Researchers at the University of Newcastle are launching a new weight loss program for young women.

Chief Investigator, Dr Melinda Hutchesson, said Be Positive Be Healthe was developed following consultation with over 500 young women in 2012.

“We know that young women aren’t interested in participating in traditional weight loss programs that are typically delivered face-to-face, in a group-based format,” Dr Hutchesson said.

Be Positive Be Healthe is delivered using information technologies that appeal to young women such as a website, a smartphone application, SMS and email.

”As the program is only for young women it focuses on the food and exercise habits that make it challenging for young women to manage their weight, such as eating-out regularly with friends.   

“Although Be Positive Be Healthe acknowledges the long-term health benefits of improving eating and physical activity behaviours, we know this isn’t a motivator for young women. So instead our focus is on helping young women to improve these behaviours to feel confident and better in themselves.”

Researchers are calling for 30 young women (aged 18 to 30 years) who have a body mass index between 25 and 29.9kg/m2 to take part in the initial pilot of the three-month Be Positive Be Healthe program.  They must be able to attend two assessment sessions at the University in September and December 2013, and have access to the Internet and an iPhone.  For more information please contact Dr Melinda Hutchesson bepositivebehealthe@newcastle.edu.au or 49215405.