Posted: Tuesday 13th June 2017
This week is Men’s Health Week and the spotlight is on belly fat. Why? Because it's the type of fat that's bad for your health and men are more likely to have it.
Here at Hertfordshire County Council we are well aware of the need for men to take care of their health, which is why we fund programmes like Shape Up, a scheme run by Watford FC’s Community Sports and Education Trust that encourages men to change their lifestyle and get leaner, fitter and healthier.
Shape Up has seen some amazing results: last year 238 participants lost a combined total of 1.31 tonnes – that’s the weight of an average Ford Fiesta! 96 per cent of graduates reduced their BMI and weight; 97 per cent reported increased physical activity levels; 98 per cent improved their diet and 95 per cent had improved self-esteem.
The 12 week programme engages men in a fun and effective way and uses group exercise and sport to improve fitness and support weight loss. The education sessions focus on topics such as healthy nutrition, emotional eating, long term behaviour change strategies, peer pressure and the effect of alcohol.
Cabinet Member for Public Health, Richard Roberts, said: “We are committed to helping everyone live a healthy, happy life. We’reaware that men sometimes need a little extra encouragement to think about their health as statistics show that they are less likely than women to visit their GP or pharmacy, are eating less fruit and veg and are more likely to smoke and drink.
“Making better choices today could prevent conditions like type 2 diabetes, cancer and heart disease, and reduce our risk of suffering a stroke or living with dementia, disability and frailty in later life.”
Steven Atwell, 45, who has lost 53kg (8 1/2 stone), said: “I thought weight loss was impossible and had nearly given up, but through this course I realised I could change and found after the first few classes the weight coming off and feeling great as well. I’ve still got a long way to go but I now know I will achieve it.”
So, men get those tape measures out! A waist measurement over 37 inches (94cm) could increase your risk of long-term problems. Over 40 inches (102cm) and the risk increases considerably. However there is lots of support available to help you get healthier. Find out more at www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/healthinherts
*alternative measures 2,891lbs, 206 stone or 1,311kg