Daily weigh-in good for dieter, study says

November 25, 2005|By LOS ANGELES TIMES

Does regularly stepping on the scales help a dieter lose weight? One of the first studies to specifically check on the validity of that common practice says yes.

An article in December's Annals of Behavioral Medicine reports that dieters who weighed themselves regularly shed more pounds over a 24-month period than people who didn't regularly weigh themselves. Those who weighed themselves daily lost the most.

The University of Minnesota study tapped statistics from two populations. One was a group of 1,800 obese or overweight adults enrolled in a weight-loss trial. Participants were asked at the study's start and at intervals thereafter how often they weighed themselves.

After one year, monthly, weekly and daily weighers all lost weight on average, but those who weighed themselves daily lost the most - about 8 pounds. (Those who never weighed themselves gained weight.)

The other data came from 1,226 adults in a weight-gain-prevention trial. At 12 months, those who weighed themselves daily had lost about 2 to 3 pounds. Those who weighed themselves less often, or not at all, actually gained weight. In both studies, significant differences were also seen at two years.

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