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Long‐term Self‐monitoring of Weight: A Case Study

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Abstract:

The aim of this study was to examine the self-monitoring of weight on a daily basis over a long period of time in order to understand the process of weight regain. An obese female client measured her weight every morning over a period of 10 years. The subject made a total of 2081 weight measurements. Thus, her weight was measured on 67% of all possible days. After the initial weight loss a pattern of gradual weight gain was observed. The subject gained weight during August and September, and at the end of December, in particular. Furthermore, her weight increased slightly at the weekends. This case study highlights the advantage of self-monitoring of weight on a daily basis. Individual patterns of weight change possibly associated with season and weekly variation may be crucial when obese subjects try to maintain their weight after weight loss. However, it may take several months or even years to detect the weekly and yearly rhythms or other patterns in the data. Thus, self-control of weight is problematic, since patterns in the weight regain process are difficult to detect. This may be one reason why self-control of weight is so difficult.

Keywords: adherence; monitoring; obesity; regain; relapse; self‐monitoring; weight; weight change; weight control; weight maintenance

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/16506070510008452

Affiliations: VTT Information Technology, Tampere, Finland

Publication date: June 1, 2005

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