A FOOTBALL league with a twist has helped see more than half of the participants involved lose at five per cent of their body weight in just 12 weeks.
Commissioned by Solihull Council, the Man vs Fat Football League saw teams battle both on and off the football pitch in an attempt to be crowned champions.
In total, 61 per cent of players lost at least five per cent of their body weight – a quantity which is double what the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) deems as successful from a weight loss programme.
On average, players lost a whopping seven per cent of their body weight – which in some cases equated to more than four stone.
The league was designed to help men with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or over to lose weight.
During the league, men were put into teams and provided with 24/7 support through a mix of free online and offline resources to lose weight safely and sensibly.
What made the league even more unique was that points were also won off the pitch, meaning that the weekly weigh in became another aspect of the game.
Andy Hunt has lost over five stone since joining Man vs Fat, and has found the benefits of his weight loss to mainly be around his family.
He added: “I’d spent the first years of my children’s lives getting progressively more and more over weight to the point where my BMI had reached 39.
“To be honest, I was more than a little unsure if it would work for me – however I absolutely love it.
“I’ve not only lost weight during that time but more importantly I’ve addressed the many elements of my lifestyle that were responsible for my steady weight gain.
“I’ve made lots of friends with guys in exactly the same situation as myself and my friends and family are delighted with my progress – my eight-year-old son tells me every week how proud he is of me.”
Andrew Shanahan, managing director of Man vs Fat said: “I’m thrilled at the success of Man vs Fat Football.
“It’s been so popular and we’ve been able to make a difference to the health of 95 per cent of the players who took part in the league.”
Coun Karen Grinsell, cabinet member for adult social care and health, said: “The first Man vs Fat Football league has been a resounding success and we are proud to commission such a unique programme.
“Not only does it support weight loss it also encourages men to be physically active in a social and supportive setting.
“The next league has just started in Chelmsley Wood and we are excited to see more positive results in the weeks to come.”
Those interested in joining Man vs Fat can register for free by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or visiting www.manvfat.com/football