Reverse Liposuction "set to end World Poverty"

By Practical Action, PRNE
Tuesday, January 25, 2011

LONDON, January 26, 2011 - More than a third of Britons (38 per cent) have said they
would sign up for a new weight loss treatment that would see their excess fat
siphoned off - and donated to starving people in Africa and the developing

The findings, from international development charity Practical
Action (
, come as internet videos purporting to be from a Harley Street cosmetic
clinic ( offering so-called "reverse
liposuction" have been revealed as a spoof.

Thousands of people fell for the videos (, which claimed the Klaxon
Institute ( had developed reverse
liposuction so the starving of Africa and the developing world could live off
the excess fat of the West.

Practical Action (, the
charity behind the videos, has been using the spoof clinic to demonstrate how
short-term, quick fixes are no match for long-term, practical solutions that
help the people of the developing world escape poverty forever.

Thousands of people curious about the weight loss operation
visited the spoof clinic's website ( in just 12
days, with tens of thousands watching and sharing the video on websites,
blogs, forums or YouTube.

The Practical Action research also suggests that choosing a
charitable nip and tuck, is preferable to people than donating financially to

One in three Britons (33 per cent) currently donate to
charities with one in 10 (nine per cent) admitting that they would like to
donate more during 2011.

Margaret Gardner, a Director at Practical Action
(, said:
"It's worrying that people fell for the spoof and think that imposed western
solutions such as reverse liposuction would be a good, feasible, idea to help
end poverty.

"We loved the video because it's funny and we chose to launch
it in January because it is a month when we are just about all obsessed with
fat and the body beautiful. It starts from where people are and we hope will
engage them in a debate - whether they find it funny or shocking - it's the
debate we believe is important.

"We see day-in, day-out that what people in developing
countries really want is to work their own way out of poverty, permanently.
What they need are the tools and opportunity to challenge their poverty and
improve their lives.

"Our hope is that the video made people think. While the
solution shown in the video can't change the world, the work done by
Practical Action can, and has already helped millions of people out of

There are many ways in which people can support Practical
Action (
without donating money - or their excess fat. These include:

    - Taking part in a challenge/sponsored event to raise funds -

    - London to Paris bike ride

    - The Whole Hog

    - Nightrider - cycle through London at night

    - Joining one of our local groups in Bristol, Glasgow and London -

    - Becoming a Practical Presenter, or inviting one to talk at your group -

    - Joining Practical Action's social networks - twitter, facebook, youtube

    - Writing a blog for Practical Action

    - Give as you shop, whether you're buying flowers, surfing the net or
      shopping online -

    - Donating unwanted items such as mobile phones and foreign coins -

    - Sign up to Practical Action's climate change and energy campaigns:

    - Signing up to Practical Action's enewsletter:

    - Volunteering to help out in Practical Action's UK office

Notes For Editors:

Research was carried out by ICM research among 2,000 GB adults
during January 2011.

Practical Action (
believes that the right idea, however small, can change lives.

Practical Action is an international development charity with
a difference, working together with some of the world's poorest women, men
and children, helping to alleviate poverty in the developing world through
the innovative use of technology.

Practical Action's particular strength is its 'simple'
approach: finding out what people are doing and helping them to do it better.
This enables poor communities to build on their own knowledge and skills to
produce sustainable and practical solutions: driving their own development.

Whether enabling women and men in Darfur to feed their
families, providing people in Bangladesh with the chance to control the
impact of flooding on their lives or working with remote communities in Peru
to introduce electricity, Practical Action's activities are always people
focused, locally relevant and environmentally sensitive, offering tangible
ways out of poverty.

Practical Action won The Ashden Award for Light and Power in
2007 for its micro-hydro work in Peru, bringing electricity to over 30,000
people living in remote Andean villages.

For further information, please contact Michael Sheen or Andy Wray at Band & Brown Communications on +44(0)20-3451-9440 / +44(0)20-3451-9448 or
Michael at / andy.wray at

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