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Weighing the Evidence: Benefits of Regular Weight Monitoring for Weight Control1

  • Patrick Mahlen O'Neil
    Correspondence
    Address for correspondence: Patrick M. O'Neil, PhD, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Medical University of South Carolina, 67 President Street, IOP South, Suite 404, PO Box 250861, Charleston, SC 29425;Tel: (843) 792-2273; Fax: (843) 792-5432
    Affiliations
    Weight Management Center, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina
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  • Joshua D. Brown
    Affiliations
    Weight Management Center, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina
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  • Author Footnotes
    1 Note from the Editor: A contrasting viewpoint has also been published in this issue (Dionne MM, Yeudall F. Monitoring of weight in weight loss programs: a double-edged sword? J Nutr Educ Behav. 2005;37:315-318).
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      Abstract

      We address the assertion that weighing obese patients in weight loss programs can be a source of distress and can lead to unfavorable outcomes. Examination of the relevant literature suggests that there is no evidence that weighing by weight loss participants is a cause of negative mood or of body dissatisfaction. Further, there is little evidence that negative mood states or body dissatisfaction lead to a poor outcome in weight loss programs. To the contrary, a number of studies consistently show that more frequent weighing is associated with better weight loss and maintenance. We offer suggestions for dealing with this issue in clinical practice.

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