Study seeks young, overweight women

Tuesday, 13 February 2007

Young, overweight women are needed for a CSIRO and University of Adelaide study to help them lose weight using a combination of medication, exercise, diet and Internet support.

Up to 150 women aged between 18 and 35 are required for the 12-month trial conducted by the University's Research Centre for Reproductive Health (RCRH) and Associate Professor Manny Noakes, the co-author of the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet book series.

The clinical trial is investigating the weight-reducing potential of Metformin, an approved medication which improves insulin sensitivity and has resulted in weight loss in some individuals, including women who suffer from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.

Three approaches will be used in the study: the use of medication, a lifestyle program which includes diet and exercise, and continual online support for the women via a website.

One third of the study participants will take Metformin, one third will take a placebo and the remainder will be supported by the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet for the first 12 weeks. After that, all participants will receive online support for nine months via a specific website.

Lead researcher Dr Manny Noakes says that an estimated 60% of adults in Australia are overweight or obese, with 41% of women experiencing significant weight gain in their mid to late twenties.

"Weight loss can lead to improvement not just in appearance, but overall wellbeing, including physical and mental health," Dr Noakes says.

Professor Rob Norman, RCRH Director, says women who are overweight or obese often experience fertility problems, more menstrual irregularities, metabolic and psychological effects and are more likely to have obese children.

Physiology PhD student Siew Lim is conducting the trial under the supervision of Dr Noakes and Professor Rob Norman.

The first cohort of women is required to start in March. Participants need to be overweight or obese, aged between 18 and 35 and generally healthy (i.e. no known cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, etc), although women suffering from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome are welcome to volunteer.

To register, go to


Contact Details

Siew Lim
School of Molecular and Biomedical Science
University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 8901
Mobile: 0431 472 530

Mr David Ellis
Deputy Director, Media and Corporate Relations
External Relations
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5414
Mobile: +61 (0)421 612 762