Photo: Rohan Ballon at Community and Allied Health in Roma.

A healthy lifestyle program is being offered in Roma again this year following the success of
previous programs in 2017.

South West Hospital and Health Service Roma-based community nutritionist Rohan Ballon said
the next round of SHAPE Shifters sessions would start on Wednesday, 1 August.

SHAPE Shifters is an eight-week program designed to help people develop healthy lifestyle
habits that will last them for life. The program is free to anyone over 18.

This year’s SHAPE Shifters program will be held at the Nuriyn Centre at Roma Hospital from 6
pm to 7.30 pm on each Wednesday of the eight weeks.

“As our three previous programs in Roma last year were successful, we decided to offer
residents another chance to get involved and learn how to develop healthier lifestyle habits,’’ Mr
Ballon said.

Mr Ballon said the SHAPE Shifters program focussed on building lifelong skills in four key
aspects of health – behaviour, nutrition, physical activity and mental health.

“Small, consistent change is the best way for people to make serious, long-term changes to
their health,’’ he said.

“Scientific research has found that extreme dieting and fast weight loss, for the most-part,
actually lead to long-term weight gain.

“SHAPE Shifters offers an alternative to this as the program uses a sustainable approach to
achieving good health.

“Workshop topics include how to be ‘supermarket savvy’, ‘healthy mind, healthy body’ and ‘why
we eat more than we think’.

“The program also allows you to be part of a group of people sharing the same health goals and
motivating each other to move forward.’’

Mr Ballon said 26 people had completed the SHAPE Shifters programs in Roma last year.

“An evaluation of the programs shows that participants successfully achieved positive behaviour
change, associated with reduced chronic disease risk, such as increased consumption of fruit
and vegetables and increase minutes of exercise,’’ he said.

“At the start of the eight-week program, participants last year were consuming on average just
1.6 serves of fruit a day, which was below the recommended daily serve of two.

“By the end of the eight-week program, the average daily consumption of fruit had increased to
2.1 serves.

“Similarly, the daily consumption of vegetables increased from 3.4 serves at the start of the
program to 3.8 serves at the end, which was a positive result though still below the
recommended daily intake of five serves of vegetables.’’

Mr Ballon said participants in the programs last year had increased their average minutes of
exercise per week from 127 at the beginning of the program to 225 minutes by the end.

“On average, participants also recorded a 2.1 per cent decrease in their waist circumference,’’
he said.

“Overall, last year’s program successfully created very positive behaviour changes and we
expect similar results from this year’s program.’’

• To register your interest in the program, call Rohan Ballon at Community and
Allied Health in Roma on 4624 2917 or email: Rohan.Ballon@health.qld.gov.au

ENDS

For further information contact:
James Guthrie
Principal Media Officer, Rural and Remote Qld
Media and Communication
Department of Health
(07) 3708 5379
Jim.Guthrie@health.qld.gov.au