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The Ultimate Weight-Loss Incentive?

Posted Dec 07 2013 11:17am

Photo credits: Joi Ito

Losing weight is relatively easy. Basically, you need to do two things – eat healthy in moderation and exercise regularly. The problem is that even though most people understand this, they want an easy way out, a magical solution for weight loss that doesn’t exist. While getting in shape should be enough motivation to workout and eat less junk food, this isn’t the case in many places around the world.

While the United States is constantly teased by other countries for their serious problem with obesity, they’re not the only country in the world facing an epidemic of fat people. Many other wealthy countries are having problems keeping their population healthy. And in the middle east, where a hefty weight is seen as a sign of wealth and power, the problem is even worse.

This is one reason that Dubai took dramatic steps in order to get problems with overweight citizens under control in their country. Earlier this year, they came up with a program that gave citizens a gram of gold for every kilogram of weight they lost over a period of 30 days. At the time, it was about $40 worth of gold for every couple of pounds lost.

There were a lot of rules, of course, but a lot of people walked away with less fat and more gold – something that’s good any way you look at it. Phillips Healthcare had a study in 2012 and found that half of the natives living in Dubai were overweight. In fact, the rates of obesity were very close to those found in the United States.

As mentioned, this is something that is common for some in the region. In Kuwait, for instance, over 70% of men and women are overweight. The figures are almost as bad in Saudi Arabia and other countries. This is one reason the government decided to take drastic measures and offer gold in exchange for citizens losing weight.

No one tallied the exact amount of weight lost in Dubai over 30 days, but with the ability to get gold for every kilogram lost, you can imagine that it was quite a bit as people tried to earn as much money as they could. It would be interesting to go back now – in the winter – and see how many of those people gained the weight back after the 30 days.

The basics of losing weight are easy, but sometimes it takes a little motivation to get people to actually do something and make a positive change in their life. Would you lose weight to get gold? Leave a comment and let us know what it would take for you to jump on the treadmill and lose a few pounds.

Written by: Rogier Higgs visited because he heard so many good things about the website. As a student of infographics design , he’s always on the looking for new ways to explain things.

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