[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 September 2005, 09:29 GMT 10:29 UK
Men better at slimming than women
Image of an overweight man
Men may be put off joining "female" slimming clubs
Men may be better at losing weight than women, research suggests.

Slimming World research, published in the Journal of Human Nutrition & Dietetics found that in 12 weeks, 91% of men lost 5% of their body weight.

In a previous Slimming World study, only 53% of women lost this amount in the same number of weeks.

Data also showed that after 12 weeks average weight losses among women were 15lbs, whereas men lost 23.5lbs on average.

Currently, more men in the UK are overweight than women - 66% compared to 57%, respectively.

Yet there is a general misconception that slimming groups are solely for women, say the Slimming World researchers.

Slimming groups are a predominantly female environment but they don't have to be
Slimming World nutritionist Dr Jacquie Lavin

This can only add to the increase in male overweight and obesity, as men wrongly feel that slimming groups are not appropriate for them, they said.

Their research shows that slimming clubs are a feasible option for men and should not be ruled out by overweight men looking to lose weight.

They looked at the attendance and weight change in 125 male Slimming World members.

Of those who had been members for 12 weeks, 91% had achieved a 5% weight loss - an amount where health improvements should be seen if a person was overweight/obese.

Successful slimmers

Of those who had been members for at least 24 weeks, 69% achieved a 10% weight loss and the remaining 31% achieved at least 5% weight loss.

Dr Jacquie Lavin, a nutritionist with Slimming World, said there were potentially a number of reasons why men might be more successful at losing weight.

One key reason is that men tend to have a higher muscle mass than women, and so burn up energy faster.

However, Dr Lavin said women who attended slimming organisations had often tried various diets over a long period of time, and become somewhat cynical about their chances of success.

Men, on the other hand, often did not have the same history of dieting, and tended to be less cynical and more motivated to follow instructions.

In addition, only those men who were very focused and determined to succeed were likely to venture into a class where the vast majority of people attending were usually women.

Dr Lavin said: "Slimming groups are a predominantly female environment but they don't have to be.

"With the number of overweight men increasing, more options need to be available.

"Men need a practical solution to slimming, one that is accessible and realistic. They want plenty to eat and they want to have a laugh at the same time."

She said Slimming World had established a number of men-only groups to help tackle this rise in male overweight and feedback from members in these groups was positive.

"Data from this study shows the approach is working but slimming groups still have a female image, something we must work to change if the health of the male population is to be improved," she said.

A spokeswoman from the British Dietetic Association said: "We welcome any initiative to help people lose weight.

"Obesity in men is a huge problem and it is associated with lots of health risks.

"Group support can help and men only groups are a positive move."


SEE ALSO
Men say diet options are too thin
15 Jun 05 |  Nottinghamshire

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific