Sydney, June 16 : The new "Loozit" weight loss program at Sydney community health centres will not only make you look sexier with that receding waistline, but will ensure that you even feel sexier at the same time.
A large number of overweight and obese teenagers have reported that they feel sexier and more confident after participating in "Loozit" programme.
An analysis of the "Loozit" program by obesity experts has revealed that it showed a considerable improvement in self-esteem for participants belonging to age-group of 13-16 years.
According to the study, all but two of the 22 adolescents completed the pilot program in 2005 - the other two were unable to make it to the last session.
"There were significant increases in the scores for physical appearance and romantic appeal by the end of the five-month program," The Sydney Morning Herald quoted the evaluation, as saying.
While researchers had earlier raised concerns over the negative impact on self-esteem due to weight loss programs, but the parents have claimed that their children were making healthier food choices and increasing physical activity.
Under the programme, the adolescents attended weekly group sessions for four weeks and then another session at two, four and five months, with goals that include eating together as a family, having water as the main beverage, eating increased fruit and vegetables, increasing physical activity to an hour a day and reducing time spent watching TV or using a computer.
All the teenagers participated in group discussions, games and cooking lessons under the programme, which is the first weight management program that took into account adolescents in evaluating the program and their feedback - such as weekly sessions, sessions for parents and booster sessions for up to two years.
According to a participant, Josh Hamm, 15, of Londonderry, who has just finished the program after two years, said that he felt fitter and happier and is doing his Duke of Edinburgh Award, which included a recent three-day hike in the Blue Mountains.
"The great thing about the program is that it's a round table with a bunch of teenagers with one person [health professional] so we just sat there and talked ... It didn't feel like a weight loss program," he said.
The study is published in the journal Nutrition and Dietetics.