NHS behind launch of 'healthy' lads magazine

A new free health magazine for young men is due to launch in the style of Nuts and Zoo.

Fit magazine, launched on behalf of the NHS, has a different message to the lads mags, warning its readers about the dangers of binge drinking, drug addiction and sexually transmitted diseases.

It includes a feature on a hard-rocking metal band that don’t smoke, drink or take drugs, the training secrets of England football star Wayne Rooney and female celebrities saying why drunken men are a turn off.

Former Mixmag editor Tom Whitwell will edit the title aimed at young men across the country.

The 36-page magazine will be distributed at football grounds, sports shops and youth centres and covers all types of health dangers that are likely to affect young men, presented in an entertaining and accessible style.

Whitwell, former deputy editor at The Face , was approached in July by the NHS. He said: “I took this opportunity as I thought it would be an editorial challenge. The job was to find something as entertaining as possible while getting the right message across.

“One feature on discouraging binge drinking was to show the immediate risks rather than the long-term effects such as liver failure. This might be how much you can embarrass yourself or get into a fight and are unable to run away or give evidence to the police. We also have three celebrity women talking about the embarrassing experiences they have had trying to have sex with men that are too drunk. ” A pilot version has already been distributed and 220,000 copies will go out twice a year. There will be 20 regional editions, each checked and informed by the NHS and local Primary Health Care Trusts.

Dr Foster, the independent health advice group which will produce the magazine, also publishes a version for girls called Your Life which has a distribution of 1.4 million.

By Sarah Lagan

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