If you enjoy eating the avocado toast at Bite in downtown Utica or an avocado salad at Red Samurai or Mitsuba or Asahi or any of the other fine Asian restaurants in Central New York, you're in business. Literally.

Researchers at four colleges--Loma Linda, UCLA, Penn State (about a five-hour drive from Utica) and Tufts (about a four-hour drive)--are seeking a total of 1,000 participants, who will each receive $300...just for eating avocados. The goal is to discover whether the green fruit, with its high fat content, can actually help us lose weight. There are some qualifications you'll need to take part in the research:

  • You must be at least 25 years old
  • Your waist must measure between 35 and 40 inches, depending on gender
  • You must be available for campus visits to one of the four colleges, undergo two abdominal MRIs, and attend monthly dietary meetings

The two control groups will eat (A) one avocado every day for six months OR (B) two avocados per month for six months. Those chosen to participate will receive $300 at the end of the six months AND 24 avocados.

The study is underwritten by the Hass Avocado Board and seeks to validate an earlier study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association linking avocado consumption with lower blood pressure.

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