Self-Weighing: an Ecological Momentary Assessment

2017-09-06 22:23:21 | BioPortfolio


The primary objective of this study is to experimentally test the momentary and more distal psychological effects of daily self weighing as compared to an active control group.


Two significant public health problems, obesity and eating disorders, are prevalent during emerging adulthood, a unique stage of life between ages 18 and 25. Over half of emerging adults experience weight gain and/or disordered eating (e.g. overly restrictive dieting, binge eating); both of which contribute to obesity. Because many emerging adults attend college, the college community represents a viable population for implementing interventions to prevent weight gain, while not triggering disordered eating.

A promising strategy for preventing weight gain during college is daily self-weighing, an example of behavioral self-monitoring, an evidence-based strategy for weight control. Self-monitoring is fundamental to behavior change: feedback allows the user to evaluate progress in relation to a goal and modify behavior. Despite self-monitoring being recommended, some evidence suggests that self-monitoring strategies, self-weighing in particular, may have unintended psychological consequences; the concern being that negative mood states could precipitate disordered eating. Alternatively, other evidence suggests positive psychological outcomes related to daily self-weighing in young adults.

Technological advances have allowed for users to track personal health information in real time. Given that 60% of U.S. adults track weight, diet, or exercise, and 92% of adults aged 18-34 own a smartphone, electronic self-monitoring is feasible in this population. What is less known is individuals' psychological and behavioral response to self-monitoring. This original, important study will contribute to the fields of obesity and eating disorders and experimentally test the psychological effects of this daily weight-control intervention.

Study Design


Daily Self-weighing


daily self-weighing, daily temperature-taking


University of Delaware
United States




University of Delaware

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2017-09-06T22:23:21-0400

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