Man V Fat Magazine for UK’s 40m Manboobs to Launch in May

Man V FatJournalist-turned-publisher Andrew Shanahan is about to go live with a no bullshit digital weight loss magazine aimed at the 20m blokes in the UK who are overweight or obese.

At more than 16 stone back in 2012, Shanahan, who has done stints as a food writer, realised he needed to get in better shape but was sick of fad diets. When he looked around at the magazines on offer for people like him, he realised the market was hugely skewed towards women (lucky us?) and most men’s mags are just about getting ripped.

Shanahan has managed to shift more than three stone in two years simply by following the Government’s advice – summed up simply as ‘eat less, do more’. And this experience spurred him on to create Man V Fat, a free, digital-only magazine to fill this gap in the market. “There are two ends of spectrum: women are hyper-aware of their bodies and men aren’t encouraged enough to think about weight loss. Theres a huge stigma for men,” Shanahan told Mobile Marketing.

Aware of the cynicism this kind of project might be met with, he’s aimed to make the magazine a laugh – youre losing weight, not your sense of humour – and ‘readable first’. So the debut edition includes eye-catching features like ‘why your friends want you to be fat’ and helpful information like ‘your 100 new favourite snacks. Plus each issue shows before and after interactives of its formerly-fat cover stars. The second magazine will be focused on gadgets and tech – everything from apps like MyFitnessPal to wearables.

Asked about his digital-only strategy, which includes both an iOS and Android app, Shanahan said that if it had been a print magazine, it’s likely the stigma around male obesity would mean people were slipping Men V Fat between the pages of their porn mag before walking to the supermarket till. Or simply not buying it.

To prove his concept, and fund start up costs, Shanahan raised £9,000 on Indiegogo, with people who put £30 in offered a free t-shirt – up to size 10XL. He’s also got expert backing from the British Dietetic Association – regulated dieticians – and the National Obesity Forum. Advertisers are being carefully selected to ensure the mag doesnt have a Coca Cola sponsors the Olympics moment, a strategy not without its challenges when paying companies come knocking.

Shanahan explains that today more than 50 per cent of all men aged over 25 are overweight or obese. By 2030, that is projected to grow to over half being obese. “Theres an obvious need for a magazine of this type. We have to enocourage and champion men who have lost weight.”

Sign up here to be among the first to see it on Android, iOS or desktop when it goes live on 5 May. It may just save your life. Or perhaps improve your sex life. I had to add that last line to keep it fun!