07/18/2013, 00.00
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'Your weight in gold': Dubai fights obesity by offering gold to dieters

A campaign is launched against obesity. Emirates hope to get people to go on a diet with a gramme of gold for every kilo shed.

Dubai (AsiaNews/Agencies) - 'Your weight in gold' is the title of a campaign promising one gramme of gold for every kilo shed. The plan was launched by the authorities in Dubai to fight obesity, a problem that afflicts 40 per cent of women and 26 per cent of men in the United Arab Emirates.

Those who wish to join the programme will use scales installed in public parks; they can also receive advice from dieticians. The only constraint is that participants cannot use 'unhealthy' methods to lose weight.

For every kilo lost, starting with a minimum of two, people get a gramme of gold. For the government, the cost will be the same as today's gold price of US$ 41 per gramme.

The campaign, which should last until the end of Ramadan on 16 August, hopes to entice those who are overweight to follow a diet plan.

Governments in the Arabian Peninsula are increasingly concerned about the problem of obesity.

During the month of Ramadan, when the faithful fast between dawn and sunset, they also paradoxically put on weight.

"They tend to overcompensate [by] having different meals high in fat and in sugar," said Qatari expert Sana Zein El Abidine.

On the first night of Ramadan, at least 150 people were hospitalised in Qatar for indigestion and gastritis after the great iftar dinner that followed the first sunset of the holy month.


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