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A simple scale

New research from the University of Minnesota looked at whether a scale can be a helpful tool in the fight against obesity.

The study found that teens who weighed themselves at least once a week tended to be less heavy and eat a better diet than teens who did not weigh themselves. Many experts feel that self-monitoring such as weighing onesself can help keep everyone honest - kids and adults alike - when it comes to better weight control.

Teenagers struggling with a few extra pounds might get assistance from a simple bathroom scale. According to new research from the University of Minnesota, adolescents who weighed themselves at least once a week had better weight control and healthier habits than those who didn't use the scale as often

Doctors studied 130 teenagers who were moderately overweight and found that those who regularly used a scale weighed an average of 7 pounds less and were less likely to eat junk food or meals with saturated fats. Self-weighers also exercised more and were nearly 5 times as likely to follow a structured diet. Experts say the scale provides valuable feedback to teens, allowing them to make changes in their eating behavior before their clothes get too tight. Past studies have also shown that frequent weighing helps dieters keep the pounds off over the long-term. But some nutrition experts caution parents against making their kids "slaves to the scale" -- weekly or twice weekly weighing provides useful feedback, but more than that could create an unhealthy obsession.

I think there has been some controvery about whether weighing oneself on a regular basis can be harmful too. At what point is a person becoming obsessed with a number on a scale. I think that is a common behavior among people with eating disorders. I think we need to be careful not to help one disease at the cost of introducing another disorder.

There is a news video on this research that can be found at http://www.wdio.com/article/stories/S673916.shtml?cat=10360