Original Article

Annals of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 45, Issue 2, pp 239-248

Accuracy of Weight Perception Among Urban Early Adolescents with Uncontrolled Asthma and Their Caregivers

  • Melanie JayAffiliated withVA New York Harbor and Division of General Internal Medicine, NYU School of Medicine
  • , Cesalie StepneyAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Rutgers University
  • , N. Ari WijetungaAffiliated withAlbert Einstein College of Medicine, Yeshiva University
  • , Grace AkinrinadeAffiliated withDepartment of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, NYU School of Medicine
  • , Karen DorseyAffiliated withDepartment of Pediatrics, Yale University, School of Medicine
  • , Jean-Marie BruzzeseAffiliated withDepartment of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Child Study Center, NYU School of Medicine Email author 

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Obesity is associated with poor asthma outcomes; weight loss improves such outcomes. Inaccurate recognition of obesity may impede weight control.


We examined perception of weight by early adolescents with uncontrolled asthma and their caregivers, and tested the relationship between medical visit frequency and accuracy of perceived weight status.


A total of 373 adolescents and their caregivers reported the adolescent’s height/weight and weight perception; caregivers reported healthcare utilization. We measured height/weight. Logistic regression modeled accuracy of weight perception.


A total of 43.7 % of the overweight/obese adolescents and caregivers accurately perceived weight status. BMI percentile [odds ratio (OR) = 1.19, confidence interval (CI) = 1.10–1.28] and total medical visits (OR = 1.18, CI = 1.05–1.33) were associated with higher accuracy in caregivers. Total medical visits (OR = 0.84, CI = 0.74–0.96) was associated with lower accuracy in adolescents.


Accurate perception of weight status was poor for overweight adolescents with uncontrolled asthma and their caregivers. Frequent medical visits were associated with improved caregivers’ but not adolescents’ perceptions.


Asthma Obesity Perception Ethnic minority Inner city Early adolescents