You may feel lazy during the long, hot summer days, but a health expert recommends seizing the opportunity to lose fat.
As temperatures of around 35 C sweep the nation, Huang Mingda, a well-known obesity expert, is urging people to do more exercise instead of staying at home with the air conditioner.
During hot weather it is easy to be lethargic, and not to want to move around or engage in outdoor activities, but this could make waistlines bulge, said Huang from the Chinese Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Appetite is often suppressed during the hot months, helping dieters cut their calorific intake, Huang said.
The latest national survey carried out last year by the Ministry of Health shows at least 60 million people are obese, with 200 million overweight.
Being overweight increases the chances of developing heart disease, hypertension or suffering a stroke.
For those in the healthy weight range summer is usually a season for losing weight because of heavy sweating and suppressed appetite.
On the other hand, those beyond the healthy range tend to do little exercise and eat foods with a high fat content, Huang noted.
People in the habit of having a midday snooze tend to store more fat. Having a rest after lunch for a couple of hours means food is not burnt off through activity.
Eating more fruit and vegetables and drinking a lot more than usual will help prevent heatstroke, Huang said.
Hospitals have admitted heatstroke and alimentary canal diseases, such as diarrhoea, are caused by heat and an unhealthy summer diet.
(China Daily July 6, 2005)