Women's football could be a more effective element of obesity treatment than running, new research has suggested.

A study carried out over a period of two years by scientists led by associate professor Peter Krustrup from the University of Copenhagen showed that football had a better overall effect on 65 premenopausal women than running alone.

The women were divided into three groups - running, football and control - and it was found that females playing soccer were motivated by having fun and taking part in the game, while those running on their own were driven by getting into shape.

"As it turns out, the soccer players got in better shape than the runners and that combined with the social benefits makes soccer a great alternative to running," said professor Krustrup.

Earlier this month, alternative therapy expert Gillian La Haye said that people want to be in control of their own wellbeing.

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