What are the triggers for people to lose weight, what methods do they use, and how successful are they?
***This project is now complete. Come back soon for an update.***
With more than half the UK population overweight, self-management of weight is the only strategy that can prevent avoidable morbidity and mortality that otherwise might occur. Around 13% of men and 24% of women are trying to lose weight at one time but little is known about the triggers for people to try to lose weight, the variety of methods they use, and how successful they are. Understanding these would help us develop better public policies to support weight loss, help health professionals to aid weight loss more effectively, and lead to effective self-help programmes.
A group of 5-10,000 weight conscious adults will be enrolled and followed via the internet with the aim of better understanding weight loss behaviour. Participation in this group will be made engaging for individuals through regular feedback and communication. Specific research questions will include the natural history of weight change: How does weight change relate to the frequency/duration/type of specific weight management interventions/efforts? What prompts behaviour change, which specific weight loss behaviours are most frequently changed, which are sustained, what effect do they have? How many weight loss attempts are initiated by professionals?
The aim of the project will be to develop interventions to test in future randomised trials to aid self-management of weight loss and to understand how health professionals might best support it.
Project lead: Prof Paul Aveyard