Participants sought for weight-loss study

A meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. Monday at the Fairfield Public Library for people interested in joining a weight loss study.

The study would last three months and require participants to exercise twice a week for 40 minutes and replace two meals per day with low glycemic meal replacement shakes and bars. Participants would bear these costs on their own. The study was designed by Fairfield resident Bob Ferguson and Jefferson County Health Center physician Terry Cochran.

The study?s organizers hope at least 40 people register, and said they can accommodate up to 80. Their weight and waste size will be measured before and after the program, and that information will be sent to researchers at Florida State University (though participant names will be withheld). The organizers expect the results from the study to be published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

The study is being modeled after a similar study undertaken at Quincy College in Massachusetts that was published in the Journal of Exercise Physiology in February 2017.

Ferguson said only people whose body mass index is greater than 28 will be accepted into the study. Body mass index is the relationship between a person?s height and their weight to determine if they?re healthy. For instance, a tall person can weigh more than a short person but be just as healthy.

A healthy BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9. According to WebMD, a person with a BMI of 28 means they weigh about 170 pounds if they?re 5-foot-6, 190 pounds at 5-foot-9 or 205 pounds at 6 feet. Ferguson said they only want people with a BMI of at least 28 because they can safely lose 1.5 pounds per week during the study without suffering adverse health effects. The partners of the study include Jefferson County Health Center, Roosevelt Recreation Center, the Forrest C. Shaklee Innovation Center at Shaklee Corporation, and Florida State University.