Self-weighing in weight management interventions: A systematic review of literature

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

27 Scopus citations


Background Self-weighing increases a person's self-awareness of current weight and weight patterns. Increased self-weighing frequency can help an individual prevent weight gain. Literature, however, is limited in describing variability in self-weighing strategies and how the variability is associated with weight management outcomes. Aim This review analyzed self-weighing in weight management interventions and the effects of self-weighing on weight and other outcomes. Methods Twenty-two articles from PubMed, CINAHL, Medline, PsychInfo, and Academic Search Premier were extracted for review. Results These 22 articles reported findings from 19 intervention trials, mostly on weight loss or weight gain prevention. The majority of the reviewed articles reported interventions that combined self-weighing with other self-monitoring strategies (64%), adopted daily self-weighing frequency (84%), and implemented interventions up to six months (59%). One-half of the articles mentioned that technology-enhanced or regular weight scales were given to study participants. Of the articles that provided efficacy data, 75% of self-weighing-only interventions and 67% of combined interventions demonstrated improved weight outcomes. No negative psychological effects were found. Conclusions Self-weighing is likely to improve weight outcomes, particularly when performed daily or weekly, without causing untoward adverse effects. Weight management interventions could consider including this strategy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)493-519
Number of pages27
JournalObesity Research and Clinical Practice
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016


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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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