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‘Game of Stones’ study to help men lose weight

26 May 2021

Researchers at the University of Bristol are looking for men to take part in a National Institute for Health Research funded study that uses text messages to help men lose weight and keep it off.

The study is part of a large trial, called ‘Game of Stones’, taking place in Bristol, Glasgow, Belfast and surrounding areas.

Men who take part in the study will receive regular text messages for 12 months and attend a maximum of five appointments over two years.

The aim of the study is to find out if a text messaging service, with or without cash incentives, can help men to lose weight over a year, and keep it off for another year, compared to a waiting list group.

The study will also explore the costs and benefits for men and the NHS, whether the service is as effective for men who are less well off as for men who are well off, and men’s experiences of the service.

Professor Katrina Turner from the Centre for Academic Primary Care, who is leading the Bristol study, said: "Men who want to lose weight may struggle to do so and are less likely to engage with weight loss services. The Game of Stones study has been designed with men, for men who want to lose weight. An early pilot suggests it could help men both lose weight and maintain weight loss." 

Jack Brazier, fieldworker on the trial, said: “We’re excited to be able to welcome men into the full-scale trial. We need around 200 men from Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset to take part and are happy to answer any questions they may have about the study.”

For more information about the study and how to take part:

Further information

About the Centre for Academic Primary Care, University of Bristol
The Centre for Academic Primary Care (CAPC) at the University of Bristol is a leading centre for primary care research in the UK, one of nine forming the NIHR School for Primary Care Research. It sits within Bristol Medical School, an internationally recognised centre of excellence for population health research and teaching. Follow us on Twitter: @capcbristol.

About the National Institute for Health Research
The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is the nation's largest funder of health and care research. The NIHR:

  • funds, supports and delivers high quality research that benefits the NHS, public health and social care
  • engages and involves patients, carers and the public in order to improve the reach, quality and impact of research
  • attracts, trains and supports the best researchers to tackle the complex health and care challenges of the future
  • invests in world-class infrastructure and a skilled delivery workforce to translate discoveries into improved treatments and services
  • partners with other public funders, charities and industry to maximise the value of research to patients and the economy.

The NIHR was established in 2006 to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research, and is funded by the Department of Health and Social Care. In addition to its national role, the NIHR supports applied health research for the direct and primary benefit of people in low- and middle-income countries, using UK aid from the UK government.

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