Dubai gives out gold for citizens' weight loss

(AFP PHOTO/KARIM SAHIB)

(AFP PHOTO/KARIM SAHIB)

Relaxnews

, Last Updated: 12:02 PM ET

Dubai municipality has dished out $762,942 worth of gold in prizes to contestants in a weight-loss challenge, an initiative by the Gulf emirate to fight obesity.

The "Your Weight in Gold" campaign promised one gram of gold for each kilogram shed, provided the contestants lost at least 4.6 pounds by Aug. 16, when the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan ended.

Ahmad al-Sheikh, a 27-year-old Syrian architect, claimed the top prize of 63 grams of gold worth $2,870 after losing 57 pounds.

Sheikh, who weighed 323 pounds at the start of the competition, was one of 2,648 winners who together received 37 pounds of gold last week.

"I actually registered 15 days later in the campaign and was worried at first, because I thought I lost a head start to all the other contestants," he told the Gulf News daily.

The second and third place winners shed 50 pounds and 49 pounds, respectively.

(REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah)

Gulf News said that those who shed five kilos (11 pounds) and above got two grams of gold for each kilo lost, while those shedding 10 kilos (22 pounds) and above were entitled to three grams of gold for every kilo lost.

During Ramadan, the faithful refrain from eating, drinking and smoking between dawn and sunset.

But many tend to tuck in heartily after dark, despite warnings that overindulgence can be bad for the health.

Many Gulf countries are struggling to reduce the level of obesity among their populations.


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