Mothers to belt up on special day

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 13 May, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 13 May, 2006, 12:00am

Purported aid for slimmers proving to be a popular gift

The controversial massage belts that makers claim make you slim have been one of the hottest sellers ahead of Mother's Day - despite questions about their safety and effectiveness.

OSIM said sales of its u-Zap have been up more than 10 per cent over the past two weeks.

OTO, which sells the Trimax 2 slimming belt, said recent criticism of the product by doctors had little impact on sales.

'Sales have been strong. Many customers came with their mothers to buy the belt,' said a spokeswoman for OTO.

A spokeswoman for OSIM said many young customers had chosen to give the belt as a Mother's Day present because of its affordability.

Doctors have questioned whether the belts can help wearers lose weight and warned that pregnant users may be at a higher risk of miscarriage.

Addressing their criticism, OTO said: 'In our manuals, we clearly state that the belt is not suitable for use by people with certain conditions, such as pregnant women.'

Meanwhile, the city's restaurants reported healthy bookings for Mother's Day.

'People began coming to celebrate Mother's Day last weekend. The average spending per head is between $220 and $300, 20 per cent up from last year,' said Vincent Lee Wing-king, manager of The Graces Garden restaurant at Times Square in Causeway Bay.

'More young people, like students, are chipping in to buy their mothers dinner. Probably it's [a result of] peer pressure to treat their mother on Mother's Day,' Mr Lee added.

One western restaurant said people were being more adventurous in their choice of menus for family gatherings.

A spokeswoman for The Quarterdeck Kowloon at Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui, said while Chinese families traditionally choose buffets for special occasions, they had become more receptive towards western set menus.

The restaurant expects its diners to spend an average $375 per head.