Overweight dads fight obesity together

By Aroha Treacher
  • North Island: East Coast

A group of Hawke's Bay dads, many of whom are ex-rugby players, are fighting obesity together under the name "The Front Row".

"It started off being a group of men that were over 130kg coming together to drop some weight- because obesity is a huge problem in Hawke's Bay," says trainer Jack Fraser.

The group is about creating a brotherhood that encourages one another, a safe forum for the men to exercise together with the common goal of losing weight and living healthier.

The group of around 25 men have been training together for more than six months and together had an average weight of nearly 200kg.

The group has been put together by Les Hokianga, who is the Chief Executive at the community gym, Hikoi 4 Life in Hastings as a way of battling obesity in the community.

One of the Front Row men, Tane Edward,s  enjoys the comradeship of training with other men on the same journey as him.

"My goal is to lose enough weight that I can beat my kids in running races- long distance running races- but basically just to get a lot healthier so I can live a lot longer."

They work out together multiple times a week and get support to develop healthy eating habits which not only benefit them but their families too. 

"Normally you lose weight and then you have a spell then you put it back... it's kind of like a yo-yo, but now we're talking about how to maintain that over a long period of time," explains Jack.