Six-a-side football leagues in Lincolnshire that reward teams for winning games as well as losing weight have helped players shed 335kg across 2020 and are now ready to restart.
The latest change in COVID-19 restrictions allowed for outdoor team sport to take place, meaning the Man v Fat football leagues can return.
The leagues are designed for overweight and obese men with a BMI higher than 27.5. Anyone who lives in a participating postcode area in Lincolnshire may qualify for Lincolnshire County Council funding.
There are two Man v Fat leagues in Lincolnshire, one at Yarborough Leisure Centre in Lincoln and another at The Pavilion in Skegness, taking place on Wednesday and Tuesday evenings respectively.
Before each 30-minute match, the players are weighed and extra goal bonuses are awarded for teams that lose the most weight.
There are also healthy meal recipes and general fitness tips designed to help players on their weight loss journey.
According to Public Health England data covering up to April 2020, Lincolnshire’s rate of overweight and obese adults is 66.2%, around 5% higher than the national average (62.8%).
North East Lincolnshire has a much higher rate of around 74%, making it one of the top five hotspots in the country for obesity.
Karl White, the regional manager for the programme in Lincolnshire, said: “Up until now, we hadn’t been able to kick a football in 2021, so the restart of outdoor sport represents a hugely exciting moment for everyone involved with Man v Fat.
“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 our Lincoln and Skegness league and we’ll be with you every step of the way.”