Gender-Based Weight Loss Programs Best For Men?
Sports fans enjoy watching their favorite teams go head-to-head in physical competition. But many male spectators are reluctant to take their own measures to get fit. Researchers suggest that a more male-friendly approach could increase participation.
Funded by the National Institute for Health Research Public Health Research Programme, Football Fans in Training (FFIT) was created for male Scottish Premier League football (soccer) fans. “FFIT, a men-only weight management programme delivered to groups of men at top professional football clubs, encourages men to lose weight by working with, not against, cultural ideals of masculinity,” the researchers explained.
To determine the program’s efficacy, they studied 747 overweight male participants, aged 35–65, for 12 months. More than 90% of the men were considered at high risk for future health problems. “Around three-quarters of participants in all age groups were at ‘very high’ risk of type 2 diabetes, hyper- tension and cardiovascular disease,” reported the authors.
Study subjects were separated into a 12-week weight loss group and a control group. In those 12 weeks, men in the intervention group lost nine times more weight than those in the control group. At the 12-month mark, nearly 40% of weight loss participants still weighed at least 5% less than they did at baseline.
The researchers believed that the program was successful largely because it was specifically oriented to men.
“Qualitative data revealed that the powerful ‘draw’ of the football club attracted men otherwise reluctant to attend existing weight management programmes,” they explained. “The location and style of delivery of early FFIT sessions fostered team spirit; men appreciated being with others ‘like them’ and the opportunity to undertake weight management in circumstances that enhanced physical and symbolic proximity to something they valued highly, the football club.”
The research appeared in The Lancet (2014; doi:10.101 6/S01406736(13)62420-4) and BMC Public Health (2014; doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-50).
For the latest research, statistics, sample classes, and more, "Like" IDEA on Facebook here.
© 2014 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.
IDEA Newsletter Sign-up
|Extreme Interval Training
In this course you'll learn goal-focused intervals and over 50 dynamic exercises and drills to create extensive and intensive training formats.
|Cut to the Core
This is a raw, unedited video filmed live at the 2009 IDEA World Fitness Convention™. Cut to the Core is packed full of core-focused exercises that aim to improve the way you look, feel and live.
|September 2011 IDEA Fitness Journal Quiz 4: Plyometric Training
This continuing education quiz is an in-depth look at plyometric training. Plyometric exercises—jumping, bounding, hopping, arm pushing, and catching and throwing weighted objects such as machine balls—are movements that involve rapid eccentric and concentric muscle actions.