Is frequent self-weighing associated with poorer body satisfaction? Findings from a phone-based weight loss trial

J Nutr Educ Behav. Nov-Dec 2009;41(6):425-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2009.04.006.


Objective: To examine the effect of self-weighing frequency on weight change and body satisfaction.

Design: Observational study based on findings from a 6-month randomized controlled telephone-based weight loss trial. Data collected at baseline and 6 months.

Setting: Metropolitan community-based sample.

Participants: Sixty-three obese adults. Mean age 49.5 years, 82% percent white, and 79% female. Mean body mass index at baseline was 34.2 kg/m(2).

Main outcome measures: Change in weight and body satisfaction.

Analysis: General linear model regression was used to assess the effect of self-weighing on outcomes of interest. Statistical significance was set at alpha level .05. Treatment group and baseline values of dependent variables included as covariates in all analyses.

Results: Participants who increased their frequency of self-weighing over the 6-month period demonstrated significantly better weight loss outcomes than those who maintained or decreased their frequency of self-weighing (-6.8 kg vs -3.1 kg, F = 8.59, P = .006). There were no significant associations between self-weighing frequency and body satisfaction at 6 months (F = 0.55, P = .58).

Conclusions and implications: These findings support frequent self-weighing for weight control. There appears to be little or no effect of self-weighing on body satisfaction. Future research should replicate these findings across a larger, more diverse population of overweight adults.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Behavior Therapy / methods*
  • Body Image*
  • Body Weight / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / psychology*
  • Obesity / therapy
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Self Care / methods
  • Self Care / psychology
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Weight Loss*