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Siberian slimmers promised tons of coal for lost kilos

The local government of Siberia’s Kemerovo region, which produces 59% of Russia’s coal, will pay with it for weight loss in a battle against obesity

KEMEROVO, November 19. /TASS/. The head of Siberia’s Kemerovo region, Russia’s leading coal producer, has promised free coal for overweight citizens willing to rid themselves of excess fat.

"We are developing a special program and will pay with coal for weight loss," said governor Aman Tuleyev, whose region produces 59% of Russia’s coal, citing United Arab Emirates experience in curbing its obesity epidemic.

"Everyone who lost weight received one gram of gold for each lost kilo," Tuleyev said. "And three leaders received golden coins worth some $5,500. They took these measures to make people slimmer and healthier and more useful for the country."

Tuleyev’s spokesman said a local TV channel would run a slimmers' TV show, offering several tonnes of coal as an incentive.

Kemerovo region is set to produce 213 million tons of coal in 2015.