Men and Weight: Taking the Issue to the Workplace

Reprinted from Eating Disorders Review
September/October 2008 Volume 19, Number 5
©2008 Gürze Books

The Health of Men (HoM) program in Great Britain has developed a pilot program just for men: bringing weight management into the workplace (Journal of Men’s Health 2008; 5:133). This addresses common barriers: men view community weight-loss programs as for women only; and, many of those programs are often offered during the day, when many people cannot attend.

To counteract this, the HoM team developed a 6-week at-work weight loss program, led by two community nurses, dietitians and an activity specialist. Ten men participated in the study; and at least 8 attended any one session.

Four main themes emerged: 1) a desire by the men to improve themselves; 2) fear and embarrassment, which held some men back; 3) a feeling of momentum and motivation; and 4) workplace issues. The men had all made a firm personal decision to address their weight and lifestyle, for health reasons. The researchers found another reason the men seemed motivated: their supervisors had encouraged them to try the weight reduction program.

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