Dubai Offers Flabby Citizens Gold to Lose Weight
Skeptics think the stunt won't have much of an effect
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Jul 20, 2013 10:07 AM CDT
Gold bars in Dubai.   (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili, File)

(Newser) – Dubai is, generally speaking, a fat nation. It also happens to be a very rich nation, and those two factors have combined to create an unusual weight-loss offer from the government: It will give people gold based on how many pounds they drop, reports Emirates 24/7. The month-long initiative got underway this week. Specifically, people will get a gram of gold, worth about $45, for each kilogram (2.2 pounds) lost, reports AP. Participants also get a chance to win a $5,000 gold bar at the end.

In a nation where half the people are considered overweight and where diabetes is on the rise, the government figures it needs to try something, notes the LA Times. But skeptics abound: "Dubai residents are already so rich (the UAE has a GDP per capita of over $45,000 per year) that getting a couple hundred bucks for giving up the convenience of McDonald’s may not be an attractive enough incentive," writes Ariel Schwartz at Co.Exist. And Emily Shire at the Week says the incentive doesn't address a root problem: "High temperatures (regularly over 100 degrees) that deter exercise coupled with the growing presence of Western fast food have had a toxic effect on weight and health." (The obese also might be able to blame their genes, now with scientific evidence to back them up.)

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Jul 21, 2013 10:31 AM CDT
lets do it here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! bloomerberge gots the money for it!
Jul 20, 2013 2:16 PM CDT
The problem with this is it isn't going to work. Even people who don't need the money will lose the weight to get the gold, but.... they haven't made permanent lifestyle changes and they are all going to gain the weight back after getting the gold. It is the same as all the new wellness challenges inside Obamacare. Companies around America are setting up plans where you can earn prizes for losing weight and get a chance at an around the world vacation. Dubai has IHOP, KFC, Olive Garden, Pizza Hut, TGI Fridays, Panda Chinese, Burger King, Charley's Grilled Subs, Starbucks, McDonalds, Outback Steakhouse, Papa Johns, Fuddruckers, Hardees, Red Lobster, Wendys, Subway, Fatburger, Uno's Chicago Grill (formerly Pizzeria Uno) and even Dunkin' Donuts. Saudi Arabia has all that stuff too and also the highest rate of diabetes in the world. How are you going to get people to eat more vegetables and a lot less fast food, when Pizzeria Uno pizzas taste really delicious, so does an Outback Steakhouse steak and baked potato or Alice Springs Chicken, and a Dunkin' Donuts coolata.
Jul 20, 2013 11:41 AM CDT
So how many Whoppers can be bought with a gram of gold?