Venture backstage to witness the chaos as the clock ticks down to the lights going up, and it is difficult not to be intrigued by a sign posted on the backstage curtain.
It reads in both English and Chinese, “Models must eat before going on runway. Spraying your hunger away is not enough!”
The sign is posted by organisers concerned about a slimming spray called SENSASLIM, and fearful of a repeat of an incident last year where a model collapsed on the catwalk from lack of energy brought about by food deprivation.
There is no eating to be seen. The models sit quietly in folding chairs, texting friends on their cellphones and getting their makeover. Hair is teased and braided, makeup applied, nails lacquered…and they spray…the hunger away!
Sensaslim’s success is measured by it being the hot topic of gossip amongst the super models who will strut their stuff this week.
It was first discovered at New York Fashion Week and Sensaslim success soon spread with the supermodels as they travelled to London, Paris, Milan and now Beijing.
The Norwegian model, Erjana Ala, discovered the SENSASLIM spray in her native Norway where it has recently been released.
"The other girls saw me spray it, and now everyone is wanting it,” Ala says, as she squirts the oral slimming spray three times onto her petite tongue.
“It isn’t in China yet, so the girls are buying it on the internet and getting it sent by courier,” she said. “It’s crazy how everyone is asking me where they can get it.”
With the slogan, “Nothing Tastes as Good as Slim Feels”, a quote made famous by British model Kate Moss that saw her gain entry into the Oxford Book of Modern Quotations, it is little wonder that this slimming phenomenon has become such a hit with the supermodels.
Sensaslim Asia CEO Mr Stephen Kao is not surprised by the demand by models in China.
“The origins of Sensaslim can be found in eastern medicine,” he said. “However western scientists took these ingredients to combine it in a product to solve obesity what was traditionally a problem in the west.”
“Now waistlines in China are expanding faster than almost anywhere else, “ he said.
Nearly a quarter of residents in the Earth's most populous nation are now overweight, according to a recent study
Obesity among China's 1.3 billion people doubled among women and tripled in men from 1989 to 2000, according to a study published in the journal Health Affairs. China's rising prosperity, which allows more people to afford meat, dairy foods, vegetable oils and sedentary living, is fueling the growth, the study said.
The number of obese and overweight people in China, now at 325 million, could double in 20 years, spurring more diabetes and heart disease in what was once one of the world's leanest populations, said Barry Popkin, the study author and a nutrition professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It also could be a boon for drugmakers, said Ray Hill, an analyst with IMS Health Inc., a health-care research company.
China ``has the highest growth rate for pharmaceutical sales than anywhere in the world,'' said Hill in a July 6 telephone interview. China was the world's ninth-largest pharmaceutical market two years ago and will be the fifth- largest by 2012, he said.
The study collected data on 20,000 people in China over the last 15 years and found that participants are eating more energy-dense foods, which have higher saturated fats and calories than vegetables and carbohydrates, said Popkin. At the same time, activity levels are dropping with more white-collar and manufacturing jobs, leaving China with the same caloric imbalance afflicting many Western countries: people eating more food and burning fewer calories.
SENSASLIM is being described as a “dieter’s dream”, the easy way to lose weight without ever feeling hungry. Some are calling it a “model’s miracle”. Others urge caution.
Erin O’Connor, the super model and founder of the Model Sanctuary is one who urges moderation.
“The talk this year amongst the boys and girls at Fashion Week is all about the SensaSlim Slimming Spray and they are describing it as a model’s miracle,” O’Connor said.
“As a model for 15 years I understand the attraction of a product that takes your mind of food so you are never hungry, but like all good things, it needs to be used wisely,” she said.
Sensaslim Research Director Dr Sommerville said Sensaslim was only to be administered three times a day, by two sprays onto the tongue, ten minutes before meals, and should not be used instead of food entirely.
“Sensaslim was not designed for the underweight or normal weighted people but for those who are overweight or obese and need to lose large amount of weight,” he said.
“We would not encourage models to use it more than once a day as it is may work too well "
“Sensaslim is formulated in Switzerland and is sprayed three times daily onto the tongue, ten minutes before meals, Dr Sommerville said. “ Its all natural active ingredients enter the blood stream and naturally suppress the appetite.”
“Simultaneously, the taste buds are pleasantly desensitized by a natural herb. This sends a message to the satiety centre in the brain, and without affecting the central nervous system,” he said.
The Swiss pharmaceutical company that develops SENSASLIM recently announced that it was excited by a Yale University study published this month in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, describing it as a major breakthrough in supporting their product’s science that obesity is affected by how well a control system in the brain is working.
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