A new study has found that frequent self-weighing may lead to increase in weight concern and depression and decrease in body satisfaction and self-esteem among females.
Lead author Carly R. Pacanowski of the University of Minnesota said that females who strongly agreed they self-weighed reported engaging in extremely dangerous weight-control behaviors at a rate of 80 percent.
Pacanowski said that adolescent obesity was a public health concern, but body dissatisfaction and weight concerns were predictors of eating disorders.
In the study, researchers tracked 1,902 young adults, 43 percent male and 57 percent female, over 10 years.
Self-weighing, ideal weight, weight concern, body satisfaction, self-esteem, and depressive symptoms were ranked by participants using a Likert scale. Adolescents also reported their engagement in unhealthy and extreme unhealthy behaviors.
According to the results, females who reported increases in self-weighing over the 10-year period were expected to have increases in weight concern and depressive symptoms and decreases in body satisfaction and self-esteem.
Pacanowski said that clinicians should ask adolescent patients about self-weighing at office visits to determine any benefits or negative outcomes, adding that noting changes in this behavior over time could be helpful for investigating more concerning changes in well-being among young adults.
The study is published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.