A systematic review of reviews: exploring the relationship between obesity, weight loss and health-related quality of life
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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This is the first systematic review of reviews to assess the effect of obesity and weight loss on health‐related quality of life (HRQoL). We identified 12 meta‐analyses/systematic reviews published between January 2001 and July 2016. They addressed the following themes: (i) the relationship between weight/body mass index and HRQoL (baseline/pre‐intervention; n = 2). (ii) HRQoL after weight loss (varied interventions and/or study design; n = 2). (iii) HRQoL after weight loss (randomized controlled trials only; n = 2). (iv) HRQoL after bariatric surgery (n = 6). We found that in all populations, obesity was associated with significantly lower generic and obesity‐specific HRQoL. The relationship between weight loss and improved HRQoL was consistently demonstrated after bariatric surgery, perhaps due to a greater than average weight loss compared with other treatments. Improved HRQoL was evident after non‐surgical weight loss, but was not consistently demonstrated, even in randomized controlled trials. This inconsistency may be attributed to variation in quality of reporting, assessment measures, study populations and weight‐loss interventions. We recommend longer‐term studies, using both generic and obesity‐specific measures, which go beyond HRQoL in isolation to exploring mediators of HRQoL changes and interactions with other variables, such as comorbidities, fitness level and body image.