Fast Track compares the effect of two different eating plans on health, psychological well being and eating behaviours in young people. We do not know which plan is the most successful at reducing weight and improving health. This is what we want to find out.

We also want to understand whether these eating plans are acceptable to young people. We may find that both work well. This is also important so we can offer more choice and help young people with weight concerns in the future.

© Canadian Obesity Network

© Canadian Obesity Network

What will the study involve?

Young people who take part in this study will follow either:

Intermittent Energy Restricted Plan

This means following a very low energy eating plan for 3 days per week, (about ¼ of a teenager’s normal energy needs or 600-700 calories/day), then following a standard healthy eating plan for the remaining 4 days.

Reduced Calorie plan

This is a fairly low energy eating plan with higher fibre foods and is based on the Australian Dietary Guidelines.

The eating plan that everyone will follow will be decided by randomisation. Randomisation is like tossing a coin. It is not possible for young people to choose the plan they will follow.

For both eating plans, a dietitian will provide your teenager with a meal plan, and detailed information and support to help him/her to follow their plan. They will also make sure your teenager’s nutritional needs are met during the study.

There are three parts to Fast Track:

Phase 1: Everybody will follow a Very Low Energy Diet to kick-start weight loss for the first 4 weeks. This involves having 3-4 meal replacements, such as shakes, soups or bars, and a small meal every day. Meal replacements will be provided free of charge.

Phase 2: Your teenager will follow either the Intermittent Energy Restricted plan or the Reduced Calorie plan with help from the dietitian.

Phase 3: Everyone will continue to follow their plans with support from the dietitian. 

© World Obesity

© World Obesity

Visiting the study center

During the study, you will need to come with your teenager to meet the dietitian 10-13 times, as well as other health professionals.  This will happen at one of the study locations in Westmead in Sydney or Clayton in Melbourne. Some of these meetings may also be done by Skype, Facetime or on the phone.

Extra support will also be provided to your teenager by his/her choice of SMS text message, email, phone calls and the use of private Facebook groups (optional) to help them follow the eating plan.

Are there any benefits for my teenager participating in the study?

The support your teenager receives from the dietitian and other health professionals may help him/her manage their weight. It is also possible that as a result of following the plan and losing weight, your teenager’s risk factors for heart disease and diabetes will improve.

To see if your teenager could take part in this study, complete this eligibility check.

To find out more information about this study contact us by submitting the form below.