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Sun 3 Aug 2014 09:55 AM

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US TV's Jon Stewart slams Dubai's ‘Your Child in Gold’ campaign

Presenter tweeted that the contest would result in a nation of spoiled kids

US TV's Jon Stewart slams Dubai's ‘Your Child in Gold’ campaign
(Getty Images)

Popular US talk show host Jon Stewart has hit out at Dubai’s weight loss contest ‘Your Child in Gold’, claiming on Twitter it will result in a nation of spoilt kids.

Stewart is the presenter of ‘The Daily Show’, a satirical news programme broadcast on the Comedy Central TV station. The popular, and at times controversial, show is watched by around 2.5 million American viewers each night.

Last week, around 28,000 people have applied online to take part in Dubai Municipality's weight loss contest ‘Your Child in Gold’, with 18,000 qualifying to take part.

Officials told Gulf News they expect around a third of participants to complete the weight loss contest, which rewards gold for every kilo lost.

Last year total of 9,666 people registered for ‘Your Weight in Gold’ initiative and 2,648 participants successful completed it and were rewarded with gold. The top winner was 28 year-old Syrian expat Ahmad Al Shaikh, who lost 26 kg.

Walid Al Shaibani, coordinator of the campaign, said there is an issue with obesity in the UAE, with a large amount spent on treating diabetes-related problems.

“The UAE is one of the highest countries in the proportion of obesity where the increased weight reaches 67 percent among men and 72 percent among women according to WHO [World Health Organization].

“The UAE is also ranked 15th globally where 18.98 percent are suffering from diabetes according to World Diabetes Union 2013. The nation has spent so far around 6 billion dollars for the treatment for diabetes related problems,” he said.

Registration closed on July 24 and the minimum weight contestants must lose is 2kgs.

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Mick 6 years ago

Forfeiting responsible parenting for greed.
Welcome to the stone age or, perhaps, the end of days for common sense or even morality. Bribing children to lose weight instead of driving the ignorance out of parents to halt the synthetic garbage they allow their children to eat to, either, shut them up or so they could turn a blind eye and allow the obesity issue/diabetes issue to fester even further in the UAE. What happens when they win their gold?? The weight comes back on. The ones that are most problematic and in need of help are the ones that have no need for gold.

AKJ 6 years ago

How was the 28 year old considered a Child last year?

marwan 6 years ago

good for dubai and good for the families who want to help there kids lose weight .i dont understand whats the diffents between this and when u tell ur child if u get an A in us exam ill get u an ipad or take u to this place. its the same actully i think its better cause its there halth that is involved.so jon stewart or mick get a grip and a life and let the people do what they want ,

Bibo 6 years ago

Obesity in children became a dangerous phenomenon, Dubai is striving to look after the health of the citizens and and the residents by creating encentives to children to workout and adopt a healthy lifestyle that will have long term effects of their lives as well as the economy in general. Dubai must be praised for this endeavour. We are so proud of this creative initiative.

Mick 6 years ago

The fact that you don't see the difference between a child's health and life threatening state and an A in school is part of the problem, Marwan. It's rather scary that you would compare the two. A child works hard all year in school and they get a gift at the end. A parent stuffs processed garbage down a child's throat because they don't care about the child's wellbeing and are, clearly, ignorant themselves about the most rudimentary dietary knowledge and the child ends up obese early and you want to reward the parents or the child with gold for not eating McDonalds for a couple of months?

If everyone let those parents do what they want, I'm sure that they'd never see their kids and they'd be raised by nannies in mall. You can't have 4-8 children in an overpopulated world and leave them to take care of their own health. Be a parent.

chalky6766 6 years ago

Well last time I looked I didnt see this was for kids! It was a very unique way of kick starting a campaign for health and weight loss. Look, its not a sustainable solution but it does get a great deal of publicity and therefore so does the message which can then no doubt go onto other incentives. This is the world we live in and Dubai is always unique in its approach. Perhaps the US could do with the same as there do seem to be rather a lot of obese people there!

Matthew 6 years ago

Two different initiatives. Read again.

Sportsman 6 years ago

No it is not the same because in this system you do not reward the parents of a kid that is ALREADY doing his best eating healthy, doing sports and being in good shape thanks to a good education. He gets nothing while lazy fat kids from careless parents get a golden opportunity!

Basically, if I was a greedy parent willing to abuse the system, I would quickly fatten up my kid with loads of junk and by limiting his movement, then register him and cash in the gold!

Plus where in this system is the safeguard that protects the kid from growing fat again after cashing in the gold?

Don't you see it! Health and Money are not to be mixed! It should be a parent's obligation to raise their children in a healthy way. A much better system would be to actually fine the parents of fat kids when it is proven they do not give him the food and movement he needs!

John Smith 6 years ago

Perhaps we could offer gold for parents who put their children in car safety seats.

Who cares 6 years ago

So now we care what American TV host or comedians think about seriously? How low can we go! First plastic face Joan rivers and now this...... Give me a break people.