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Would you place a bet on losing weight?

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The diet industry is big business - particularly this time of year. In 2018, the sector was worth £147bn globally, according to the agency Research and Markets.

But now there's a new method of shedding the pounds that's raising some eyebrows - placing bets online on your own weight loss.

You bet money that you will lose a certain amount of weight in a certain amount of time, typically 4% of your weight. If you succeed, you get your money back plus a bit, but if you lose, your cash is gone.

Two companies making this trend popular in the US are Dietbet and Healthy Wage.

“The rules prohibit people from anorexia taking part...but if they do, there is little to no financial gain. There is no way to know exactly whether someone has anorexia, but we have a very active community and people will flag it up if they believe someone is using unhealthy methods to lose weight, and we have referees who will investigate," said HealthyWage chief executive David Roddenberry.

“But the alternative is actually scarier. we have an obesity epidemic and the obesity rate keeps rising, not falling, so if we can use gamification as a way to engage with people, we should do that."