Frequent Self-Weighing with Electronic Graphic Feedback to Prevent Age-Related Weight Gain in Young Adults

Obesity (Silver Spring). 2015 Oct;23(10):2009-14. doi: 10.1002/oby.21211.


Objective: An intervention using Wi-Fi scales and graphic e-mail feedback, the caloric titration method (CTM), to reduce age-related weight gain over 1 year among college students was evaluated.

Methods: First-year college students (n = 167) were randomized to CTM or control (C) groups and provided Wi-Fi scales. The CTM group was instructed to weigh daily, view a weight graph e-mailed to them after weighing, and try to maintain their weight. The C group could weigh at any time but did not receive feedback. At 6 months and 1 year, the C group provided weights. For intention to treat analysis, an adjusted mixed model was used to analyze the effect of the intervention.

Results: Baseline body mass index was 22.9 ± 3.0 kg/m(2) . Ninety-five percent of the CTM participants weighed ≥ 3 times/week, compared to 15% in the C group (P < 0.001). After 1 year, the C group had gained 1.1 ± .4 kg whereas the CTM group lost 0.5 ± 3.7 kg (F = 3.39, P = 0.035). The difference in weight change between the two groups at 1 year was significant (P = 0.004). Retention was 81%.

Conclusions: CTM intervention was effective in preventing age-related weight gain in young adults over 1 year and thus offers promise to reduce overweight and obesity.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight
  • Electronic Mail
  • Feeding Behavior / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / psychology
  • Obesity / prevention & control*
  • Obesity / psychology*
  • Self Care / psychology
  • Students / psychology*
  • Students / statistics & numerical data
  • Weight Gain*
  • Young Adult