Self-weighing in conjunction with a low intensity intervention supports weight gain prevention in women. (#208)
Regular self-weighing has been the focus of attention in obesity research for some years. It has received conflicting endorsement as many practitioners and researchers recommend it as a key behavioural strategy for weight loss and others caution against its use due to the potential to cause negative psychological consequences. Recent reports have reinforced the importance of weighing in weight loss interventions or to prevent weight regain following obesity treatment programs. We hypothesised that self-weighing would be an effective self-regulation strategy to prevent weight gain.
In this cluster RCT, 250 women with primary school aged children were recruited. Following randomisation participants were allocated to a 1 year low intensity behavioural intervention including advice to weigh themselves weekly. The control group received one group health education session with no further support or advice to weigh themselves.
In this prevention trial, the most interesting change in weight occurred in the intervention women who regularly weighed themselves. The control group gained weight whether they weighed regularly (+0.88) or not (+0.78 kg). In contrast mean weight change was -1.10kg in the intervention women who self-weighed. The intervention women who did not self-weigh gained 0.63kg which was similar to the control group. In summary women gained 1.73kg (CI: 0.23- 3.2) less weight over 1 year if they weighed regularly and received the intervention compared to the non weighers, and almost 2kg less when compared to control women who weighed regularly. It appears the combination of intervention and self-weighing is effective in preventing weight gain in most women. Simply weighing regularly with no advice or support was not effective.
In conclusion self weighing was found to be associated with prevention of weight gain and greater weight loss when part of a low intensity behavioural intervention.