In a talk entitled: The Great Weight Debate which will take place on Tuesday 21 October at 8.15pm at the University's Health and Human Sciences Research Institute Showcase, Professor Julia Buckroyd, Director of the University's Obesity and Eating Disorders Research Unit and Professor Ben Fletcher, Head of the School of Psychology will outline why they believe current approaches to obesity have failed to address the problem and they will propose a three-tiered approach which they have proved enables individuals to lose weight and maintain it.
The first tier of their approach to obesity involves providing individuals with standard guidelines on diet, exercise and behaviour management.
According to Professor Fletcher, these methods alone will not work which is why he has developed a second tier which he calls the Do Something Different (DSD) approach, based on FIT Science – a new technique for facilitating change. In his talk, he will illustrate how the DSD approach has worked with over 1,000 adults, and he will reveal brand new research findings that show that 75 percent of a sample of adolescent girls showed a reduced Body Mass Index (BMI) in the first trial of its kind to see if BMI and behavioural flexibility were linked.
“My research findings have shown that BMI is related to how flexible people are in the way they behave,’ said Professor Fletcher. ‘I will report some new research findings which prove that the same is true for children and I will illustrate how our DSD programme, which helps individuals to break their habitual patterns of thinking and behaviour, has helped adults and adolescent girls to lose weight. For the children it was the only approach that worked for 75 percent of them – much better than the 25 percent of those who are helped by diet and exercise alone.’
Both academics agree that most people who are obese will recover successfully through the second tier, but they acknowledge that a third tier is needed for individuals who need a deeper level of attention to their emotions if they are to lose weight and maintain it. This is an area in which Professor Buckroyd specialises. She works with groups of women to help them to understand their eating and why they use food to manage their emotional lives. She then helps them develop different strategies for managing their emotions so that they can let go of their use of food. Her approach is based on research and has been adopted for an obesity service in Milton Keynes which is currently being tested
The Great Weight Debate will take place in Room N106 at the University of Hertfordshire’s de Havilland Campus at 8.15pm on Tuesday 21 October 2008.
It is part of the University’s Health and Human Sciences Research Institute Showcase which will be held at the de Havilland Campus from 21-24 October. For further information, please visit: the Showcase website at: www.healthshowcase.co.uk
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