A FOOTBALL league exclusively for overweight men who wanted to lose weight, MAN v FAT, is expanding across Essex, in addition to existing leagues in Colchester and Chelmsford.
MAN v FAT is the UK’s leading, men-only, weight loss company, and they already have a number of successful clubs locally. Over the next six months, however, they plan to open six more clubs to further increase the support available to men living within Essex. These include Southend, Basildon, Braintree, Maldon, Clacton and Thurrock.
The project was founded by writer, editor and publisher Andrew Shanahan in 2014. Having struggled with his weight for a long time, he joined his local slimming club. But it was aimed squarely at women and he struggled. This motivated him to research how many other men were experiencing difficulty with weight loss, and he crowdfunded the initial run of a MAN v FAT digital magazine.
The target was surpassed, receiving support from Jamie Oliver, the National Obesity Forum, Weight Concern and the British Dietetic Association. Along with the magazine, a website and forum were then launched, plus a book was written and published in 2014. The MAN v FAT philosophy is:
quality, enjoyable advice, information, tools and facts about weight loss
a friendly, welcoming community where you know other men are cheering you on
weight loss advice and schemes which will fit in with your life
In 2016, MAN v FAT created a football league exclusively for overweight men who wanted to lose weight. Uniquely, players were rewarded not just for winning games but for losing weight, too, with weekly weight loss counting towards their team’s goals. Since then, 90 MAN v FAT football leagues have been launched across the UK, with a further set of leagues in Australia.
MAN v FAT became the first weight loss scheme to be endorsed by The FA, and has also received backing from Sport England, the National Lottery and local councils and football clubs. They have helped men lose to over 250,000lbs. Find your local league at www.manvfatfootball.org.