The University of Glasgow is harnessing the loyalty men feel to their local football club to tackle the problem of obesity. As part of the Fans in Training (FIT) programme, overweight men are being encouraged to sign up for fitness training at their local club’s stadium.
Developed by Dr Cindy Gray and Professor Sally Wyke, the programme has proved a huge success, with men losing more than nine times as much weight as those who had not done the programme. Two of the five men following the programme lost at least five per cent of their body weight and had kept it off a year later. The programme – a collaboration between academics, Scotland’s top football clubs and the Scottish Professional League Trust – is now being delivered in England, Germany, Norway, Portugal and the Netherlands. It is also being adapted for other sports in New Zealand, Canada and Australia.