There are new fad diets popping up every day, some of them are extreme and some are just plain crazy. This latest one is no exception. Women in Hong Kong are now turning to the sun to lose weight. How does it work?
‘A new ‘health’ trend in Hong Kong sees women staring straight at the sun in the belief that it will replace their need for food and even improve their vision and sleep quality, reports Oriental Daily.
The women, between 20 and 30 years old, reportedly head to the Sam Ka Village beach in Lei Yue Mun every evening and take off their shoes and sunglasses before setting their phone timers and stand to stare at the sunset – some using an umbrella or a tissue to protect their skin.’
Well..at least they protect their skin? The idea is that we can get our energy from the sun rather than food, thereby eliminating calories. Whilst this seems like a nifty idea, we are not plants and our bodies aren’t fueled by sun unlike them. Photographs in the original article show the women performing their sun gazing routine.
‘The concept of ‘sun gazing’ or ‘sun eating’ revolves around consuming the sun’s solar energy instead of food and that by doing so it can reduce the body’s needs.
Some of the women choose to wear pinhole glasses to limit the UV rays getting to their eyes and causing permanent damage. Some of the sun gazers stress they are doing it for health reasons, not weight loss.
‘We practice sun-gazing as a substitute for eating. Some of us who have finished the therapy now eat less, and others don’t have to eat at all,’ one woman told Oriental Daily.’
I would suspect the decreased intake following this therapy is due to their stomachs shrinking from swapping out food for sun. Less food = a smaller stomach = less food required to feel satisfied. As for not needing food at all, that’s a disaster waiting to happen. On a serious note, this practice can cause damage to the skin, eyes and could also result in malnutrition.
‘She said they start by looking at the sun for up to 10 seconds on the first day, adding 10 seconds every day until they reach 44 minutes by the ninth month of practice. Dermatology specialist, Hou Xiang Jun, is concerned about the rising trend, saying the subtropical region, high ultraviolet degree and water reflection is leading to far too much ultraviolet light absorption.’
Even if painted with sunscreen they can only withstand five to six per cent of the damage, an umbrella or cap can only take 10 – 20 per cent and long exposure, in addition to sunburn, will increase the risk of serious skin cancer,’ Mr Xiang Jun told Oriental Daily. Ophthalmology experts are also concerned, naming conjunctival disease, cataracts and macular degeneration as potential side effects.