Russian governor encourages weight loss with weird incentive

Dubai's Diet Program Rewards Weight Loss With Gold
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.

Check out these celebrity weight loss transformations:

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