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Dubai Diet: Get Paid in Gold for Loosing Weight

Jul 18, 2013 06:36 AM EDT
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If you need motivation to lose weight, Dubai might be the best place to get it. In response to expanding waistlines in a region where fast food is common and comfortable outdoor exercise is not, the local government is offering to give citizens a gram of gold for each kilogram lost by Aug. 16,  Emirates 24/7 reports.

The incentive is all part of a contest called "Your Weight In Gold," which has been billed by the city government as a way to promote healthy living and raise awareness about sporting activities.

For every kilogram lost (2.2 pounds) during the 30 day challenge, Dubai residents will get a gram of gold which is currently worth $45. The minimum weight to lose before cashing in is just two kilograms. The contest begins July 19.

"When people come here (to Dubai) they become obese," Dr Fuad Ahmed, a consultant specializing in obesity surgery, told The National. "The curse of this civilization is that we have stopped using our bodies and we eat too much."

The World Health Organization reports in "The Weight of Affluence" that the country's affinity for fast food and sugary drinks has led to more than half the 5.5 million citizens becoming overweight or obese. Diabetes is also escalating in the region, the report noted.

 "We carry out a number of health initiatives every year to benefit the community, and this year's event aims to encourage adults and children to lose weight and be healthy," said Eng Hussain Nasser Lootah, director general of Dubai Municipality, Gulfnews.com reported Wednesday.

Despite the federation's wealth, the government spends comparatively little on public health, ranking 172nd in the world with only 3.7% of the state budget devoted to medical care, according to the CIA World Factbook.

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