Weight loss challenge gets measured up

Woman running in the countryside
A marketing conference, hosted by Griffith University, will throw new light on the success of weight loss programs.

It’s the weight loss program with the public profile but it’s also the weight loss program that works.

A Griffith University researcher will demonstrate the successful effects of the renowned Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation challenge on day one of a major marketing conference in Brisbane on Monday.

Dr Joy Parkinson from Social Marketing @ Griffith has evaluated the high profile program since May. Working with the Michelle Bridges’ team she had access to participants across two rounds of the program. Preliminary findings will be unveiled at the annual Australian and New Zealand Marketing Academy Conference (ANZMAC).

“We found significant differences in terms of weight loss among participants in the Michelle Bridges 12WBT compared with a control group which was required to have a weight management goal, but not required to participate in a program,” Dr Parkinson said. “Our findings in relation to the benefits of home-prepared meals are also significant.

“The program seeks to empower people who want to lose weight by changing their behaviour. This is very much in line with social marketing which involves the use of commercial marketing techniques to influence behaviours to benefit communities and individuals.”

Social marketing is but one of the marketing strands that will be covered by an extensive ANZMAC Agents of Change program. The conference is hosted this year by Griffith University.

Across three days, more than 500 delegates from 31 different countries will consider latest research findings and their impacts around areas like health, equality and business.

Papers will consider the representation of females in sports advertising, the promotion of alcohol through mobile phone apps, the effect of humour in the service industry and the use of condoms by adults aged 50 and over. How banks can use social media to gain value will be explored, as will the role of social media in marketing a business and whether using Facebook actually leads to a purchase.

The role of marketing will also be analysed in relation to what you put on your plate in a buffet-style cafeteria, consumer perceptions of green products and smoking in movies. The digital habits of Gen Y students and the question of how a generation of young Australians can be persuaded to put an end to skin cancer will also be up for discussion.

“The eclectic mix of important issues demonstrates the continued influence of marketing in modern society,” Professor Sharyn Rundle-Thiele, Director, Social Marketing @ Griffith, said. “It also allows us to consider the important and increasingly effective role that marketing can play in changing behaviours for the better.”

The ANZMAC Agents of Change conference opens at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre at 9am on Monday where keynote speaker Professor Gerard Hastings will discuss Moving Beyond Behaviour Change: a 21st Century Agenda for Social Marketing.

Delegates will then relocate to the nearby South Bank campus for the remainder of the 3 day conference program.

Full program here.