Dubai, alarmed by the sudden rise in obesity among its citizens, has decided to offer an interesting incentive for its population to slim down — gold.
Obviously not satisfied with the weak efforts of fellow weight-adverse politicians (they laugh at Bloomberg's "stairs" idea), Dubai is offering a gram of gold for each pound lost by participants. Dubai is synchronizing the 30-day challenge with the fast of Ramadan, to make weight loss easier.
"Ramadan is the most appropriate season to launch such initiatives as it reminds us about many health benefits of reducing weight and encourages us to take strong steps to change our bad lifestyles," Hussain Nasser Lootah, the manager of the city of Dubai.
The campaign, called Your Weight in Gold, will also award the three highest weight-losers the chance to win a gold coin worth $5,400.
While some employers in the United States give employees gym memberships to keep them skinny (and attractive) and their insurance premiums low, nowhere in the United States has government ever incentivized fitness in such a brazenly free-market way. Paying citizens to get skinnier to avoid health care costs down the line seems like a pretty great idea. And paying in GOLD, no less! Let's do this, America.