Health & Wellbeing

Lifestyle

New CSIRO weight loss tool set to motivate Australians to achieve their New Year’s resolutions

CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, has developed a free, personalised tool to help Australians better understand their diet mindset in 2021, with the aim to help combat motivation slumps in the new year and beyond.

Based on psychology and behavioural science, the new Start Strong Diet Quiz assesses participants’ values and readiness for change and provides a motivational map to guide those seeking to improve their overall health and wellbeing in 2021.

The quiz assesses what motivates the individual to make healthy changes to their lifestyle, including if they are more motivated to change their diet, increase their exercise or monitor their measurements, and provides practical tips based on lifestyle choices, passions and aspirations to help them personalise their weight loss plan.

An analysis of over 11,000 of the newest CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet members found that most people enter the program with high levels of motivation and commitment to lose weight.

Among members, 93 per cent were motivated to lose weight to feel good and improve their quality of life, a close second was health as a driver, with 89 per cent of people motivated by this.

Most people who were classified as obese were motivated to lose weight for their health (92 per cent).

About 41 per cent of this group were motivated by their family, while trigger events such as a wedding or a death motivated 19 per cent, which is almost double the number of people classed as normal weight who were motivated by a trigger event.

Being recommended to lose weight by someone in their lives, such as a doctor was six times more likely to be a reason for people classed as obese.

CSIRO behavioural scientist, Dr Emily Brindal said understanding people’s reasons for starting a formal weight loss program was critical to help them stay committed once the New Year’s resolutions have waned.

“‘New year, new me’ resolutions can often be spur-of-the-moment, and we all know that, despite best intentions, motivation levels often drop as challenges present,” Dr Brindal said.

“The Start Strong Diet Quiz has been developed to help Australians take stock of their mindset, and provide prompts to boost their motivation for diet and exercise, ensuring they can enter their weight loss program with the key information they need when losing weight and improving their health in 2021.”

In addition to the quiz, the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet is launching a Motivators program to join new starters with experienced members to keep them accountable and supported throughout the program.

CSIRO research scientist, Dr Gilly Hendrie, said the program enhancements, coupled with the Motivators program, had been developed to boost the chances of weight loss after a challenging 2020.

“Our research shows that lockdown took its toll on the minds and bodies of Australians,” Dr Hendrie said.

“After such a challenging year, the CSIRO is thrilled to offer Australians science-based tools to help wipe the slate clean and successfully begin – and achieve – their journey to becoming their best selves.”

To take the new CSIRO Start Strong Diet Quiz, click here.

Pre-recorded interview grabs and b-roll with spokespeople and case study available here

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