What is NULevel?


NULevel is a research project into weight loss maintenance run by Newcastle University, aimed at people who live or work in the North East of England.  Lots of work has gone into helping people lose weight, but not much is known about how to help them keep it off.  In response, we created a new, scientific programme to help people avoid weight regain.  We are looking for people to try it out, in order to see how effective it is. 

What are you trying to find out?

The aim of this study is to see if a new programme for weight loss maintenance can help people in the North East of England to keep the weight off.

Who is taking part?

We have recruited 288 people in the North East of England who have lost at least 5% of their body weight intentionally in the last 12 months, and who started off very overweight (with a BMI of 30 or more - we can check this).  These people are randomly assigned to receive either the new programme OR a less intense means of support.

Is it free?

Yes, taking part is absolutely free. In fact, you will receive £25 worth of vouchers at the beginning of the study and £25 worth at the end of the study (12 months later).  You can also keep the scales we give you.

We will also reimburse you for your travel expenses.  PLEASE NOTE: to take part you need to either live or work in the North East of England.

What happens if I want to take part?

Once you get in touch with us, we will phone or email you to confirm your eligibility. 

If you are eligible, we'll send you some more information about the study.  A friendly member of our research team will then get in touch to arrange to meet with you and answer any remaining questions you have before you formally sign up.

If I sign up, what happens next?

At your meeting with our research team member, they will ask you to complete some questionnaires, and will take some measurements from you.  They will give you a set of state-of-the-art scales to use for the study and keep afterwards.  After this meeting we will ring you to let you know which of the two versions of the study you'll experience: the new programme OR the less intense means of support.

Of course, taking part is voluntary.  If you change your mind and want to stop at any point that's absolutely fine: you don't even have to give a reason.  Your information will be kept securely and anonymised, so it can't be directly linked with your name.   

What if I'm allocated to the new programme?

People who get the new programme will meet up with one of the psychologists for a personalised review session to discuss your goals for your weight, physical activity and eating.  As part of this, we ask you to fill in a 4-day food diary and wear a step-counter for 4 days in the week before your session. 

Please be reassured that we won't try to change what you're doing if you're happy with it - after all, you've successfully lost weight!  We will, however, suggest some extra strategies to monitor goal progress, develop realistic plans for the future and help you avoid relapses.  Alternatively, if you decide you would like advice about any specific aspect of your weight maintenance plans - for example, how to be more active - we can provide that too. 

After the session, we'll ask you to try to weigh yourself every day and to fill in a short diary entry each week using your phone.  This is to help you assess your progress towards your goals.  If you start to re-gain weight, we will provide extra support to help you get back on track.

What if I'm allocated to the less intensive programme?

You will receive useful information about achieving and maintaining a healthy weight via a newsletter sent out to you every few months.  You can use the scales we give you as much or as little as you'd like.

Has the research been approved?

All research led by the University is rigorously reviewed by an independent group of people called a Research Ethics Committee. This study has been reviewed and approved by the East Midlands Research Ethics Committee.

I still have questions ...

Please get in touch and we will help.  Phone Dominika or Alex on 0191 208 7394, email us at: nulevel@newcastle.ac.uk or write to the postal address below.