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Testing an online program to reduce cardiovascular risk in overweight and obese men with depression

Dr Myles Young, Institution: The University of Newcastle

2017 Postdoctoral Fellowship

Years funded: 2018-2020


Obesity and depression are two of the largest contributors to heart disease in men.

Currently, 70% of Australian men are overweight or obese. Approximately 20% of these men also experience depression.

In addition to the negative psychological and social consequences of these conditions (e.g., reduced quality of life, increased anxiety), men with obesity or depression are much more likely than those without to suffer a heart attack or stroke.

These risks are even greater for men living with both conditions. Although both conditions affect men and women, men are much less likely to seek help for either.

Promising evidence suggests that behaviour-change programs can be used to treat both obesity and depression. However, the effectiveness of these programs for men is unclear as previous studies have mostly targeted women.

This will be the first study internationally to evaluate the effect of a gender-tailored weight loss program designed specifically for overweight/obese men with depression.

The study will build on our previous research showing that men are much more likely to participate in programs that are specifically designed for them.

SHED-IT: Recharge will be a self-directed, e-health program that includes evidence-based education and strategies to help men lose weight, manage their mood and improve their health behaviours. In turn, these changes will greatly reduce their risk of heart disease.

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