Article

Self-Weighing Promotes Weight Loss for Obese Adults

Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55407, USA.
American journal of preventive medicine (Impact Factor: 4.28). 10/2008; 36(1):70-3. DOI: 10.1016/j.amepre.2008.09.022
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Frequent self-weighing has been proposed as an adjuvant strategy to promote weight loss. Not all experts agree on its utility, and the literature supporting its effectiveness is somewhat limited by methodologic shortcomings related to the subjective assessment of self-weighing frequency.
A prospective cohort design was utilized to examine 100 participants enrolled in a weight-loss trial that encouraged frequent, objectively measured self-weighing at home. Measurements were made at pretreatment and at follow-up visits at 6 and 12 months.
Participants were employed, obese adults enrolled in the Weigh By Day trial. Study data were collected between October 2005 and May 2007.
The intervention consisted of a 6-month behavioral weight-loss program that employed telephone counseling, a written manual, and a home telemonitoring scale.
The primary outcomes of interest were body weight and clinically meaningful weight loss (i.e., > or =5%). Analyses were performed in March 2008.
Self-weighing was a significant predictor of body weight over time. Participants lost about 1 extra pound for every 11 days they self-weighed during treatment. In addition, participants who self-weighed at least weekly were 11 times more likely to lose at least 5% of their pretreatment weight after 6 months. Improvements attenuated after 12 months.
Self-weighing may be a strategy to enhance behavioral weight-loss programs. Weekly self-weighing seems to be a reasonable, evidence-supported recommendation for successful weight loss, but more research is warranted to determine the independent contribution of self-weighing to successful weight loss, as well as its potential risk of negative psychological impact.

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    • "Outcomes related to SW VanWormer et al., 2009 (45) (46) 18-mo, 6-mo Tx, 12-mo follow-up, 2-group study, but only analysis 12-mo data; comparing immediate to delayed methods on WL and WM. "
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    ABSTRACT: Objective Regular self-weighing, which in this article is defined as weighing oneself regularly over a period of time (e.g., daily, weekly), is recommended as a weight loss strategy. However, the published literature lacks a review of the recent evidence provided by prospective, longitudinal studies. Moreover, no paper has reviewed the psychological effects of self-weighing. Therefore, the objective is to review the literature related to longitudinal associations between self-weighing and weight change as well as the psychological outcomes.Methods Electronic literature searches in PubMed, Ovid PsycINFO, and Ebscohost CINAHL were conducted. Keywords included overweight, obesity, self-weighing, etc. Inclusion criteria included trials that were published in the past 25 years in English; participants were adults seeking weight loss treatment; results were based on longitudinal data.ResultsThe results (N = 17 studies) revealed that regular self-weighing was associated with more weight loss and not with adverse psychological outcomes (e.g., depression, anxiety). Findings demonstrated that the effect sizes of association between self-weighing and weight change varied across studies and also that the reported frequency of self-weighing varied across studies.Conclusions The findings from prospective, longitudinal studies provide evidence that regular self-weighing has been associated with weight loss and not with negative psychological outcomes.
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