News and Research

KicStart™ Research

KicStart™ has been thoroughly tested in a number of independent clinical trials across Australia. The results of these clinical trials have been published in peer reviewed journals and presented at a number of Australian and International medical and scientific conferences.

Read more about the research conducted using KicStart™ in




Type 2 Diabetes - Healthy Weight for Life Summary Results


  • A dramatic 49% reduction in the number of hospital admissions was recorded for people with type 2 diabetes
  • Results show that improvements seen in KicStart VLCD research can be successfully and cost effectively translated into 'real world' practice

The objective of the Type 2 Diabetes Healthy Weight For Life program is to reduce the risk of health complications of diabetes by providing an effective, practical and realistic lifestyle modification program for patients and healthcare professionals. The Healthy Weight for Life program has been designed to translate the results seen during the extensive clinical research using KicStart™ VLCD (Very Low Calorie Diet) into the ‘real world’ setting. A sample of de-identified participants' data was analysed to ascertain whether the program meets these objectives.


The key outcomes of the first 653 HCF members to complete the Healthy Weight For Life program were:

  • 7.4% (7.2 kg) average weight loss
  • 8.8% average reduction in waist circumference
  • 72% increase in members reporting Physical Activity was NOT limited by their health
  • 200% increase in members reporting Very Good or Excellent Health
  • 171% increase in the number of members reporting “A Lot of Energy” most or all of the time
  • Members reporting being “Downhearted or Blue” at least some of the time almost halved
  • A 14% improvement in HbA1c (%); currently the ‘gold standard’ measurement to identify glucose control over time, national guidelines recommend a treatment target for HbA1c of less than 7%. For 80 HCF members with both a pre and post program HbA1c measurement, the average starting HbA1c was 7.3% & post program was 6.3%
  • 49% (statistically significant) reduction in hospital admissions during the year of the program compared to those who did not participate in the program who had a 3% increase (note: the program was and is available to all eligible HCF members with type 2 diabetes).


The HCF Healthy Weight For Life Type 2 Diabetes program has demonstrated that the same significant improvements in clinical indicators for diabetes and cardiovascular disease as were achieved in the KicStart™ VLCD clinical trials can be successfully and cost effectively translated into large scale ‘real world’ practice. These ground breaking results demonstrate for the first time the combination of KicStart™, portion control, online tools and education can produce very significant and meaningful health improvements for people with type 2 diabetes

Current clinical trials underway

A randomised control trial studying the effect of weight loss on severity and symptoms of obstructive sleep apnoea compared to the change in symptoms using Continuous Positive Airways Pressure (CPAP).

Interim results presented at the annual scientific meeting of the Australasian Sleep Association 2008:-

Weight loss is predicted to reduce the Apnoea-Hypopnea Index (AHI = the number of apnoeas or hypopneas per hour of sleep) of patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA). The Wisconsin sleep cohort study found a 1% change in weight was associated with a 3% change in AHI. Therefore a modest weight decrease in patients with moderate OSA can have a substantial effect on severity. This may also have a beneficial effect on the symptoms of OSA.

To date, significant weight loss has been achieved by subjects in the diet group(6%) and the diet with CPAP group (3%).

These preliminary results are from 34 subjects of a trial that ultimately will include 80 subjects therefore the conclusions that can be drawn are limited. The premise, that subjects allocated to the 2 arms of the trial that included diet, would lose weight, was satisfied. The other key result anticipated was the change in AHI with weight. This result was seen when taken over all patients, although the correlation was weak. The changes in baseline to followup in AHI in the control group highlight the fragility of this measurement. Symptoms attributable to mild to moderate OSA were reduced by prescription of weight loss in some patients. The mechanism for this effect is as yet unexplained.

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Does a weight loss program improve fertility rates in in vitro fertilization (IVF)?

Results will be posted as soon as available.

Published results of trials

CSIRO Type 2 Diabetes Study

Wycherley T.P et al
Effect of caloric restriction with and without exercise training on oxidative stress and endothelial function in obese subjects with type 2 diabetes. Diab Obes Met 2008.

The effects of dietary weight loss on endothelial function, particularly when combined with exercise training, is
largely unknown in type 2 diabetes. This study was designed to determine whether aerobic exercise training provided any additional improvements in endothelial function, oxidative stress or other established markers of cardiovascular risk when combined with an energy-restricted diet in patients with type 2 diabetes.

The study subjects were overweight and obese patients with type 2 diabetes who were randomized to a 12-week moderate energy-restricted diet either with or without aerobic exercise training. Body weight, cardiovascular risk markers, malondialdehyde (MDA, oxidative stress marker), 24-h urinary nitrate/nitrite and flow-mediated dilatation (FMD) of the brachial artery were measured pre- and post-intervention.

Both interventions reduced body weight by 8.9% and 8.5% respectively. Significant reductions in
body fat, waist circumference, blood pressure, glycated haemoglobin, glucose, insulin resistance, lipids and MDA and increases in urinary nitrite/nitrate were observed in both groups, however the changes were similar in both treatment groups and FMD did not change.

These results suggest that healthy, calorie reduced diet interventions whether combined with exercise or not can improve glycaemic control, reduce oxidative stress and improve other cardiovascular risk factors, but not necessarily FMD.

 View trial

RAH Heart Health Study

Piantadosi C. et al
Effects of obesity and diet induced weight loss on cardiovascular risk factors, vascular and ventricular structure and function in obese men. Presented to American College of Cardiology 2007.

Excess body weight increases the risk of heart failure. Abdominal obesity, in particular, increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, even after adjusting for other CV risk factors and is also associated with vascular dysfunction.

This study was designed to determine the effect of an aggressive, rapid weight loss on cardiac and vascular and function in obese men on:
Cardiac ventricular function.
Brachial artery flow mediated dilation (FMD).

Forty-eight obese men all completed the study and lost weight (av 13.4kg). The reduction in waist circumference was on average 12.6cm. Over the 8 weeks improvements in cardiac function were seen along with improvements in endothelial function & increased FMD.

In conclusion, significant weight loss in obese males can improve left ventricular systolic and endothelial
function over 8 weeks. The mechanism appears to be independent of changes in blood pressure or metabolic state.

View trial

University of Adelaide Sexual Function Study

Wittert G. et al
Effects of obesity and rapid diet induced weight loss on testicular and erectile function (EF), sexual desire (SD), and lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS). Presented at the European Conference on Obesity 2007.

Abnormalities in sexual and lower urinary tract function in men are rarely included in lists
of obesity related co-morbidities. Previous studies have demonstrated a relationship between
obesity and low plasma androgen levels and erectile dysfunction.

Weight loss intervention studies have been shown to result in improvements in androgen levels, erectile function and lower urinary tract symptoms BUT less is know about the effects of weight loss on sexual desire. It is also not clear whether it is weight loss per se, the improvements in metabolic state and endothelial function, or the overall effects of the lifestyle intervention that are responsible for the improvements in androgen levels, sexual function and lower urinary tract symptoms.

This study aims to determine the effect of obesity and aggressive diet induced weight loss on erectile function, sexual desire and lower urinary tract symptoms.

Thirty four obese men took part in the study. All participants in the study lost weight - an average 13.1kg and the mean reduction in waist circumference was around 14.4cm.

Erectile function improved in 31 out of the 34 participants, and sexual desire and lower urinary tract symptoms improved in all participants.

View trial.


Healthy Weight For Life Newsletter

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