Should You Weigh Yourself Regularly?

What You Need to Know: Stepping on the scale is common among dieters but how does the frequency of weigh-ins impact weight? A new study showed that the more frequently dieters weighed themselves the more weight they lost, and if participants went more than a week without weighing themselves, they gained weight.

Background: Stepping on the scale is common among dieters but how does the frequency of weigh-ins impact weight? A new study showed that the more frequently dieters weighed themselves the more weight they lost, and if participants went more than a week without weighing themselves, they gained weight.

The Study: Researchers analyzed 2,838 weight measurements (up to a years’ worth of weigh-ins) from 40 overweight individuals (with a body mass index of 25 and over) who indicated that weight loss was a personal goal or concern. The researchers found that weight loss was related to how often individuals weighed themselves.

“The more often you weigh yourself the more weight you lose,” says to lead author Elina Helander from Tempere University of Technology in Finland.

My Take: This observational study cannot prove causation — it may be that less serious dieters weight themselves less or that dieters who stop losing weight stop weighting themselves. The average time that participants could go between weighting without gaining weight was 5.8 days or about a weekly weigh-in. If you want to lose weight, it may be best to weigh yourself every day. But if you weigh yourself only once a week, do it on Wednesday because that may give you the most accurate reading. I’m Dr. Michael Hunter.

The small print: The material presented herein is informational only, and is not designed to provide specific guidance for an individual. Please check with a valued health care provider with any questions or concerns. As for me, I am a Harvard- , Yale- and UPenn-educated radiation oncologist, and I practice in the Seattle, WA (USA) area. I feel genuinely privileged to be able to share with you. If you enjoyed today’s offering, please consider clicking the follow button at the bottom of this page.

Reference
Elina E. Helander, Anna-Leena Vuorinen, Brian Wansink, Ilkka K. J. Korhonen. Are Breaks in Daily Self-Weighing Associated with Weight Gain? PLoS ONE, 2014; 9 (11): e113164 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0113164

Is High Body Mass Linked to Hearing Loss Among Women?

Overweight obese Latina woman hispanic fat

A high body mass and a large waist are both linked with self-reported hearing loss, according to a new study.

Researchers used data from a 20-year prospective study of over 68,000 women who were 24 to 42 years old at the start. After controlling for age, smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, and other factors, they found that the higher the body mass index (BMI), the greater the risk for hearing loss. 

Compared to women with BMI less than 25, those with a BMI 25-29 had an 8 percent increased risk.

  • For BMI 30-34, the risk increased by 11 percent.
  • For BMI 35-39, the risk increased by 16 percent.
  • For BMI over 40, the risk increased 19 percent.
  • The increasing risk associated with a larger waist followed a similar pattern.
  • Morederate physical activity (as little as 4 hours of walking per week) also reduced the risk of hearing loss, but there was no further advantage with more vigorous exercise.

Obesity might compromise blood flow to the inner ear, and exercise may improve it.Hearing loss may not be an inevitable part of growing older. There may be things we can do to prevent it, offers the lead investigator Dr. Sharon G. Curhan of Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital (Boston, USA).

I’m Dr. Michael Hunter.

The small print: The material presented herein is informational only, and is not designed to provide specific guidance for an individual. Please check with a valued health care provider with any questions or concerns. As for me, I am a Harvard- , Yale- and UPenn-educated radiation oncologist, and I practice in the Seattle, WA (USA) area. I feel genuinely privileged to be able to share with you. If you enjoyed today’s offering, please consider clicking the follow button at the bottom of this page.

Available now: Understand Colon Cancer in 60 Minutes; Understand Brain Glioma in 60 Minutes. Both can be found at the Apple Ibooks store. Coming Soon for iPad:  Understand Breast Cancer in 60 Minutes; Understand Colon Cancer in 60 Minute; Understand Colon Cancer in 60 Minutes; Understand Brain Glioma in 60 Minutes. Thank you.

Reference: Sharon G. Curhan et al. Body Mass Index, Waist Circumference, Physical Activity, and Risk of Hearing Loss in Women. American Journal of Medicine 2013;126(12):1142.