Romm Diamonds Blog
August 15th, 2013
The super-wealthy — but increasingly corpulent — city-state of Dubai is about to reward successful dieters with one gram of pure gold for every kilogram of weight they’ve lost during the previous 30 days.

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The creative “Your Weight in Gold” initiative, during which “the more you lose, the more you gain,” was devised to encourage healthier lifestyle choices and draw awareness to a national crisis where diabetes cases are skyrocketing and adult obesity rates exceed 33 percent.

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Last month, thousands of Dubai’s citizens signed up and weighed in at a number of sites throughout the city. Participants were promised about $19 in gold for every pound they lost during the 30-day period that ends this Friday. Medical and nutritional experts were on hand to advise people on the proper ways to lose weight.

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Participants had to shed at least 2 kilograms (about 4.4 pounds) to qualify for an award, and there was no limit on the payout. The top-three dieters will get bonus gold coins worth as much as $5,400.

After three days of weigh-ins starting tomorrow, the municipality will SMS the participants with their results. Then they will be invited to attend an awards ceremony to claim their gold.

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Dubai’s extreme wealth, hot climate, sedentary lifestyle, fondness for curvy figures and affinity for high-calorie American-style fast food have all contributed to the country’s collective weight problem.

Being overweight or obese is linked to increased risk for chronic diseases, including heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and some cancers. In June, the American Medical Association officially classified obesity itself as a disease, according to cbsnews.com.