Russian governor encourages weight loss with weird incentive

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Dubai's Diet Program Rewards Weight Loss With Gold

Sometimes, we need a little extra incentive to get off the couch and hit the gym-- besides, y'know, the years it adds to your life.

Fortunately for the people of Russia, the governor of the Kemerovo region of southwestern Siberia, Aman Tuleyev, has promised free coal to residents who suffer from obesity and pledge to shed the extra pounds.

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Tuleyev said he wished to replicate the United Arab Emirates's successful dieting program launched in July 2013, Lose Weight, Win Gold, which promised to reward participants with a gram of gold for every kilogram they lost.

The Dubai municipal government was so thrilled with the campaign's overwhelming success-- a national total of 13,275 kg lost-- that they decided to do it again in 2014, shifting their focus from adult obesity to childhood obesity.

"An unconventional measure has been implemented in the UAE," said Tuleyev, who's region produces 59% of Russia's coal. "[The authorities] decided to reward residents who lose weight with gold, as obesity is one of the most common causes of premature death there."

In Russia's coal-mining heartland, using "black gold" as currency seemed an obvious tweak to the system.

Said Tuleyev,

Within the framework of our program to fight obesity we would pay people for weight loss, just like they do in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). There, people get rewarded in gold for getting slimmer. We will also pay...not in gold coins, but in coal. We will offer tons of coal.

Governor Tuleyev's press secretary, Anton Gorelkin, said that the authorities were also thinking of launching a reality show that focuses on on the "slimmers" and their weight loss journeys.

Sorry Santa, looks like coal isn't just for punishing naughty children anymore.

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Russian governor encourages weight loss with weird incentive

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Cheerful John Goodman in a scene from the film 'Barton Fink', 1991. (Photo by 20th Century-Fox/Getty Images)

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John Goodman attends the 'Trumbo' Accenture Gala during the BFI London Film Festival at Odeon Leicester Square on October 8, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)

Khloe Kardashian - 2007

Khloe Kardashian at the 'Keeping Up With The Kardashians' premiere party on October 9, 2007 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jeff Vespa/WireImage) 

Khloe Kardashian - 2015

Khloe Kardashian appears At ULTA Beauty's West Hills Store To Promote Kardashian Beauty Hair Care And Styling Line at ULTA Beauty on April 2, 2015 in West Hills, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Jennifer Hudson - 2010

Jennifer Hudson during 'A Fine Romance' Gala Benefiting the Motion Picture and Television Fund - Arrivals at Sunset Gower Studios in Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)

Jennifer Hudson - 2015

SingerJennifer Hudson attends the Marchesa fashion show during Spring 2016 New York Fashion Week at St. Regis Hotel on September 16, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Gary Gershoff/WireImage)

Jonah Hill - 2006

Jonah Hill during Universal Pictures Presents the World Premiere of 'Miami Vice' at Mann Village Theater in Westwood, California, United States. (Photo by E. Charbonneau/WireImage)

Jonah Hill - 2012

Actor Jonah Hill attends the premiere of 'The Watch' at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on July 23, 2012 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)

Kelly Osbourne - 2002

Kelly Osbourne, daughter of rocker Ozzy Osbourne at St Martin's Lane Hotel, London, August 21, 2002. Kelly, along with brother Jack, mother Sharon and father Ozzy, are the stars of their own reality television show, 'The Osbournes'. (Photo by Gareth Davies/Getty Images)

Kelly Osbourne - 2015

Special guest Kelly Osbourne celebrates the opening of the new Cost Plus World Market Chelsea, New York store on August 18, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for World Market)

Chaz Bono - 2010

Chaz Bono arrives at the 21st Annual GLAAD Media Awards held at Hyatt Regency Century Plaza on April 17, 2010 in Century City, California. (Photo by Angela Weiss/Getty Images)

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Chaz Bono visit 'Extra' at Universal Studios Hollywood on July 28, 2015 in Universal City, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)

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