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LOMA LINDA (CBSLA) — Can eating avocados help you lose weight? That’s the question local scientists want to answer, and they’re willing to pay people to find out.

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Dr. Joan Sabaté’s team at the Loma Linda University School of Public Health wants to know if the fatty fruit actually promotes weight loss by reducing belly fat. Research teams at LLU and UCLA, along with Penn State and Tufts universities, will each pay 250 people to test their hypothesis.

“The study will examine whether eating one avocado per day reduces visceral adipose fat in the abdomen,” Sabaté said in a statement.

Participants will end up in one of two groups. The test group will be asked to eat one avocado every day for six months, and the control group will be required to eat two avocados or fewer per month. (Avocado lovers who end up in the control group will be pleased to know that they’ll receive 24 extra free avocados once the study ends.)

Each person taking part in the study will receive a free MRI and health screening and will be required to meet with a dietician once a month. At the end of the six-month study, each participant will be paid $300.

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To qualify, participants must:

1. Be 25 years of age or older

2. Be willing to either eat one avocado per day for six months or eat only two avocados per month for the same period

3. Measure at least 40 inches around the waist if they are male, or

4. Measure at least 35 inches around the waist if they are female.

The study is funded by the Hass Avocado board, although the university says the sponsorship won’t affect the science.

“For the last 20 years, we have been doing dietary intervention studies on plant-based foods and nuts,” Sabaté said in a statement. “We are rigorous in our selection of projects.”

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For more info on the study, click here.