NORTH East women in their 20s and 30s are at a higher risk of gaining weight and Monash University researchers want women to participate in a free program that aims to stop the bulge.
Melbourne-based Monash University researchers said women in their 20s and 30s were gaining weight faster than other age groups with young women in rural communities at higher risk.
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Lead researcher Dr Cate Lombard said weight crept on after women had children.
“Their level of physical activity drops off and their diet changes,” Dr Lombard said.
The university wants to develop a low-cost program that stops women in rural communities from putting on weight and needs more than 100 women from Mount Beauty, Myrtleford, Bright, Beechworth, Rutherglen and Yarrawonga to help with a study.
Participants would attend one session and some would receive additional contact through a website for up to a year.
After two years, the university would contact all participants to check on their progress.
“We do not ask women to follow a strict diet or strict exercise plan as we want women to decide themselves what was important and possible to change at that time in their lives,” Dr Lombard said.
“Women don’t want to feel pressured to reduce weight. In this program they decide their needs and we support them.”
Monash University PHD student and dietician Samantha Kozica, who was in Beechworth on Monday promoting the study, said North East women were among 900 targeted across Victoria for the study.
“It’s about targeting smaller towns that have less access to services,” Ms Kozica said.
They wanted women to tell them what should be included in the program.
“We’re trying to work out what the towns and community needs to roll it out independently,” she said.
“It’s about how we can turn that research into real life.”
The sessions start in two weeks. For more information and for session times phone (03) 9594 7582, email email@example.com or SMS your name and phone number to 0434 359 327.