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What is the Loozit® Program?

Loozit® is a community based, group weight management program for overweight and lower grade obesity in adolescents aged 13-16 years. The program was initially developed for the Loozit® randomised controlled trial (RCT). The Loozit® Program is based upon current national healthy eating and physical activity guidelines, and is in keeping with Australian clinical guidelines for the management of overweight and obesity. Loozit® promotes healthy weight, healthy eating, physical activity and increased self-esteem in overweight and obese adolescents.

Loozit® is the first community based, group weight management program designed specifically for adolescents and evaluated in an RCT to be offered in Australia. The program has the potential to make a significant contribution to the health of large numbers of Australian adolescents.

What are the aims of Loozit®?

The Loozit® Program aims to address the complex issue of adolescent overweight and obesity and make a significant contribution to reducing chronic disease risk factors in obese adolescents.

Who can participate in Loozit®?

Adolescents who are overweight or mildly obese and aged between 13-16 years of age (and their parents/guardians) can participate in the Loozit® Program. Loozit® is not suitable for adults or children younger than 13 years.

Who can facilitate the Loozit® Program?

The Loozit® Program was designed for sustainable implementation in community based settings by a range of youth friendly health professionals. Suitable tertiary qualified health professionals include nurses, dietitians, exercise physiologists and psychologists. Prior experience working with adolescents is recommended.

What is involved?

Three levels of the Loozit® Program have been developed, allowing each organisation to tailor the program to their individual requirements. The Loozit® Program encompasses eight face-to-face weekly core sessions, six booster sessions (held twice per school term) and additional therapeutic contact (in the form of telephone coaching and electronic communication) over a twelve month period. While the Loozit® Program primarily targets adolescents, it also involves separate parent group sessions focusing on the support of behavioural change and parental role modelling of healthy lifestyle changes.

All of the Loozit® materials and processes are fully manualised with detailed facilitator protocols in place. A comprehensive facilitator training program is also provided. A licence fee applies for the use of the Loozit® Program.

What was the Loozit® study?

The Loozit® study was conducted between May 2006 and May 2011 with over 150 participants. The RCT was based on an adolescent weight management program that was piloted with 20 adolescents in 2005. The RCT was designed to evaluate new ways of communicating with adolescents in the Loozit® Program. This was the first adolescent weight management program to provide and evaluate the effect of on-going support from group leaders to adolescents in the form of telephone coaching and regular emails and/or SMS messages.

Loozit® RCT results show reductions in level of overweight and improvements in psychosocial measures at 2 and 12 months post-baseline. Statistically significant reductions in mean BMI (0.27kg/m2), waist-to-height-ratio (0.02), total cholesterol (0.14mmol/L) and low density lipoprotein cholesterol (0.12mmol/L) were shown at 2 months post-baseline. In addition, improvements were shown in all psychosocial measures and most dietary intake measures. Television viewing time and time spent in sedentary activities decreased. At 12 months there were significant reductions in mean BMI z-score (0.10), waist-to-height ratio (0.02), total cholesterol (0.21mmol/L) and triglycerides (0.13mmol/L), in addition to improved psychosocial outcomes.

For more information about the study, please refer to the following published articles:

What do adolescents have to say about Loozit®?

Learn how to Loozit: The surprising bonus when Robert decided to Adobe PDF Document as seen in the Parramatta Advertiser, written by Di Bartok.

Better field yields benefits Adobe PDF Document as seen in the Northern News, written by Helen Gregory, photograph by Michael Szabath.

Fat chance is wholly converted Adobe PDF Document as seen in the Hills News, written by Helen Gregory.

Loozers shed weight and gain confidence Adobe PDF Document as seen in the Northern District Times, written by Melissa Davey, photograph by Brent McGilvary.

Megan lunges into Loozit Adobe PDF Document as seen in the Parramatta Sun, written by Natalie Oliveri, photograph by Wolter Peeters.

Loozit® program shows results for teens Adobe PDF Document - as seen in the Sydney Morning Herald, written by Louise Hall, photograph by Edwina Pickles.

Join Loozit® to lose it Adobe PDF Document - as seen in the Parramatta Sun, written by Natalie Oliveri, picture by Natalie Spiteri

Weight loss plan boosts teen's sex appeal Adobe PDF Document - as seen in the Sydney Morning Herald, written by Natasha Wallace, photograph by Jon Reid

Loozit's a winner Adobe PDF Document - as seen in the Parramatta Sun, written by Natalie Oliveri, photograph by Wesley Lonergan.

Hack: Young and Overweight - as seen on Triple J TV, interview by Ronan Sharkey.

A breath of fresh air Adobe PDF Document - as seen in the Sydney Morning Herald Essentials section, written by Paula Goodyer, photographs by Quentin Jones and Domino Postiglione.

Obesity can be beaten Adobe PDF Document - as seen in the Parramatta Sun, written by Natalie Oliveri, photograph by Natalie Spiteri.

Free program fills students in on healthy choices Adobe PDF Document - as seen in the Hills Shire Times photograph by Brad Hunter.

Weight Problems Tackled Adobe PDF Document - as seen in Hills News, written by Clare Bruce, photograph by Natalie Spiteri.

Sharing the problem of shedding weight Adobe PDF Document - as seen in the Daily Telegraph, written by Catherine Nikas-Boulos, photographs by Bob Barker.

Frequently asked questions

How did the name Loozit® evolve?

The adolescents who participated in the pilot study came up with the name Loozit®. We then conducted a survey with a larger group of adolescents to determine whether they liked the name or whether they would like to suggest another name for the program. The name Loozit® was favoured by the majority surveyed.

What is the significance of the logo?

The green colour was chosen because it symbolises adolescents and health. The orange colour symbolises fun and energy. The 'i' represents the adolescent enjoying and being victorious in living a healthy active lifestyle.

How is the Loozit® program different from other programs?

Loozit® is different from other weight management programs as it has been specifically designed with adolescents in mind. The program has been developed to be run in the community, in adolescent friendly facilities.

When the program was initially piloted in 2005, focus groups were held so that the adolescents and their parents could comment on what they liked, what they did not like and ways the program could be improved. These suggestions, as well as those from RCT participants were incorporated into the current program. Loozit® is novel as it includes evaluations of the program by the adolescents themselves.

The program involves both adolescents and their parents. By doing this, families can support the adolescent through their Loozit® journey and make changes together.

Want to know more?

For further information or to enquire about running the Loozit® Program in your local area, please complete the online enquiry form.

This study has been approved by the ethics committees of The Children's Hospital at Westmead, Sydney South West Area Health Service, Sydney West Area Health Service and Northern Sydney Central Coast Area Health Service.

This document was updated on Thursday, 12 April 2012.

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