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article imageUniversity study pays participants to eat fast food daily

By Leigh Goessl     Oct 5, 2012 in Health
Saint Louis - A university in St. Louis, Mo. is conducting a study on obesity and looking for participants. The researchers are willing to pay up to $3,500 to individuals who are willing to eat fast food daily for three months.
According to KMOV, researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine are looking to pay individuals money to gain weight through consumption of fast food. The study, which will examine the effects of weight gain and its association with certain diseases, sets the criteria that participants must gain five to seven percent of their body weight during the course of three months through eating 1,000 extra calories a day consisting of fast food.
The study is examining especially why some people who gain weight develop hypertension and diabetes while others do not.
“By choosing fast foods, we can regulate that food intake much better than trying to tell people to try and decide on their own eating food at home, which requires judgment and educations on what you’re eating,” said Dr. Sam Klein with Washington University, lead researcher in the study. “By going to eat fast food, we know exactly what they’re eating.”
Doctors involved in the study say the type of information they are seeking cannot be achieved through the study of rodents.
Participants must be between the ages of 18 and 65, non-diabetic and 30 pounds overweight. Additionally, they cannot be smokers. Their choices of fast food are limited to McDonalds, Burger King, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and KFC. The university put out ads to recruit participants for the study, which is ongoing.
"[Fast food restaurants] have very regulated food content," said Klein. "We know exactly the calories and macro-nutrient composition within fast food restaurants, so it's a very inexpensive, easy and tasteful way to give people extra calories."
After the three month period is up, the participants will then be enrolled in a weight loss program to lose the weight gained, and once this is completed, they'll receive additional monetary compensation, reported ABC News.
Some people who have already taken part in the study noted as the weeks went by they felt awful, reported ABC.
"It was really good and you know the next night I went to Taco Bell and it was, it was wonderful," said Dawn Freeman, a 50-year-old nurse who was paid to eat fast food daily. She told ABC News she started to feel awful after two weeks. "I could hardly breathe anymore," she'd said.
"Our hope is by identifying what is happening in people's bodies as they gain weight we will then be able to create better therapies down the road," said Courtney Tiemann a registered dietician and research coordinator with the Center for Human Nutrition at Washington University, reported KSDK.
It appears not everyone will earn the $3,500, how much a participant receives will depend upon how long it takes them to reach the study's goal. In an economy where unemployment rates continue to sit at high levels, such a study may appear enticing. Although, it is not clear whether or not participants pay for their food purchases, also it is not clear about the costs involved if in the event any potential healthcare is needed after consuming fast food daily for three months.
Would you consider getting paid to eat fast food daily?
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