Is Frequent Self-weighing Associated with Poorer Body Satisfaction? Findings from a Phone-based Weight Loss Trial

Ericka M. Welsh, Nancy E. Sherwood, Jeffrey J. VanWormer, Anne Marie Hotop, Robert W. Jeffery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


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/m2. 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 α 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)425-428
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Nutrition Education and Behavior
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The project described was supported by Grant Number P30 DK050456 from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.


  • body satisfaction
  • self-weighing
  • weight loss


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