Stepping on the scale may be significantly effective in keeping off the extra weight especially during the holidays, according to a research from the University of Georgia.
The new research that focuses on the efficacy of daily self-weighing reported that Americans gain from 0.4 to 1.5 kilograms (0.9 to 3.3 lbs.) during the festive season, whether Thanksgiving or Christmas time. Any weight increase during the holidays contributes to annual weight gain.
Need To Weigh Every day
For the study that aimed to examine how the holidays affect health, the scientists recruited 111 adults aged between 18 and 65 years old. The project duration was between mid-November 2017 and early January 2018.
The intervention group were instructed to maintain their baseline weight and were tasked to weigh themselves every day using a scale provided by the research team. Another control group with 55 participants didn't weigh themselves daily and weren't assigned a challenge. Both groups completed three study visits — the first was one week before Thanksgiving, the second visit was one week after New Year, and the last was 14 weeks after the second visit.
At the end of the study period, the participants who weighed themselves every day either maintained or lost weight, while the control group gained weight. Those in the intervention group saw their weight changes in graphical feedback.
The study published in the journal Obesity suggests that the participants who weigh themselves on a daily basis may have exercised a little bit more or became more careful on what they are eating.
"The subjects self-select how they are going to modify their behavior, which can be effective because we know that interventions are not one-size-fits-all," said Jamie Cooper, study author and associate professor at University of Georgia.
The research proved that daily self‐weighing could play an important role in weight maintenance following weight loss, in conjunction with other behavior modifications.
"People are really sensitive to discrepancies or differences between their current selves and their standard or goal," said fellow study author Michelle vanDellen.
Rising Obesity Problem
More than 35 percent of the American adult population have obesity, and there is a continuing increase in the degree of obesity. This epidemic affects an estimate of 93 million adults in 2015 to 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Even obesity among children and adolescents is on the rise.
Obesity has actually become a major health risk, and this condition is often linked to diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
A separate study indicated that middle-aged people who are severely obese are 50 percent more likely to die early than their counterparts with normal weight. Obesity may also affect brain health as much as it impacts the overall health of an individual.