Men in Sunderland are being given the chance to tackle the fat – with the help of the beautiful game.
Weight loss scheme MAN v FAT Football is coming to the city later this year.
The Football Association-backed initiative sees teams take part in a 14-week six-a-side league, playing 30-minute games.
As well as the football, easy-to-follow diet and lifestyle advice is provided to players, as well as online and offline support.
Across the country, 95% of players who have taken part in the scheme have lost weight, some of whom have lost up to 70lbs.
There is a weigh-in before each game, and goal bonuses can be awarded depending on the number of pounds lost.
Andrew Shanahan, managing director of www.manvfat.com, said: “We’re thrilled to offer this to men across the UK.
“We’ve seen that MAN v FAT Football can have an incredible impact on the health of our players, with 95% of players losing weight and 93% reporting health improvements, from curing sleep apnoea to huge improvements in blood pressure and joint pain.
“Across 2016, our players lost more than seven tonnes in weight, and we know that we’re going to smash that in 2017 with leagues like the one in Sunderland.”
The scheme will launch at Raich Carter Sports Centre, on Commercial Road, Sunderland, on September 13, and will run every Wednesday between 7pm and 9pm for the following 14 weeks.
MAN v FAT Football is a brilliant initiative for anyone who wants to address their weight and start working their way back into playing footballAndy Dyke
The league is free for players to take part in, so the only pounds participants will be losing will be on the body.
Andy Dyke, national participation manager of recreational football at the FA, said: “Football doesn’t begin and end with the professional game – there are different levels and styles of football played throughout the UK.
“MAN v FAT Football is a brilliant initiative for anyone who wants to address their weight and start working their way back into playing football.
“The results of the leagues are extremely impressive and we are excited to see the impact this could have on men’s health across the country and around the world.
“You might be thinking that your footballing days are behind you, but MAN v FAT Football is a great bridge back into the national game.
“The FA are happy to back the scheme and suggest that players visit www.manvfat.com/football to get started.”