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Press Release

Caution against improper weight control

8 Feb 2010

The Department of Health (DH) today (February 8) cautioned against products containing parasite for weight control as they are harmful to health.

The appeal followed a report received about promotion of such a product at a commercial website.

A DH spokesman said infestation of parasites, such as Ascaris, as slimming means has no scientific basis. On the contrary, it could cause abdominal pain and distention, vomiting, diarrhea and malnutrition.

"Parasite infestation may also be fatal if serious complications such as intestinal, biliary tract or pancreatic duct obstruction arise. The worms may even invade such organs as the lungs.

"The infestation can be treated with medication that kills the parasite. The worms may require surgical removal if there are obstructions," the spokesman said.

The spokesman reiterated that the only natural, healthy and effective means of weight control was through dietary regulation and regular exercise.

He urged members of the public to consult their family doctors before taking drugs for weight control.

08 February 2010