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GPs urged to set patients daily goals to increase weight loss

GPs should advise obese patients to set daily targets and weigh themselves twice a day if they want to lose weight, say researchers.

The Japanese study recruited 60 adults with a BMI greater than 24kg/m2 and randomly assigned them to either weigh themselves once or twice a day for 12 weeks.

The second group also set daily targets to lose weight, and the difference between the measured weight and the target weight at the end of each day.

They found the average weight reduction in the group that weighed themselves once a day was 1.4kg, compared with 2.1kg in the twice-a-day group.

Also, more patients lost more than or equal to 5% of their pre-programme weight in the twice-a-day group, compared with the once-a-day group, with figures of 28.6% and 3.6% respectively.

Study leader Dr Yoshitake Oshima, a researcher in health management at the University of Marketing and Distribution Sciences in Japan, said: ‘This study has important implications from a public health perspective because self-weighing is a simple self-monitoring method that can be used by anyone.'

Obesity Research Clinical Practice 2012, online 14 March