Western Sydney University investigates new weight-loss technique

Obesity 

Researchers at Western Sydney University are investigating a new and innovative psychological treatment to help individuals with obesity lose weight.

The researchers are currently looking for study participants to clinically trial the initiative.

Doctor Evelyn Smith, Head of the Eating Disorders and Obesity Psychology Research Clinic (EDOC) at Western Sydney University, says the research is aimed at improving the treatment of obesity in Australia.

"Recent estimates suggest that over half of the Australian population is overweight or obese, and around 80% of people who lose weight by dieting regain the majority of it back after one year," she says.

"Our research is hoping to improve these outcomes by investigating whether the way people process information affects their ability to lose weight."

Dr Smith says the study will ensure each participant is given access to a range of professionals in order to assist with their weight loss.

"In this study participants will have the opportunity to work one on one with a psychologist who will help them to identify and overcome behaviours and thoughts that lead to weight gain, a dietician to support healthy eating, and their GP to monitor biological changes," she says.

"We believe it is this level of support that will provide people with the best opportunity for success."

The trial will involve attending weekly individual sessions with a psychologist over two months, followed by group weight loss sessions once a week for three months.

Participants will need to be aged 18-55 with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or above.

Sessions will be held at the Bankstown campus and treatment is free.

For more information email the research team at:weightlosstrialwsu@gmail.com

This trial is supported by Ramacciotti Australia and Western Sydney University.

The study is being conducted by Dr Evelyn Smith. (Ethics no: H11475)

Ends

13 October 2016

Elliott Richardson - Media Unit