Dubai dieters trade fat for gold

Goal to raise awareness about rising obesity rates

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - Dieters going for the gold in Dubai have hit the scales at the end of a five-week challenge - with the biggest loser dropping enough to earn him more than $3,200 worth of the precious metal.

The contest drew in hundreds of people seeking to lose at least two kilograms (4.4 pounds) to qualify for a gold payout.  Authorities are seeking to raise awareness about rising obesity rates across the Gulf region.

The National newspaper on Sunday quoted a weigh-off official, Mona Ossama, as saying the biggest drop was a man who lost 22 kilos, or more than 48 pounds. Anyone shedding more than 10 kilos (22 pounds) earns three grams of gold per kilo lost. Smaller gold payouts were given for those who lost between two and 10 kilos.

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