A world-first weight loss trial for men conducted by researchers at the University of Newcastle is recruiting new participants to take part in the second trial of this life-changing research.
Following the success of the first trial that saw 60 University staff and students not only lose weight, but keep it off, researchers are now calling for another 150 Hunter men to take part in the next trial for the SHED-IT program.
Internationally recognised, SHED-IT (Self-Help, Exercise and Diet using Information Technology) incorporates internet and resource-based programs and motivates men to lose weight through a range of methods including the internet, DVD and other resources.
Chief investigator, Associate Professor Philip Morgan, said the first SHED-IT trial run at the University, was an overwhelming success with participants losing an average of nine kilos and keeping the weight off after 12 months.
"Men improved their cardiovascular health substantially through reduced waist circumference, and experienced dramatic improvements in their blood pressure and resting heart rate," said Associate Professor Morgan.
"The SHED-IT program has been designed based on the physiology and psychology of blokes - we give them the facts about weight loss and skills to lose weight without having to give up any of life's luxuries (such as beer) and does not require attending any face-to-face sessions."
Associate Professor Morgan said 70 per cent of Hunter men were overweight or obese and this increased their risk of developing a range of health problems including heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, lung diseases and some cancers.
"Given the large number of overweight and obese men in Australia, it is vital to develop a weight loss program that is widely accessible, cost effective and has the capacity to engage large numbers of men. The SHED-IT trial demonstrates that men can maintain weight loss simply by following our low-intervention program," he said.
The achievements from the first SHED-IT study were presented at the recent International Obesity Congress in Sweden and have also been published in the leading international Obesity journal.
New participants must be male, aged between 18 and 65 and have a body mass index greater than 25. They must also pass a health screening questionnaire and be able to attend four assessment sessions at the University, set to begin in late August 2010. For more information or to register your interest, telephone Myles Young on 4985 4038 or email email@example.com
Associate Professor Morgan is a member of the Physical Activity and Population Health Education program of the Educational Research Institute Newcastle and is a member of HMRI's Cardiovascular Program. HMRI is a partnership between the University of Newcastle, Hunter New England Health and the community.