Frequency of self-weighing and weight change: Cohort study with 10,000 smart scale users

Anna Leena Vuorinen (Corresponding Author), Elina Helander, Julia Pietilä, Ilkka Korhonen

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    10 Citations (Scopus)
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    Background: Frequent self-weighing is associated with successful weight loss and weight maintenance during and after weight loss interventions. Less is known about self-weighing behaviors and associated weight change in free-living settings. Objective: This study aimed to investigate the association between the frequency of self-weighing and changes in body weight in a large international cohort of smart scale users. Methods: This was an observational cohort study with 10,000 randomly selected smart scale users who had used the scale for at least 1 year. Longitudinal weight measurement data were analyzed. The association between the frequency of self-weighing and weight change over the follow-up was investigated among normal weight, overweight, and obese users using Pearson's correlation coefficient and linear models. The association between the frequency of self-weighing and temporal weight change was analyzed using linear mixed effects models. Results: The eligible sample consisted of 9768 participants (6515/9768, 66.7% men; mean age 41.5 years; mean BMI 26.8 kg/m2). Of the participants, 4003 (4003/9768, 41.0%), 3748 (3748/9768, 38.4%), and 2017 (2017/9768, 20.6%) were normal weight, overweight, and obese, respectively. During the mean follow-up time of 1085 days, the mean weight change was -0.59 kg, and the mean percentage of days with a self-weigh was 39.98%, which equals 2.8 self-weighs per week. The percentage of self-weighing days correlated inversely with weight change, r=-0.111 (P<.001). Among normal weight, overweight, and obese individuals, the correlations were r=-0.100 (P<.001), r=-0.125 (P<.001), and r=-0.148 (P<.001), respectively. Of all participants, 72.5% (7085/9768) had at least one period of ≥30 days without weight measurements. During the break, weight increased, and weight gains were more pronounced among overweight and obese individuals: 0.58 kg in the normal weight group, 0.93 kg in the overweight group, and 1.37 kg in the obese group (P<.001). Conclusions: Frequent self-weighing was associated with favorable weight loss outcomes also in an uncontrolled, free-living setting, regardless of specific weight loss interventions. The beneficial associations of regular self-weighing were more pronounced for overweight or obese individuals.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere25529
    JournalJournal of Medical Internet Research
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • Normal weight
    • Obese
    • Overweight
    • Self-monitoring
    • Self-weighing
    • Temporal weight change
    • Weight change
    • Weight loss


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