In what might be the best news ever, new research shows that we should stop weighing ourselves completely if we want to feel healthy.
Published online in the Journal of Nutrition, Education and Behaviour, the study tracked how often participants (both male and female) weighed themselves over a ten-year period and compared it to their feelings afterwards, with particular attention paid to depression and self-esteem.
The results were pretty shocking. As expected, those who were more concerned about their appearance were also more likely to get on the scales on a regular basis. But for the women involved, it went one step further – the more they weighed themselves, the lower their self-esteem and more depressed they felt.
Bearing in mind the inhumanely perfect bodies plastered all over the web (Victoria’s Secret, anyone?!) it’s not hard to see why, although apparently it’s not all bad.
While other unhealthy weight habits including skipping meals or making yourself sick are things that are usually kept tightly under wraps, weighing yourself is something people are willing to talk about more openly.
The study adds: “Adolescents or young adults may feel more comfortable reporting to their primary care provider information about how often they weigh themselves, compared with discussing how depressed they feel or responding to questions about self-esteem.”
So, while depression may not be an easy concept to discuss, weighing habits could be a good indicator (and a lot easier to bring up in conversation!).
Easy to talk about or not, if depression and low self-esteem isn’t enough to convince you to hang up your scales for good, we don’t know what is..