Sure, maintaining a healthy weight is important. But it turns out that stepping on the scale as part of your strategy could actually backfire.
That's what researchers at Cornell University discovered when they followed 2,000 teenage boys and girls over 10 years. In a new study published this week, they reveal that participants who frequently weighed themselves reported lower self-esteem, more body issues and greater rates of depression.
The correlation was found to be true in both genders, but girls experienced significantly more negative effects on their self-esteem levels.
In other words, routinely tracking your number could sometimes do more harm than good. "Self-weighing may not be an innocuous behavior for young people, particularly women," the researchers wrote.
Of course, obesity in teens is a major public health concern. But the study authors note that it's also important that health professionals, ahem, weigh the benefits of stepping on the scale with the possible harm.
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