The efficacy of a daily self-weighing weight loss intervention using smart scales and e-mail

Authors

  • Dori M. Steinberg,

    Corresponding author
    1. Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
    2. Duke Global Health Institute, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA
    • Department of Nutrition, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
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  • Deborah F. Tate,

    1. Department of Nutrition, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
    2. Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
    3. Department of Health Behavior, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
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  • Gary G. Bennett,

    1. Duke Global Health Institute, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA
    2. Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA
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  • Susan Ennett,

    1. Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
    2. Department of Health Behavior, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
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  • Carmen Samuel-Hodge,

    1. Department of Nutrition, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
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  • Dianne S. Ward

    1. Department of Nutrition, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
    2. Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
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  • Funding agencies: This study was supported by the UNC Lineberger Cancer Control Education Program Fellowship as part of the Cancer Control Education Program (#R25 CA057726) and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Gillings School of Public Health Dissertation Award.

  • Disclosure: The authors declared no conflict of interest.

Correspondence: Dori M. Steinberg (dori.steinberg@duke.edu)

Abstract

Objective

To examine the impact of a weight loss intervention that focused on daily self-weighing for self-monitoring as compared to a delayed control group among 91 overweight adults.

Design and Methods

The 6-month intervention included a cellular-connected “smart” scale for daily weighing, web-based weight loss graph, and weekly e-mails with tailored feedback and lessons. An objective measure of self-weighing frequency was obtained. Weight was measured in clinic at 3 and 6 months. Caloric intake and expenditure, and perceptions of daily self-weighing were also measured.

Results

Using intent-to-treat analyses, the intervention group lost significantly more weight compared to the control group [mean (95% CI); 3 months: −4.41% (−5.5, −3.3) vs. −0.37% (−1.5, 0.76); 6 months: −6.55% (−7.7, −5.4) vs. −0.35% (−1.5, 0.79); group × time interaction: P < 0.001] and a greater percentage achieved 5% (42.6% vs. 6.8%; P < 0.0001) and 10% (27.7% vs. 0%; P < 0.0001) weight loss. On average, the intervention group self-weighed more days/week (6.1 ± 1.1 vs. 1.1 ± 1.5; P < 0.0001) and consumed fewer calories/day compared to the control group [mean (95% CI); 6 months: 1,509 (1,291, 1,728) vs. 1,856 (1,637, 2,074); group × time interaction: P = 0.006]. Among intervention participants, daily self-weighing was perceived positively.

Conclusions

These results indicate that an intervention focusing on daily self-weighing can produce clinically significant weight loss.

Ancillary