Research: Daily trips to the scale may prevent obesity.

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Daily self-weighing may be a successful prevention measure for weight gain 

Surprise From Scale

Surprise From Scale

We are all looking for that tip to prevent obesity and weight gain.  There is no magic bullet, but there are things that may help.  Over the last 20 years, I have read many books that suggest that daily self-weighing may hurt your ability to lose weight, but new research seems to point the other way.  

A new journal article from Journal of Behavioral Medicine, Daily self-weighing and weight gain prevention: a longitudinal study of college-aged women” seems to show promise for prevention[1].  According to the study, daily self-weighing has been suggested as an important factor for weight loss maintenance among samples with obesity.  This study is a secondary analysis that examined daily self-weighing.   The researchers looked at weight and body composition outcomes over 2 years among young women that were particularly vulnerability for weight gain.  The subjects were 294 women of varying weight status that completed self-weighing frequency questionnaires and weight was measured in a clinic at baseline, 6 months, 1, and 2 years.  Also, DXA scans were completed at baseline, 6 months and 2 years.  The woman who performed daily self-weighing has an associated but significant decline in BMI and body fat percent over time. Future research is needed to examine causal relations between daily self-weighing and weight gain prevention. Nonetheless, these data extend the possibility that daily self-weighing may be important for prevention of unwanted weight gain.

The bottom line: Daily self-weighing is associated with a lower BMI and body fat.  Future research is needed to examine causal relations between daily self-weighing and weight gain prevention. Nonetheless, these data extend the possibility that daily self-weighing may be important for prevention of unwanted weight gain.

Footnotes
[1]Rosenbaum et al., “Daily Self-Weighing and Weight Gain Prevention: A Longitudinal Study of College-Aged Women.”
Rosenbaum, Diane L., Hallie M. Espel, Meghan L. Butryn, Fengqing Zhang, and Michael R. Lowe. “Daily Self-Weighing and Weight Gain Prevention: A Longitudinal Study of College-Aged Women.” Journal of Behavioral Medicine 40, no. 5 (July 8, 2017): 846–53. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10865-017-9870-y.
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About the Author

ChuckH
I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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