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Welcome to Game of Stones

A research study designed for men, with men!

Game of Stones – the results are in!

The results from the first year of Game of Stones are now available. They show that after one year the men who received both text messages and the opportunity to get cash, lost the most weight. Game of Stones could therefore provide a low-cost solution for the health service to offer men. Read more in the press release here or the publication in a scientific journal here also presented at the European Congress for Obesity ECO Poster

Game of Stones continues and we are still collecting data from men at 24 months. We would like to thank all our participants for continuing to take part and giving up their time for this study.


What is Game of Stones?


Game of stones is designed for men because men rarely attend the weight loss services that are on offer. A small study in 2017 showed text messages, with and without incentives, could help men lose weight and feel better. Now we are doing a bigger study to answer the questions:

- Does Game of Stones really help men lose weight and keep it off?
- Who does it help most?
- What are the costs and benefits for men and the NHS?

Recruitment finished in 2022, with 585 men joining from Bristol, Glasgow and Northern Ireland. Participants were allocated by random to one of three groups at the start:

   1. Group getting text messages and opportunity to get money for weight loss,
   2. Group getting text messages alone; and
   3. Group who got nothing for one year (to compare with the groups above).

Some groups were seen at 3 and 6 months, and all groups were followed up at 12 and 24 months after joining.

How do I keep up to date with the results of Game of Stones?

Further results of the study will be published on this website during 2024-2025. We will be holding events which participants can attend, and giving presentations at academic conferences about weight and health. You can keep up to date with the latest news on this website and via our newsletters (below):

Our previous newsletters:
GoS Newsletter June22 here
GoS Newsletter Dec 22 here
GoS Newsletter Mar 23 here
GoS Newsletter Jan 24 here


Your contribution is really valuable. Remember every one of you is making important contributions to the results of this research study so please continue to attend your appointments and let us know if there is anything we can do to make attending easier for you.


Who is running Game of Stones?

Meet your area team:


Game of Stones is led by Professor Pat Hoddinott at the Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professions Research Unit, University of Stirling.

This trial is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Public Health Research Programme. Reference no: NIHR 129703. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care.
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