Lighter Life opts for 'real' slimmers to widen appeal

Lighter Life, the weight loss programme for those with three or more stone to lose is hoping to widen the appeal of its magazine by extending its distribution to the news-stands and putting a “real’ person on the cover, as opposed to a stick thin model.

Lighter Life has been run in house since its launch three years ago.

However, the editorial and production has now transferred to customer magazine publisher Square One Group, which has revamped the title in a bid to attract more readers.

The perfect-bound glossy is hoping to differentiate itself from existing slimming magazines by looking at the causes of obesity rather than just the symptoms and taking a practical approach to food issues.

It aims to encourage readers to look at why they feel the need to overeat and will feature real-life success stories and stars such as “Tracy” who lost more than five stone and appears on the cover of the dummy issue.

Creative director Peter Dean told Press Gazette: “These are real people, who in some cases have lost up to 12 stone. Why put a model on the cover? I think you have to use real people because if you want to lose weight you want to see people who have actually done it. It’s a bit phoney not to.

“They are used in an aspirational photo shoot rather than wearing pairs of trousers they used to have before they lost weight. It’s a really honest and fresh approach.”

The 100-page title will also have a strong lifestyle element with articles ranging from careers, relationships and fashion to travel and technology as well as psychology, fitness and nutrition.

Lighter Life is mailed directly to participants of the programme as well as potential new clients who are targeted via local counsellors across the UK.

The print run is 85,000. It is currently published three times a year but Square One is hoping to increase the frequency to quarterly next year and extend distribution to the news-stand with a possible bimonthly frequency in 2006.

Simon Chappell, Square One Group director, said: “Obesity levels are reaching epidemic proportions which makes the work Lighter Life does all the more important. The magazine is the perfect way to support the programme.

It also acts as a powerful retention tool for those who have successfully completed the programme and those who would like to reshape their lives.”

Carey Sedgwick, who previously worked on customer magazines at The National Magazine Company, is editorial director.

Square One Group also produces titles for Waterstones, Direct Line, Saks, Churchill and Britannia Airways.

Ruth Addicott

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