Objective: To describe the frequency of self-weighing and reactions to prescribed weekly weighing among individuals with eating disorder (ED) diagnoses, and to compare individuals weighing more or less frequently on mass index (BMI) and the Eating Disorder Examination (EDE) subscales. Method: Baseline EDE and demographics from five studies (N = 758). Results: Self-weighing was most frequent among individuals with anorexia nervosa (AN), followed by those with bulimia nervosa (BN) and binge eating disorder (BED). On average, participants reacted moderately negative to prescribed weekly weighing. No relationship between weighing frequency and BMI was evident in any sample. There was indication of greater pathology (i.e., restraint, shape concern, weight concern, global) in AN with more frequent weighing. In BN, mixed evidence emerged to support a relationship between more frequent weighing and higher shape concern, weight concern, and global score. In BED, higher restraint was found in those who weighed versus those who did not. Discussion: Weighing frequency in each eating disorder (ED) sample was to some extent associated with greater ED severity, but not BMI. Future research should examine relationships between self-weighing, reactions to changing weighing frequency, and ED symptomatology in both ED and non-ED groups to understand the impact of self-weighing in heterogeneous populations.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The research here was supported in part by the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs. Dr. T. L. Smith is the Associate Director for Improving Clinical Care, VA South Central Mental Illness Research, Education & Clinical Center at the Center for Innovations in Quality, Effectiveness & Safety (IQuEST; CIN 13-413), Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, Houston Texas. The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs or the U.S. government.
- anorexia nervosa
- binge eating disorder
- bulimia nervosa