Researchers looking for locals to lose weight

A group of researchers from the University of Newcastle (UON) are looking for Port Stephens locals to participate in a new weight loss study called ‘Move, Eat & Sleep’.

Up to two-thirds of Australian adults are overweight or obese, leaving them at risk of premature death or poor health. Excess weight can also lead to increased risk of developing diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers.

However, the good news is that a relatively small weight loss, as little as three kilograms, can reduce the risk of developing chronic health conditions. While we know about the impact of diet and exercise on weight, the impact of sleep quality and weight is a new area that the team is keen to explore. There is increasing scientific evidence that there is a link between obesity and poor sleep health said study lead, Associate Professor Mitch Duncan.

“Studies have shown poor sleep health significantly reduces the amount of weight loss achieved in physical activity and weight-loss programs, yet it’s unknown if improving sleep health, in combination with physical activity and diet, can provide a greater weight reduction.”

The Move, Eat & Sleep study being conducted at UON will provide participants with strategies and resources to help them improve their physical activity and eating behaviours, and for some participants their sleep habits as well.

Using their smartphone or tablet, a specially developed app and an activity tracker - participants will be able to monitor and make improvements to their health behaviours, to help them lose weight. Participants will also receive personalised dietary counselling on the changes they can make to help with weight loss.

The team is looking for men and women aged between 18 and 65, living in the Port Stephens/Hunter region who are overweight, and interested in losing weight.

This 12-month study will explore the effectiveness of improving diet and physical activity behaviours, compared to improving diet, physical activity and sleep behaviours.

Participants are required to attend the UON Callaghan campus four times over the year for assessment. For more information about participating in the study please email  moveeatsleep@newcastle.edu.au or call (02) 4921 8681. An information statement about the study is also available at www.tinyurl.com/MoveEatSleep where you can also register your interest.