Siberian woman receives 5 tons of coal after losing 35 kg of weight

In Russia, one in five people are obese and in some areas the problem is even more acute.

In Russia, one in five people are obese and in some areas the problem is even more acute.

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Kemerovo Region officials find creative way to improve public health.

On December 23, 2015 Elena Salnikova of Kemerovo Region received five tons of coal for reducing her weight from 113 to 78 kilograms (249 to 172 pounds). Salnikova received a special gift from Governor Aman Tuleyev, who said that the regional government would like to encourage residents that decide to go on a diet.

"In the fight against obesity, we will compensate people in the way that the United Arab Emirates do,” said Tuleyev in November. “People who lose weight there are paid in gold. We will pay as well. Not by gold coins though, but by coal. Tons of coal."

In Russia, one in five people are obese and in some areas the problem is even more acute. In early January 2016 specialists from the Research Institute of Nutrition found that most obese people live in the European part of the country and in the Urals. The farther you go east, the slimmer people get, although some of the slimmest regions also happen to be in European Russia.

According to the Research Institute of Nutrition, Russia’s "fattest" regions include the Kaluga Region (33 percent are obese) and Moscow (30 percent). The “slimmest” regions are Udmurtia (12 percent are obese) and the Orenburg Region (17 percent).

The Research Institute of Nutrition says that the percentage of people suffering from obesity is going up because the caloric intake is increasing and the level of physical activity is going down. According to the Rosstat statistics agency, about half of Russians eat unhealthy foods regularly from infancy. Approximately 45 percent of children eat sausages daily or several times a week, while 53 percent of children consume cakes and other sweets on a similar basis.

First published in Russian in Izvestia.

All rights reserved by Rossiyskaya Gazeta.

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