The CSIRO Preventative Health Flagship is calling for volunteers to try out a pilot ‘online social network’ in which they get access to free diet and health information, recipes and chat sessions.
CSIRO is asking participants to sign up for 12 weeks, starting in early August.
CSIRO ICT research scientist Dr Shlomo Berkovsky said the trial aims to understand how online tools, such as discussion groups and chat sessions, can play a role in providing social support to dieters.
“People who diet with their families and friends tend to lose more weight,” Dr Berkovsky said.
“We want to see if we can create an online support system by putting you in touch with other people who are going on the same journey.”
The online diet program will help make meal planning and shopping easier. It learns what you like to eat, what you have or haven’t eaten recently and suggests recipes for you to try. It will also create a shopping list based on your meal plans.
Participants must be over 18, be overweight or obese and have regular access to an internet-connected computer.
Anyone interested in signing up can do so at: http://www.fhl.csiro.au (from 19 July).
CSIRO adheres to strict privacy guidelines, and personal information collected will not be distributed to any other party and will be used for scientific reasons only.
Dr Berkovsky says the names and other details given by participants will never be disclosed, and they are free to withdraw from the program at any time, with CSIRO deleting all personal information.