London, Jan 1 : Female students in China have been eating roundworm eggs to lose weight for job interviews - because employment is so hard to come by, a media report said.
They hatch in the stomach, allowing those who take them to shed pounds without exercising or dieting in Xiamen, China.
But swallowing the worms is extremely dangerous - and definitely not to be recommended for those wanting to shed the pounds in the New Year, reports Daily Mail.
With jobs shortages across the country, women in China are under pressure to appear thin if they are to have any chance of landing a role.
Employment stands at 22 percent - and the size of the labour pool has grown by 112 million people over the last decade to more than one billion people.
Other students are staring at pictures for hours on end to suppress their appetite so they can shed excess weight.
A student called Xiaomei said that women are using a 'special soap' that helps them with their diets. Some are having up to 10 showers each day.
The treatments have no scientific basis and are likely to damage health.
In the 1990s Chinese women would take special teas and pills to lose weight. Acupuncture also emerged as a popular choice, the Mail reported Friday.
But many students struggle to find work as the world's most populous nation faces big unemployment problems with only
780 million labourers in jobs.
However, the work problem is largely confined to rural areas. Jobs in cities are being created quickly as China undergoes a rapid urbanisation.
"China is facing huge employment pressures at present and for the foreseeable future," Yi Chengji, spokesman for the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security said.
"As China's urbanisation quickens, employment pressures from the many surplus rural labourers are getting bigger and bigger.
"Currently there are about 100 million surplus rural workers that need to be transferred (to urban jobs)."
The country's urban population will rise to over 700 million people by 2015, outstripping the rural population for the first time.
According to an employment paper, there were 9.21 million registered urban jobless in China at the end of 2009, resulting in just a 4.3 percent urban unemployment rate.