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J Nutr Educ Behav. 2005 Nov-Dec;37(6):315-8.

Monitoring of weight in weight loss programs: a double-edged sword?

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Body size feedback is commonly provided to clients in weight loss programs. The attention focused on one's current, and presumably undesirable, body size can be motivating for those who want to modify a pattern of unhealthful behaviors. For others, this feedback may result in psychological distress and could lead to outcomes that are, in fact, counter to a weight loss strategy, such as attrition from programs, misreporting of dietary intake, and emotional states associated with binge eating. Dietitians and weight loss professionals should provide weight feedback judiciously, especially to vulnerable clients, and perhaps soften the emphasis on body size altogether.

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