Wash U.: Gain Weight and Get Paid
Would you eat a dozen churros every day for pay?
Researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine are paying participants to eat, particularly fast food from McDonald's, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Burger King, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut.
Participants are being compensated up to $3500 depending on how quickly they reach their weight goal. Encouraged to add a 1000+ calorie fast food meal per day to their regular diet, participants are supposed to gain between 15 and 20 pounds over the course of eight weeks.
The University's Dr. Samuel Klein created the study to test why some people develop health issues such as diabetes and hypertension after weight gain while others do not, according to ABC News.
Participants eat their usual breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and then add a fast food combo meal, such as a Quarter Pounder meal, to gain the weight required by the study.
This concept would repulse some and entice others. Those participating in the study enjoyed stuffing their faces with the greasy, salty processed foods - at first.
Dawn Freeman, a 50-year-old nurse, ate a Big Mac and large fries for her first meal. "It was really good and you know the next night I went to Taco Bell and it was, it was wonderful," she said. "This is after I have already eaten dinner."
But she sang a different tune after a dozen more fast food meals. "I could hardly breathe anymore."
It may seem irresponsible of these researchers and the university to pay people to eat this way, and maybe it is. But they do provide a weight loss program to all participants to regain their starting weight. Participants are also compensated for their weight loss.
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