Self-weighing linked to depression
While self-weighing can be a useful tool to help adults control their weight, for young women, this behaviour may have negative psychological outcomes. According to a new study, among females, frequent self-weighing is significantly related to weight concern, depression and decrease in body satisfaction and selfesteem.
“Females who strongly agreed they self-weighed, reported engaging in extremely dangerous weight-control behaviours at a rate of 80%,” said Carly Pacanowski, lead author of the study from University of Minnesota in the US.
“Adolescent obesity is a public health concern, but body dissatisfaction and weight concerns are predictors of eating disorders,” Pacanowski explained. “This makes it critical that obesity-prevention programmes avoid exacerbating these predictors by understanding how behaviours such as self-weighing affect teens,” Pacanowski noted.
The researchers tracked 1,902 young adults over 10 years as a part of project EAT (Eating and Activity in Teens and Young Adults).
Results indicated that females who reported increase in self-weighing over the 10-year period were expected to have increase in weight concern and depressive symptoms.
The study noted that self-weighing may not be an innocuous behaviour and care should be taken when young adults report self-weighing.