The TANGO Diet Trial


The purpose of the TANGO Diet Trial is to compare the long-term effectiveness of two weight loss programs involving fast weight loss (i.e., weight loss of approximately 0.5 to 2 kilograms per week), achieved using medically-supervised meal replacement diets. These ‘severe diets’ involve replacing all regular meals and snacks with nutritionally replete meal replacement products, such as shakes.

Severe diets have been shown in research to have surprising benefits: motivation associated with fast weight loss; hunger control; pain reduction; and mood improvements, among other benefits. However, keeping weight off after a severe diet – or indeed after any weight loss diet – is difficult for most people.

The TANGO Diet Trial aims to find better ways to help people to keep weight off after a severe diet.

This research trial is being conducted at the University of Western Australia, and is funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) of Australia.


The TANGO Team is seeking 288 participants for the TANGO Diet Trial. Participants will receive a 1-year weight loss program to help them achieve their weight loss goals.

You may be eligible to participate in the TANGO Diet Trial if you:

  • are aged between 18 and 70 years;
  • have a body mass index (BMI) of 27 kg/m2 or more (you can find out your BMI here);
  • live in the Perth metropolitan area.

If you are interested in taking part in the TANGO Diet Trial, please click the button below for more information and a survey to assess your eligibility.

Check your eligibility

The TANGO Team

Amanda Salis

Prof. Amanda Salis leads the TANGO Team. She has a PhD from the University of Geneva (1996) and a Bachelor of Science with Honours from the University of Western Australia (1990). She has over 35 years’ experience in reseach that aims to identify better ways for people to lose excess weight and keep it off. She also has personal lived experience of having lost 27 kilograms of excess weight and keeping it off for over 30 years.

Xin Zeng

Xin Zeng is doing a PhD at the University of Western Australia under the primary supervision of Prof. Amanda Salis. She has a Bachelor of Preventive Medicine (Bengbu Medical College 2014) and a Masters of Public Health with Distinction (University of Western Australia 2017). She worked as a Medical Affairs Advisor for Reckitt from 2020 to 2022, mainly focusing on providing medical input to the company’s innovation projects and clinical research programs, and interacting with international, national and regional Key Opinion Leaders (i.e., healthcare professionals) to develop knowledge in relevant therapy areas. She also worked as a Clinical Data Analyst for Pfizer from 2018 to 2020, mainly focusing on providing data analytic support for various Pfizer global and regional clinical trials.

Leon Calvetti

Leon Calvetti is doing a PhD at the University of Western Australia under the primary supervision of Prof. Amanda Salis. He has a Masters of Health Science (Human Nutrition, Deakin University 2005). Since 1987, Leon has worked part time in private practice as a nutrition and exercise coach, helping individuals to lose weight and / or optimise body composition. In addition to his work in nutrition and exercise coaching, Leon has primarily worked in the construction industry, leading international, interstate, and local teams in delivering multimillion-dollar projects on time and in budget. Through this work he has developed a high degree of interpersonal, communication and problem-solving skills, which are all directly transferrable to his research within the current research trial.

Contact us


[email protected]