A new community weight loss initiative for overweight men has been established by a team of sports scientists from The University of Western Australia.
MAN v FAT Soccer is a year-round soccer league and weight loss program for overweight and obese men of any fitness level. Uniquely, each team’s position in the league is decided not only on goals scored but also on kilograms lost.
A team from UWA Sport and the Psychology of Active Healthy Living (PAHL) group at UWA introduced the program to research the health and physical activity of Western Australian males.
They will carry out interviews and measure physical health indicators to evaluate the program’s effectiveness and understand how the men experience the competitive element of the program as well as the camaraderie they develop with other members.
The MAN v FAT program was founded in the United Kingdom and in its two-year lifetime has helped 5000 men lose more than 54,000kg.
Players receive weight loss help from an expert league weight loss coach and continued support on the MAN v FAT website and through their team’s WhatsApp group. In addition to the weight loss, UK participants reported sleeping, eating and feeling better through taking part in the program.
Dr Ben Jackson, co-director of UWA’s PAHL group said in order to encourage men to improve their fitness they needed to become involved in activities that appealed to them.
“Traditional weight-loss programs generally don’t attract many men, despite over two-thirds of Australian men being overweight,” Dr Jackson said. “There’s very little out there that is designed to help men lose weight, and this program gets them back into sport and helps them lose weight.
“Often, magazines and adverts tell blokes how to ‘get ripped fast’ or ‘get a six-pack quick’, but that’s easier said than done, and for lots of guys, that’s just not what they are looking for – they just want to be fit and healthy enough to walk the dog or play in the park with their kids.
“MAN v FAT Soccer lets men lose weight and have a laugh with other guys just like them. We are really excited to be providing Perth guys with the very first MAN v FAT league outside the UK.”
Visit https://www.manvfatsoccer.com.au/Home/Registration for more information on the UWA MAN v FAT Soccer league. Players can register individually or with a friend for $10 per person and places are limited. The program starts at UWA on Wednesday 5 September with weekly matches every Wednesday evening until mid-December.
Image caption (L-R): Dr James Dimmock and Dr Ben Jackson
Ben Jackson (MAN v FAT Program Manager, PAHL Group, UWA) 0488 236 780
Timothy Budden (MAN v FAT Research Coordinator / UWA PhD student) 0450 685 675
David Stacey (UWA Media and PR Manager) 08 6488 3229 / 0432 637 716