Obesity is associated with reduced health-related quality of life (HRQoL). However the relationships between weight loss and changes in HRQoL are not clear. This study examined the effects of intensive behavioral therapy (IBT) for obesity (IBT-alone), IBT plus liraglutide 3.0 mg/d (IBT-liraglutide), and IBT-liraglutide combined with 12 weeks of a portion-controlled diet (Multicomponent) on changes in general HRQoL and weight-related QoL.


Adults with obesity (79.3% female; 54.0% white; 44.7% black; mean age=47.6±11.8 years and BMI=38.4±4.9 kg/m2) were randomized to IBT-alone (n=50), IBT-liraglutide (n=50), or Multicomponent (n=50). General HRQoL was measured with the Short Form-36 (SF-36), and weight-related QoL was assessed with the Impact of Weight on Quality of Life-lite scale. Repeated measures, linear mixed models were used to determine whether changes in QoL measures from baseline to week 52 differed by treatment condition. An intention-to-treat analysis was used. Changes in QoL scores were also assessed at week 52 according to categorical weight loss, controlling for age, race, gender, baseline BMI, and treatment condition.


At week 52, participants in the three groups lost 6.1±1.3%, 11.5±1.3%, and 11.8±1.3% of initial body weight, respectively. Compared to participants in IBT-alone, the odds of achieving clinically meaningful improvements in total weight-related QoL were significantly greater for individuals in IBT-liraglutide (adjusted OR=2.4, p=0.046) and in Multicomponent (adjusted OR=2.4, p=0.047). They also both achieved greater improvements than IBT-alone in weight-related public distress and in general mental health, as measured by the SF-36 mental component summary score. Independent of treatment group, greater categorical weight loss was associated with greater improvements in several domains of both general and weight-related QoL.


The addition of liraglutide to IBT appeared to improve aspects of both general HRQoL and weight-related QoL.