The worldwide popularity of football regardless of age,
gender, social and economic status, religion, culture and language
offers unchallenged possibilities in effective and cost-efficient
approaches to health care within the general population.
With regard to the typical non-communicable diseases of modern civilisation such as cardiovascular disease or diabetes, studies have recently shown what many in the football family have presumed for a long time: Playing football regularly is the best guarantee for physical health. As it is fun, too, adherence to a training programme is much more likely than with many other activities usually advocated for their "healthiness". Therefore, F-MARC promotes football as a health enhancing leisure activity, particularly in industrialised countries.
However, in many developing countries, communicable diseases such as AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis still represent the major threat to development and health.
Here, football is a most powerful tool in health education as it allows for effective and targeted dissemination of simple prevention messages. In cooperation with local NGOs, F-MARC is currently further investigating this unique educational power of football in their "Football for health in Africa" project.