A randomised controlled trial of the effectiveness of self-weighing as a weight loss intervention

Claire D Madigan, Catherine Jolly, Amanda L Lewis, Paul Aveyard, Amanda J Daley

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18 Citations (Scopus)
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There is a need to find simple cost effective weight loss interventions that can be used in primary care. There is evidence that self-monitoring is an effective intervention for problem drinking and self-weighing might be an effective intervention for weight loss.

To examine the efficacy of daily self-weighing as an intervention for weight loss.

A randomised controlled trial of 183 obese adults, follow-up three months. The intervention group were given a set of weighing scales and instructed to weigh themselves daily and record their weight. Both groups received two weight loss consultations which were known to be ineffective.

92 participants were randomised to the intervention group and 91 to the control group. The intervention group lost 0.5 kg (95% CI 0.3 to 1.3 kg) more than the control group, but this was not significant. There was no evidence that self-weighing frequency was associated with more weight loss.

As an intervention for weight loss, instruction to weigh daily is ineffective. Unlike other studies, there was no evidence that greater frequency of self-weighing is associated with greater weight loss.
Original languageEnglish
Article number125
JournalThe International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Oct 2014


  • Weight loss
  • Obesity
  • Self-weighing
  • Self-monitoring


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