The Ms. FIT study is looking for women who are not currently physical active to participate in different forms of exercise with instructor support with or without a diet program with dietitian support for 6 months. This study is being federally funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. The study is being conducted by University of Toronto Professors Drs. Amy Kirkham and Jenna Gillen, who study the use of diet and exercise to improve women’s health.
Study Goals: The exercises and diet programs being studied in Ms. FIT are based on Canadian health guidelines that all Canadian adults are recommended to follow to reduce their risk of developing chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease, cancer, or diabetes. While we know following these guidelines result in health benefits, a large portion of research has been performed in men. Women are not small men. The heart, vessels, muscles, body composition, and storage of fat, and physical activity and dietary intake habits of women can differ from men. The menopause transition can also affect many of these same items, and research is also limited on differences between pre and postmenopausal women. The purpose of this study is to produce new evidence, specific to women, on the effects of the physical activity and diet guidelines on the risk of chronic diseases and the well-being of pre and postmenopausal women.
Are You Eligible?
In addition to being female, 30 years of age or older, being able to travel to the University of Toronto once per week for up to 24 weeks, you must meet the following criteria to participate:
- Be EITHER pre-menopausal (i.e., having regular menstrual cycles) and not pregnant or breastfeeding OR be postmenopausal (e.g., 12 months or greater without your menstrual cycle)
- Not currently on hormonal contraceptive or hormone replacement therapy
What Does the Study Involve?
If you are eligible and choose to participate you would be randomly assigned (like with the flip of a die) to one of three different groups involving either aerobic (i.e., brisk walking) and muscle strengthening activities or stretching for 6 months. One of the three groups will also receive a healthy eating program provided by a registered dietitian for 6 months.
Regardless of which intervention you participate in, you will be asked to attend 3 different in-person assessment visits shortly after joining the study and again at the end (after 6 months). The visits take place at the University of Toronto in downtown Toronto (Bloor and St. George) to complete tests to measure your heart, vessels, muscles, fat storage, blood, and health habits. We understand this is a challenging time commitment for many women, so we are pleased to be able to offer up to $200 compensation for your time and transportation to complete them now and again after 6 months. If you require child or elder care to be able to attend the visits, we can also provide compensation for that. We also try to make the visits as enjoyable, comfortable, and convenient as possible. Please just ask if there is anything we can do to make your participation possible.
Want to Learn More? Contact Us!
If this sounds interesting and you would like to learn more about participating, the first step will be to complete a survey to determine if you meet the initial eligibility criteria for the study. If your responses suggest that you may be eligible, you will be asked to provide your first name, phone number, and an email address at the end of the survey and book a time to speak to a study team member by phone. During the phone call, the rest of the details of the study will be explained to you so that you can decide if you want to participate.
Access the survey link here: https://redcap.utoronto.ca/surveys/?s=CPHRYPN3CCYTHE3R