Researchers at the University of Newcastle are launching a new internet-based weight loss program for men in the Hunter region.
Chief Investigator, Dr Philip Morgan, said the SHED-IT program, or Self Help, Exercise and Diet using Information Technology program, is a new and innovative way to deliver a weight loss program.
"Men are more likely to be overweight or obese in the Hunter region at every age group, and the prevalence of obesity is higher than the state average," Dr Morgan said.
"Our aim with SHED-IT is to help men discover how making small adjustments to their food habits and their physical activity can make a big impact on their waist, their health and study that incorporates online weight monitoring with a behaviour therapy approach using regular email contact and individual feedback to participants," he said.
"It will minimise the burden on individuals to attend group sessions, it allows a degree of anonymity, and provides support through the use of bulletin boards and chat rooms."
Dr Morgan said men in the Hunter region were specifically being targeted, and he was hoping to recruit male members of the University of Newcastle community in the first instance. The trial will be rolled out across the Hunter next year.
"The idea of the study is for men to learn that making positive changes to their daily food and exercise habits means they can still have a beer, and other things they enjoy, while getting their weight under control," he said.
"The results of this study will determine whether the internet is a viable mode for the delivery of behavioural weight loss programs. If it does, it may be a program that can be rolled out nationwide."
Male students and staff from the University of Newcastle aged between 18 and 60 who are overweight can register to take part by contacting Philip Morgan.