The efficacy of a daily self-weighing weight loss intervention using smart scales and e-mail

Obesity (Silver Spring). 2013 Sep;21(9):1789-97. doi: 10.1002/oby.20396. Epub 2013 Jul 2.

Abstract

Objective: To examine the impact of a weight loss intervention that focused on daily self-weighing for self-monitoring as compared to a delayed control group among 91 overweight adults.

Design and methods: The 6-month intervention included a cellular-connected "smart" scale for daily weighing, web-based weight loss graph, and weekly e-mails with tailored feedback and lessons. An objective measure of self-weighing frequency was obtained. Weight was measured in clinic at 3 and 6 months. Caloric intake and expenditure, and perceptions of daily self-weighing were also measured.

Results: Using intent-to-treat analyses, the intervention group lost significantly more weight compared to the control group [mean (95% CI); 3 months: -4.41% (-5.5, -3.3) vs. -0.37% (-1.5, 0.76); 6 months: -6.55% (-7.7, -5.4) vs. -0.35% (-1.5, 0.79); group × time interaction: P < 0.001] and a greater percentage achieved 5% (42.6% vs. 6.8%; P < 0.0001) and 10% (27.7% vs. 0%; P < 0.0001) weight loss. On average, the intervention group self-weighed more days/week (6.1 ± 1.1 vs. 1.1 ± 1.5; P < 0.0001) and consumed fewer calories/day compared to the control group [mean (95% CI); 6 months: 1,509 (1,291, 1,728) vs. 1,856 (1,637, 2,074); group × time interaction: P = 0.006]. Among intervention participants, daily self-weighing was perceived positively.

Conclusions: These results indicate that an intervention focusing on daily self-weighing can produce clinically significant weight loss.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Weight
  • Electronic Mail*
  • Energy Intake*
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • Intention to Treat Analysis
  • Internet*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / diet therapy*
  • Obesity / therapy
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Perception
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Weight Loss*