Self-weighing in weight management: A systematic literature review

Yaguang Zheng, Mary Lou Klem, Susan M. Sereika, Cynthia A. Danford, Linda J. Ewing, Lora E. Burke

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Objective Regular self-weighing, which in this article is defined as weighing oneself regularly over a period of time (e.g., daily, weekly), is recommended as a weight loss strategy. However, the published literature lacks a review of the recent evidence provided by prospective, longitudinal studies. Moreover, no paper has reviewed the psychological effects of self-weighing. Therefore, the objective is to review the literature related to longitudinal associations between self-weighing and weight change as well as the psychological outcomes. Methods Electronic literature searches in PubMed, Ovid PsycINFO, and Ebscohost CINAHL were conducted. Keywords included overweight, obesity, self-weighing, etc. Inclusion criteria included trials that were published in the past 25 years in English; participants were adults seeking weight loss treatment; results were based on longitudinal data. Results The results (N = 17 studies) revealed that regular self-weighing was associated with more weight loss and not with adverse psychological outcomes (e.g., depression, anxiety). Findings demonstrated that the effect sizes of association between self-weighing and weight change varied across studies and also that the reported frequency of self-weighing varied across studies. Conclusions The findings from prospective, longitudinal studies provide evidence that regular self-weighing has been associated with weight loss and not with negative psychological outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)256-265
Number of pages10
JournalObesity
Volume23
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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    Zheng, Y., Klem, M. L., Sereika, S. M., Danford, C. A., Ewing, L. J., & Burke, L. E. (2015). Self-weighing in weight management: A systematic literature review. Obesity, 23(2), 256-265. https://doi.org/10.1002/oby.20946