Anglia Ruskin Research Online (ARRO)
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The optimisation of a nutrition and exercise programme for men aged between 35 and 64 years of age

posted on 2023-08-30, 18:48 authored by Mark G. Cortnage
The proportion of UK males (16 years and older) who were classified as overweight or obese in 2016 stood at 68%. Both single and multi-component weight loss interventions are advocated to address obesity prevalence (NICE, 2017) and yet there is disproportionately higher female engagement with few interventions targeting male gender-specific health issues (Robertson et al., 2008). Based on theoretical concepts, an optimised weight loss programme design was piloted to identify aspects which appeal to and therefore can engage men with meaningful weight management. Utilising a mixed method sequential explanatory design, a male study sample (n=35) ages 35 to 64 years participated in a 91 week, optimised gendered football and nutrition programme which targeted weight loss as an empirically evaluated outcome. Qualitative feedback obtained from interviews was used to compare outcomes and evaluate the success of the intervention. Engagement with programme concepts were facilitated by transformational leadership and creation of a community of practice accompanied by an innovative gendered dietary educational method alongside structured footballs skills and fitness development. Significant improvements were observed across all anthropometric measurements. Mean attendance for recruits in phase 1 and phase 2 of the programme were 46 and 39 weeks respectively, and in the total cohort significant improvement in anthropometrical markers were identified without adjustment for length of engagement with the programme over the full 91 weeks of intervention (weight: -3.30 (± 3.60 kg, t = -5.317, p= <0.001), Waist: -4.04 (± 3.70 cm, t = -6.463, p= <0.001), BMI: -1.05 (± 1.14 kg/m2, t = -5.477, p= <0.00)). Targeted, concise delivery of the fundamental components (dietary advice) required to successfully induce significant long-term weight loss were shown here to engage men in interventions that contain an engaging theme (football) and strong social element. Implementation of an evidence-led intervention design with collaborative delivery methods integrating feedback to inspire developments within the protocol facilitated achievement. Alignment of a group of individuals with a common set of problems (weight-related) and interests (football) within an intervention found to utilise transformational leadership strategies facilitated success for both the intervention and those recruited to achieve its’ goals (weight loss) through the community of practice which resulted. This research provides a scaffold for future programme design by suggesting the principle components required for engagement and maintenance and justification to adapt current obesity strategy and guidance.



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