ISSN: 2165-7904



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Evaluating the Effectiveness of Daily Self-Weighing to Prevent Age- Related Weight Gain

David A. Levitsky

Objective: Age-related weight gain refers to the gain in adult body weight with age. What makes age-related weight
gain a serious public health problem is that the higher the rate of age-related weight gain, the greater the incidence of
many weight related diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and heart disease. We examined the efficacy of daily
self-weighing to reduce age-related weight gain among university employees.
Design: Participants were randomized into two groups. One group (experimental) were given internet-based scales
and asked to weigh themselves daily. They received an email reminder if more than three days elapsed between
weighings. The other group (control), like the experimental group, was weighed at the beginning and the end of the
two-year experimental period.
Settings: The initial and final weighing occurred in the metabolic unit of the division of nutritional sciences, Cornell
University, Ithaca, NY.
Participants: The participants were 286 adult employees of a Cornell University
Results: Using the conventional intent-to-treat analysis neither the within subject weight change over time (-0.38
kg [-1.27 kg, 0.50 kg], control: 0.19 kg [-0.56 kg, 0.93 kg]) nor the between groups (0.40 kg, p=0.183) reached statistical
significance. However, when the non-compliers from both the experimental and control group were removed, the selfweighers
gained significantly less weight than the controls (0.59 kg (p=0.048)). Analyses controlled for baseline weight,
gender, ethnicity, age, education, marital status, weight change the year before the study, and baseline weighing
Conclusion: Compliers to daily self-weighing gained significantly less weight over two years than a matched group
who did not self-weigh.