Our new smartphone apps could be the key to successful weight loss management. Image: iStock.

Our new smartphone apps could be the key to successful weight loss. Image: iStock.


Update: This study has now concluded. If you would like to participate in other clinical trials, register your interest here

How many times have you tried to lose weight, only to be enticed by a delicious calorie-loaded chocolate bar? Well, you’re not alone.

We all know the importance of maintaining a healthy diet, but it’s so easy to get off track without the right support. That’s why our researchers have developed a new set of smartphone apps to help us lose weight and keep it off for good. The apps will coach users through a dedicated meal plan, providing 24/7 advice at the touch of a button.

Of course there are already lots of apps in the weight loss market, but little is known about how effective they are, especially in the long term.

So we’re seeking volunteers in Adelaide to test these babies out. If you’re looking to kick-start a new diet, here’s your chance. You could be the first to try out the new apps while taking part in a 24-week Meal Replacement Program.

“Meal Replacement Programs have been successful for weight loss in clinical trials where support is provided. However, it’s difficult to offer effective support at a larger community level. This research will determine how smartphone technology can be used to support people throughout their weight loss journey”, says Senior Research Dietitian Dr Manny Noakes.

Our apps will provide people with daily reminders and frequent support aimed at maintaining their weight loss program for longer. By providing people with different features within the apps, we can also determine exactly what it is about the apps that might lead to more successful dieting.

To be eligible, all you need is an iPhone and the desire to lose a few kilos. You’ll also need to make some trips to the CSIRO Clinic in Adelaide and be willing to have a few finger pricks to measure your blood lipids and glucose levels. Volunteers must be aged 18 years and over.

The study starts at the beginning of May and places are limited.

For more details or to register, give us a call on 8303 8988 (business hours) or email CRUstudies@csiro.au. What have you got to lose?


  1. How do you know the study will be a true scientific experiment if you are excluding other phone type users or even people who do not have a mobile phone?
    As mentioned previously in comments, I could easily understand that certain demographics may be excluded or over represented, but maybe you have just ignored all that to ensure the budget is spent without having to do the due diligence.

  2. Presumably once the trial is over this would be available to all of Australia? And if successful available on Android? One other question, as this is a meal replacement diet over 24 weeks what is the ongoing guidance after that, as reverting to one’s previous diet would probably result in gaining weight again?

    1. Hi Evira,
      We’re working with a commercial partner on the program so it should become available on the market by early next year. At this stage we’re not sure if the app will be made available on Android devices. Meal replacements are only one component of the overall program, participants are also provided with meal plans and support. It’s expected that after some time participants would exchange the meal replacements with healthy recipes to maintain their current weight.

  3. I got sent an invite for this and sent back all my info, haven’t heard anything since though …

    1. Hi Maysie

      I had a chat with our team in the clinic. They have asked if you could please send through the information again to CRUstudies@csiro.au.

      There may have been an error in receiving your response.

      Many thanks, Andreas

  4. Any chance this may be available to android phone users in the future? I am very interested, but refuse to be a slave to apple inc.

    1. Hi Andrea,
      If it proves to be effective this could be a possibility down the track. But at the moment, we’re just testing it out on iPhones. We’ll keep you posted on the results!

  5. I am 37 year old and eager to loose some weight.

    1. Hi Kuwar,
      That’s great to hear. If you’re interested in taking part, give us a call on 8303 8988 or flick through an email to CRUstudies@csiro.au.

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