Weight Stigma Model on Quality of Life Among Children in Hong Kong: A Cross-Sectional Modeling Study

We proposed a model to examine the relationship among different types of weight-related stigmas and their relationship to quality of life (QoL). We recruited 430 dyads of elementary school children [mean age = 10.07 years; nboy = 241 (56.0%); noverweight = 138 (32.1%)] and their parents. Parents completed QoL instruments about their children assessing generic QoL and weight-related QoL. Children completed QoL instruments assessing generic QoL and weight-related QoL and stigma scales assessing experienced weight stigma, weight-related self-stigma, and perceived weight stigma. Experienced weight stigma was significantly associated with perceived weight stigma, and in turn, perceived weight stigma was significantly associated with weight-related self-stigma. However, experienced weight stigma was not directly associated with weight-related self-stigma. In addition, experienced stigma was negatively associated with both child-rated and parent-rated QoL. Perceived weight stigma was associated only with parent-rated weight-related QoL but not child-rated QoL. Self-stigma was associated with child-rated QoL but not parent-rated QoL. Moreover, perceived weight stigma and weight-related self-stigma were significant mediators in the association between body weight and children’s QoL; experienced weight stigma was not a significant mediator. The study findings can be used to inform healthcare providers about the relationship among different types of stigmas and their influence on child-rated and parent-rated QoL and help them develop interventions to address the global trend of overweight/obesity in youth and pediatric populations.

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