This innovative initiative was launched to see if a variation of the beautiful game could be a useful means to engage men with weight loss and help them to beat obesity.
Since July 2016 the scheme has become one of the most successful weight-management schemes ever, with 95% of players losing weight and 62% of players hitting their 5% body-weight-reduction target.
At the start of the league there were 80 player and the average weight loss was nearly two stone; the league as a whole lost 1,727lb.
This was against a backdrop of gender division in the UK when it comes to weight: only 31% of men fall into the “normal” BMI category, compared with 41% of women; and while nearly seven out of every 10 men are overweight or obese.
At a quick look the league works just like a normal 14-week six-a-side football competition, apart from the fact that all the players are overweight or obese.
Players are sorted into teams, and they play a 30-minute game every week. In between games, they are supported with resources such as behaviour-change tools and peer support.
The cleverest feature, however, is the eventual league position is decided not solely by the points won on the pitch, but by the pounds lost away from it. Man v Fat Football players score bonus goals for weight loss and this is added to the match scores to form a new league table.~
Gamification has worked wonders to turn otherwise dull duties into fun ones and the same principle applies for weight loss. Man v Fat Football plays on people’s competitiveness to speed up slimming down.
If you’re thinking of getting involved then sign-up and visit manvfat.com/football. You can join on your own or with friends or family.
The Man v Fat Football leagues last for 14 weeks and there are lots of venus that would be suitable to get involved in the initiative.
BY - Will Chrimes
19 October 2016