A worrying new "health" trend in Hong Kong is finding women staring directly at the sun with unprotected eyes in a belief that it will help them lose weight, according to Daily Mail.
It is thought that "sun gazing" or "sun eating" fills the body with solar energy satiating the need for food. Other supposed benefits from the bizarre practice are improved vision and better sleep.
"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.
The technique is to stare at the sun for 10 seconds, increasing daily by a further 10 seconds until you stare at the sun for 44 minutes by the ninth month.
Although many women are shielding the rest of their faces with tissues or umbrellas, it is thought that the ultraviolet rays can only be doing harm.
Dermatology expert, Hou Xiang Jun, says the trend is concerning.
"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.
Opthamology experts are also worried about the side effects naming cataracts, macular degeneration and conjuctival disease as potential issues.