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

Claire D. Madigan*, Kate Jolly, Amanda L. Lewis, Paul Aveyard, Amanda J. Daley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Background: 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.Purpose: To examine the efficacy of daily self-weighing as an intervention for weight loss.Methods: 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.Results: 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.Conclusions: 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.Trial registration: ISRCTN05815264.

Original languageEnglish
Article number125
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Oct 2014


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


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