Scottish Premier League football clubs have enlisted in a scheme to encourage overweight men to get fit and healthy.
All 12 teams in the SPL will allow fans into their grounds to receive free lessons in nutrition and take part in physical exercise programmes run by club coaches.
The scheme, called Football Fans In Training, aims to tap into men’s affection for their local team to encourage them to live more healthily.
Overweight men aged 35 to 65 will be able to take part in free 12-week courses that will be divided between classroom education sessions and physical exercise.
The scheme was devised to address men’s reluctance to take part in female-dominated programmes like Weightwatchers.
A donation of more than £250,000 has been made by The Football Pools, which is expected to be matched by a similar donation from the Scottish Government.
Tony Higgins, of the SPL Trust Board, the charity wing of the league, said: “Men generally are less able to admit they have an issue with their health that needs to be dealt with.
“Scotland consistently comes at the bottom of many league tables for problems like obesity and heart conditions.
“Women have been far more progressive in dealing with the issue through individual counselling or group programmes like Weightwatchers.
“There is something in the Scottish psyche that seems to prevent men from looking at changing their lifestyle.
“We hope football is the vehicle for creating that change.”