Dubai, Aug 20 (IANS): In a unique bid to encourage people to pay attention to their growing waistlines, Dubai authorities have launched a "lose weight - win gold" campaign.
The drive has been launched, as a sort of contest, in the wake of overweight and obesity reaching epidemic levels among people here, Xinhua news agency reported.
Dubbed "Your Weight in Gold", the initiative was announced by Dubai Municipality's Director General Hussain Nasser Lootah in late July to promote healthy living in this city.
The official promised anyone losing two kilogramme of weight would get two gram of gold. In addition, three participants, who lost maximum weight, would get a gold coin worth 20,000 Dirham (about $5,450) through a lucky draw.
Hundreds of residents have signed up for the health contest.
According to a study, conducted by the United Arab Emirates' health ministry, almost 19 percent of males and 12 percent of females in the kingdom are overweight, while nearly 21.5 percent males and 19.5 percent females have turned obese.
Obesity is a common problem in oil-rich Gulf States where people increasingly depend on fast-food.