Help to stay in shape for Port Fairy, Koroit women

PORT Fairy and Koroit women are wanted for a Monash University research project that aims to help young rural women from gaining excessive weight.

Project director Cate Lombard said the research project was country focused because studies had found women in rural areas gained more weight than those in metropolitan areas.

Dr Lombard said the project did not ask women to follow a strict diet or exercise plan because it wanted them to decide themselves.

“We are not telling them what to eat and what they should do,” she said. “Everyone already knows that. We are out to apply that knowledge to their lives.

“We know women are trying hard to lose weight, or to maintain a steady weight, but whatever they are currently doing isn’t working.  They need more support. 

“Our research found that you can’t just give women a few brochures about diet and exercise and expect them to do it themselves.”

The aim of the research is to learn about how women in small communities gain weight and develop a low-cost program that helps them stop doing so. Dr Lombard said women aged in their 20s and 30s were gaining weight faster than other age groups and were unaware their yearly weight gain was having a major impact on their health.

She said the focus on weight prevention should start in teenage years and continue through pregnancy, motherhood and menopause, which were high-risk times for weight gain. 

People interested in taking part in the program can email med-healthylifestyle@monash.edu or text their name and phone number to 0434 359 327.

ehimmelreich@standard.fairfax.com.au

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