A six-a-side football-based weight loss programme, MAN v FAT that has helped men across Glasgow lose over one and a half tonnes (225 stone) of weight in the last four years, has launched in Edinburgh.

Matches and diet and lifestyle support from the programme’s expert team will take place on Thursday evenings between 7pm and 9pm at Peffermill Playing Fields on Peffermill Rd, EH16 5LL.

The MAN v FAT programme is specifically aimed at overweight and obese men with a BMI of higher than 27.5, 85 men from across the Glasgow area currently taking part in the city’s scheme.

According to Scottish government figures published in October 2020, In 2019, around 69% of men in Scotland were overweight or obese. There has been a significant increase in the proportion of adults aged 16-64 that are overweight (including obesity) since 1995, when rates stood at 52%.

MAN v FAT has 5,200 players taking part in nearly 90 leagues across the UK. The programme was created by Andrew Shanahan, who fed-up with traditional weight loss classes primarily aimed at women, decided to develop a programme that combines the beautiful game with achievable weight loss goals for men.

Before matches, the players are weighed, which is followed by a 30-minute game of six-a-side, with extra goal bonuses awarded to teams based on the amount of weight players have lost. Players receive additional support including healthy meal recipe ideas and tips on general fitness.

Phil Divers, who plays in the Glasgow league and has lost over 6 stone with the help of the programme explains: “The most enjoyable thing about MAN v FAT is playing football again. It sounds obvious, but when you are overweight the thought of joining in with other people’s games is pretty daunting as you know you will struggle.

“With MAN v FAT, everyone’s in a similar position, so it takes the pressure away and allows you to start enjoying just playing football again. I’m still waiting to get good at it though, sadly!

“If you’ve missed playing, and have tried all the diets out there and they haven’t worked out – this is for you. Sharing meal ideas and weight loss wins or fails with my team has really got me through.”

Tom Shirley, the regional manager for the programme across Scotland said: “We’re delighted to be expanding our Scottish programme into Edinburgh following many successful years of helping Glasgow men lose weight and improve their lifestyle.

“MAN v FAT isn’t just about losing weight, it’s about enjoying sport in a safe, friendly environment, learning about healthy lifestyle and diet – and making new friends. We have spaces for new players in Edinburgh and we’ll be with you every step of the way.”

Players can join up at www.manvfat.com/football and they can get more information by calling 0345 163 1042 or emailing football@manvfat.com

Additional information

MAN v FAT leagues are subject to the local restrictions and have a list of local authority coronavirus webpages here: https://manvfat.com/coronavirus/

There are over 20 million overweight and obese men in the UK, accounting for nearly 7 out of every 10 men. The issue of weight has become such a concern that a recent report suggested that the government should treat this as the number one public health concern. Despite this, funding has been cut to local authorities and men are nearly 300% less likely to get support for their weight than women.

MAN v FAT Football now runs nearly 100 leagues across the UK and Australia. MAN v FAT also supports more than 1.6 million men through their website (www.manvfat.com), their forum (www.talk.manvfat.com) and social media (www.facebook.com/manvfat, www.twitter.com/manvfat, www.instagram.com/manvfat, www.youtube.com/user/manvfat)