Self-regulation strategies can prevent weight gain in young adults

A new study has identified 2 self-regulation strategies that prevent weight gain amongst young adults. By teaching participants to weigh themselves every day and  use that information to maintain a healthy weight or implement behaviour changes, it was shown that weight gain could be prevented. The findings of this study have been published online ahead of print in JAMA Internal Medicine. A total of 599 participants, aged 18-35 took part in this study, of which half were of normal weight, while the others were overweight. They were then split into 3 groups. One group that were taught behavioural and lifestyle changes to prevent weight gain, a second group that focused on a large initial 5-10 pound weight loss to buffer any weight gain, and a control group that received no intervention.

The 2 self-regulation groups both showed reduced weight gain after a 3 year follow-up period. The ‘initial weight loss’ group showed an overall weight loss over this period. The study showed that frequent weighing and either initial weight loss or smaller daily interventions are useful tools in preventing weight gain. The researchers themselves are hoping that the new self-regulation approaches will be taken notice of as they are both cost-effective and easy to carry out for young adults.


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