Study will pay you $300 to eat avocados daily for six months

Holy guacamole, this sounds like one tasty deal.

Gael Cooper
CNET editor Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." She's been a journalist since 1989, working at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Twin Cities Sidewalk, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and NBC News Digital. She's Gen X in birthdate, word and deed. If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
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Gael Cooper
2 min read
Patrick Holland/CNET

Here's a ripe offer: a new research study is enlisting 1,000 people to eat an avocado every day for six months, and get paid for it.

The Habitual Diet and Avocado Trial (dubbed the HAT Study) is being conducted by California's Loma Linda University School of Public Health.

"The study will examine whether eating one avocado per day reduces visceral adipose fat in the abdomen," Joan Sabaté, director of Loma Linda University's Center for Nutrition, Lifestyle and Disease Prevention, said in a statement. (In simpler language: Does eating avocados help you lose weight?)

Loma Linda University, Penn State University, Tufts University and UCLA will each recruit 250 participants for the tasty test. Those chosen will be assigned to one of two groups. Participants in one group will eat an avocado per day for six months, while those in the other will eat only two avocados per month for the same period.

Although the study has been much taco-d about in the last few days, there are still spaces for those who qualify, a spokesperson for Loma Linda University said Thursday. (You need to live near one of the campuses and meet certain age and waist-size requirements -- if you don't, it's the pits.)

"Our link to the HAT study is still live, but because of the overwhelming response users have been experiencing some issues that we are working to fix," spokesperson Briana Pastorino said. "The phone number listed for the study is not accepting calls for the rest of this week. However, potential subjects are still needed in the regions surrounding Penn State University, Tufts University and UCLA and are invited to enroll in avocado studies at those campuses."

More information about how to apply is available at the study's webpage.

Those who make it into one of the two groups will receive a free health screening and must attend a monthly meeting with a dietitian. The avocado eaters will be given 16 avocados every two weeks and asked to chow down on one a day. (Watch out for "Avocado Hand" injuries!) 

When the study is over, successful participants from both groups will receive $300 each. Those who were limited to eating only two avocados per month also will be given a consolation prize of 24 avocados to make up for their months of denial.

While the study is funded by the Haas Avocado Board, Sabaté says the study won't tip its results to favor the avocado promoters. "For the last 20 years, we have been doing dietary intervention studies on plant-based foods and nuts," he said in a statement. "We are rigorous in our selection of projects."

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