL) in young children is equivocal. This study aims to examine how the association between weight status and preference-based HRQL changes as children develop between the ages of 6 and 10 years old.

The Child Health Utility 9D (CHU-9D) was used to determine preference-based HRQL. Height and weight data were also collected and used to calculate z-BMI adjusted for age and gender. 1467 children were recruited from 54 schools across the West Midlands. Data were collected at four time points over 5 years. Impact of weight on dimensions of HRQL was assessed via the distribution of responses to CHU-9D dimensions by weight status. Multi-level regression analysis controlling for ethnicity, deprivation and other relevant co-variates was conducted to examine the relationship between weight and HRQL.

There was no evidence to suggest that the weight status impacted upon the distribution of responses to CHU-9D dimensions. Correspondingly, the multi-level regression analysis found no statistically significant differences in CHU-9D scores between underweight, healthy weight, overweight and obese children.

The evidence surrounding the link between preference-based HRQL and weight status in children is limited. This study found no association between weight status and HRQL as measured by the CHU-9D in children between the ages of 5 and 10 years in the UK. Given this, it is recommended that future studies aiming to prevent obesity in children in their middle years do not rely solely on preference-based measures for economic evaluation, and instead focus on capturing clinical or wellbeing outcomes.


Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalQuality of Life Research
Early online date5 Feb 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Feb 2018


  • Health-related quality of life, Child health, Obesity, CHU-9D, Utility, Child weight status