Men 'better at weight loss than women'
The largest-ever survey of slimmers has found that men find it easier to lose weight than women.
Research of 1.2 million people has revealed men find it easier than women to focus on one specific thing and they have fewer emotional issues around food.
Slimming World found that men lost an average of 6.1% of their body weight over a 12-week period and women lost 4.6% in their first 12 weeks membership.
On average, men lost 1st 2lbs compared to women, who lost 11lbs. Men also attended more sessions in this period.
The research will be unveiled at the Public Health England conference today.
Nick de Bois MP, co-chairman of the APPG for Public Health:
"Obesity is one of the biggest health issues facing our generation. As this research shows, it is simply not a case of 'one size fits all' when it comes to weight loss.
"A tailored approach is needed based on an individual's personal needs.
"I am pleased that the Government's approach to the Change4Life programme reflects this, but more needs to be done.
"Quite simply, Government needs to drive a lifestyle change, including highlighting both the personal cost to an individual's health and the national financial costs of obesity to the NHS. We are slowly shortening the lives of our younger generations and this must be dealt with."
According to Slimming World, the modern world is a minefield for people who want to lose weight – with an ‘always-on’ food environment that pushes high fat, high sugar food constantly and cheaply.
"Research suggests that men's brains are more solutions-based and they often tell us that they have fewer commitments at home, so once they find out how our eating plan works they tend to just get on and do it," says Dr Jacquie Lavin, Slimming World’s head of nutrition and research.
"They’re more focused, get off to a better start and are less likely to be distracted or taken off track by life events.
"Women more typically want a deeper level of emotional support to uncover their issues around food and to help them take back control over their choices in what can be a difficult and persuasive food environment, and they’re more likely to tell us that stressful or emotional events in their life sabotage their slimming."
While an increased ability to focus on their weight loss was a key reason given by Slimming World experts for men’s diet success, they also highlight other factors.
Men’s bodies are more physiologically geared up for weight loss as they tend to have more muscle, which boosts their metabolism so they burn energy faster.
They are also likely to have tried fewer diets in the past. This makes it easier for them to follow a new routine, as they are less likely to be carrying over old habits from a previous diet.
"It’s important not to categorise men and women too rigidly, though," said Dr Lavin.
"Every individual – man or woman – is different, yet they’re united in some common areas. Both men and women want a practical solution to slimming that fits into their lifestyle, one that is accessible and realistic.
"They both want plenty to eat so they can lose weight without feeling hungry and deprived.
"They need support to make lifestyle changes, and they want to have a laugh at the same time. For some, losing weight comes easily simply by following our healthy eating plan and building friendship and camaraderie with their fellow members. Others want a deeper level of emotional support from their slimming group, especially when they have grown up with or developed a complex relationship with food."