Study reveals the key to three times more weight loss


One of the world’s largest weight loss studies by CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, has found that following a scientifically backed ‘digital diet’ for as little as 12 weeks resulted in clinically significant weight loss.

Almost 60,000 Australians following the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet from 2015 through to 2019 were studied to understand how the scientifically formulated eating plan translated to the digital age. 

Through the study, CSIRO hoped to identify and understand:

  1. Characteristics of members
  2. The weight loss results of members over time
  3. The features of the platform that members used the most
  4. Usage characteristics associated with greater weight loss results

Overall, the focus of the study was weight loss results in members, who those individuals were, what features worked best for them and what made the program successful for the members in it.

The most successful members, who on average lost 21% of their body weight, used the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet digital tools almost 4 times more than those who only lost a small amount of weight. 

The research showed that participants who completed the 12-week online program lost an average of 5.3 percent of their starting weight, which was three times more than participants who started the program but didn’t reach the end.

Members wanted to lose weight primarily for:

  • Health reasons (82.5%), such as advised by a doctor
  • Personal & intrinsic reasons (77.7%), such as feeling good 
Three times more weight loss

Stayers vs Starters

These successful members (Stayers) also tended to use the Total Wellbeing Diet tools the most at almost 4 times the amount of other members. They adopted the platform early using tools such as the diary, menu planner, weigh in feature and others to plan and track their weight loss journey. 

Comparatively, members who did not stick with the diet after beginning (Starters), only lost an average of 1.6kg or 1.7% of their body weight. These members used the digital tools less as well. 

What we can see is individuals involved in the Total Wellbeing Diet who are committed to tracking and measuring their progress weekly, as well as sticking to their diet and menu plan long term achieve the largest weight loss results. 

Super Star

The weight-loss effect gets compounded over time as the highest achieving group (Super Star) lost at least 15% of their body weight throughout the course of their diet. The average weight lost among these members was 21.7kg or 21% of their starting body weight. These members also had a membership duration of 177 days, which was longer than any other group.

Overall, it appears that the more members used the platform, the more weight they lost on the program. These members responded well to using digital tools to track and manage their diet and health journey, and they engaged over time more so than other members. And their weight loss showed! 

The CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet is a digital platform with tools, information and support to help our members get the most out of their weight loss. The study showed members who use the resources find changed in their health and wellness that affect their lives in many ways. 

If you would like to check out the research study for yourself, you can links here:

Otherwise, check out some of the success stories from members such as Terry, who lost over 50% of his body weight and achieved Super Star status!

Citation: Hendrie, GA., Baird DL., Williams G. Evaluation of the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet Online: Highlights report. Understanding the reach, effectiveness and predictors of weight loss using 5 years of member data. CSIRO 2020.

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