A group of 85 Hunter men have shed the equivalent of 40 cartons of beer as part of a world-first weight-loss program.

Conducted by researchers at the University of Newcastle, the internationally recognised SHED-IT (Self-Help, Exercise and Diet using Information Technology) program motivates men to lose weight using a range of resources including the

internet, a DVD and printed material, without requiring any

face-to-face contact.

As a result, the Hunter men have lost a total of 438 kilograms.

Researchers are now calling for another 200 men to take part in the next round of the SHED-IT Program, which also includes the SHED-IT Weight Loss Maintenance Program.

Chief investigator Professor Philip Morgan said the first

community-wide SHED-IT Program was a great success with

participants – who were compliant in all aspects of the program – each losing an average of 9.2kg.

“Men reduced their waist size, body fat mass and blood pressure and increased their daily activity levels. The men also reported improvements in their sexual functions and quality of life,” Professor Morgan said.

Eighty-five per cent of participants in the first round reported that the program gave them the skills needed to lose weight.

“The SHED-IT Program is

tailored for men and has been designed based on the physiology and psychology of blokes. We give them the facts and skills needed to lose weight without having to give up any of life’s

luxuries [such as beer],” Professor Morgan said.

“To tackle the challenges of gradual weight gain, an additional phase of the program has been added to teach men how to keep the weight off for good.”

About 70 per cent of Hunter men are overweight or obese, which increases their risk of developing a range of health problems including heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and some cancers.

Researchers are calling for men between the ages of 18 and 65 who 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,

scheduled to begin next month.

For more information phone Myles Young on 4921 6096 or email [email protected]

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