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Eat Smart study offers obesity treatment to young people

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Overweight and obese adolescents aged between 10 and 17 years can take part in a new innovative weight management program being conducted in Brisbane and Ipswich.

The Eat Smart Program is a joint project of the Children’s Nutrition Research Centre, the University of Queensland and the Royal Children’s Hospital.

The study recognises the complex health problems, social and psychological issues associated with childhood obesity. It offers an eight-month program that provides psychology, nutrition and physical activity to educate and support young people and their families to make long term lifestyle changes.

The study includes a novel and important preparatory step called ‘FRIENDS for Life’, which is a life skills and resilience building course, which helps prepare adolescents for lifestyle change and build their self esteem and self confidence.

After completing FRIENDS for Life, participants will then begin a six-month lifestyle program supported by the Eat Smart team.

Dr Helen Truby, of the Children’s Nutrition Research Centre, said 60 percent of the young people referred to Eat Smart already had one or more problems associated with their obesity such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and high insulin levels – all of which increase their risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

“As well as health issues, these young people are often socially isolated and subjected to bullying or teasing which contributes to low self esteem.”

“The aim of the study is to assess the effectiveness of different dietary approaches and gain insight into the attitudes and perceptions of those children affected. The results will provide useful information in helping healthcare professionals provide the right advice and treatment, while hopefully tackling the issues before these young people reach adulthood,” Dr Truby said.

Participants are needed to start the program in Brisbane on Thursday, 29 January 2009 or Saturday, 14 February 2009 and in Ipswich on Thursday, 19 March 2009.

For further information about how to take part in Eat Smart please contact Ms Kim Cojean at the Children’s Nutrition Research Centre on (07) 3365 5476 or email

The study is funded by the National Heart Foundation, the Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation and the University of Queensland.

(Source: University of Queensland: February 2009)

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Posted On: 23 January, 2009
Modified On: 16 January, 2014


Created by: myVMC