3 Dystopian Ways We're Fighting the Obesity Epidemic


Remember when other countries used to point at the U.S. and laugh because Americans are so fat? Well, they're not laughing now: According to a global report, obesity is now a bigger problem than hunger (no pun intended). And while Americans are sitting here trying acai berry enemas and grabbing up whatever metabolism-boosting overalls QVC vomits at us, the rest of the world is tackling the problem in much more proactive ways, like ...

Taiwan Has Created a Wi-Fi Tooth to Stop Binge Eating

In what has to be the saddest possible way to become a cyborg, researchers over at the National Taiwan University have created a Wi-Fi-enabled chip to jam into people's teeth that detects when they're binge eating and rats them out to their doctor. The chip is so advanced that it can tell the difference between "just talking" and "stuffing your face with beef jerky for a whole hour."

(a) 1 (b) (c)
National Taiwan University

"I see that you were also crying the whole time, Mr. Soong."

So basically it's a little sensor that tells on you, hopefully shaming you into fitness before you're forced to explain to your doctor that, honestly, that wasn't a midnight snack, that was just you giving a blow job. But what's gonna happen when the chip inevitably suffers an electric discharge and takes over the person's brain, like in Spider-Man 2? What then, Taiwan?

3 Dystopian Ways We're Fighting the Obesity Epidemic

We meant Doctor Octopus, but hell, this works, too.

Dubai Is Bribing People to Lose Weight ... With Gold

It's starting to look like Dubai might have a little too much money on its hands -- not only are its buildings getting insanely bigger, but its people are, too. The United Arab Emirates is now the fifth fattest country in the world. However, Dubai is quickly learning that there are no problems they can't solve by just throwing money at them, so that's exactly the approach they're taking with obesity. From mid-July until mid-August, the city will be paying out 1 gram of gold for every kilo their citizens shed, as long as they lose at least 2 kilos (4.4 pounds).

Florence Delva / Workbook Shop / Getty

"I got all this from a single dump!"

To make shit official, each participant must use publicly installed scales to claim their winnings -- and along with that, they're also able to get additional gold coins worth from $5,000 to $50,000 that we're guessing the government just found in their car's coin holder. We look forward to seeing the results and finding out how many people in Dubai "accidentally" lost limbs this month. They can afford bionic ones now anyway!

Japan and Samoa Are Charging Fat People by the Pound

In Samoa, more than half the country struggles with obesity literally from the moment they are born. Luckily, Samoa Air has figured out a way to motivate people to get in shape ... and make some money off those fatties in the process. Under the airline's new payment system, passengers are required to pay based on their total weight. So let's say circa 2010 Kirstie Alley and Verne Troyer get on an Air Samoa plane -- this means they'd end up paying $416 and $100, respectively, for the same trip.

3 Dystopian Ways We're Fighting the Obesity Epidemic
Stephen Lovekin / Getty / Toglenn

Also, you're probably watching Family Guy.

An apartment unit in Japan is also basing rent on the weight of the tenant -- for every 2.2 pounds gained, they add 1,000 yen (10 bucks), and if you lose weight, they'll take that off your rent. Why? The short answer is "Because it's Japan." The long one is that they were hoping to motivate overweight people to eat healthy and pay less. However, the plan ended up attracting young, already fit women just looking to maintain their slender physique under punishment of poverty. As a result, the owners have seriously been offering unlimited free snacks to the tenants.

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Associated Press

See "short answer," above.

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