Patterns of self-weighing behavior and weight change in a weight loss trial

Y. Zheng, L. E. Burke, C. A. Danford, L. J. Ewing, M. A. Terry, S. M. Sereika

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background/Objectives: Regular self-weighing has been associated with weight loss and maintenance in adults enrolled in a behavioral weight loss intervention; however, few studies have examined the patterns of adherence to a self-weighing protocol. The study aims were to (1) identify patterns of self-weighing behavior; and (2) examine adherence to energy intake and step goals and weight change by self-weighing patterns. Subjects/Methods: This was a secondary analysis of self-monitoring and assessment weight data from a 12-month behavioral weight loss intervention study. Each participant was given a scale that was Wi-Fi-enabled and transmitted the date-stamped weight data to a central server. Group-based trajectory modeling was used to identify distinct classes of trajectories based on the number of days participants self-weighed over 51 weeks. Results: The sample (N=148) was 90.5% female, 81.1% non-Hispanic white, with a mean (s.d.) age of 51.3 (10.1) years, had completed an average of 16.4 (2.8) years of education and had mean body mass index of 34.1 (4.6) kg m-2. Three patterns of self-weighing were identified: high/consistent (n=111, 75.0% self-weighed over 6 days per week regularly); moderate/declined (n=24, 16.2% declined from 4-5 to 2 days per week gradually); and minimal/declined (n=13, 8.8% declined from 5-6 to 0 days per week after week 33). The high/consistent group achieved greater weight loss than either the moderate/declined and minimal/declined groups at 6 months (-10.19%±5.78%, -5.45%±4.73% and -2.00%±4.58%) and 12 months (-9.90%±8.16%, -5.62%±6.28% and 0.65%±3.58%), respectively (P<0.001). The high/consistent group had a greater mean number days per week of adherence to calorie intake goal or step goal but not higher than the moderate/declined group. Conclusions: This is the first study to reveal distinct temporal patterns of self-weighing behavior. The majority of participants were able to sustain a habit of daily self-weighing with regular self-weighing leading to weight loss and maintenance as well as adherence to energy intake and step goals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1392-1396
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Obesity
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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