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Dubai diet: Slim down, get paid in gold under anti-obesity drive

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - Shedding weight is as good as gold under an unusual slim-down initiative in Dubai over growing concerns about rising obesity levels in the wealthy Gulf city-state.

Municipal officials are offering a gram of gold — worth about $45 at current prices — for each kilogram of weight lost in a 30-day challenge. The minimum drop is two kilograms, or 4.4 pounds, to cash in.

Local media Wednesday quotes Dubai official Hussain Lootah as saying there is no limit on the payout for the golden losers, who must sign up and weigh in Friday.

The plan is the latest attempt to encourage healthier lifestyles in the United Arab Emirates. Across the Gulf Arab states, authorities have raised alarms about rising obesity from increasing fast-food diets and lack of exercise.

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