'WINTER melon' is the taunt which really pierces the skin of 14-year-old Ka-man, a form three student from Tai Po. But, at 159 centimetres and 59 kilograms, she is upbeat this week because she has lost weight. Six months ago, at the age of 13, Ka-man weighed 64kg. She wants to remain anonymous, but has come to her doctor's office to talk about the student lifestyle which is producing overweight, unhealthy kids. 'Chit kwa (Chinese cucumber), that's their name for me. They say my legs are like chit kwa,' Ka-man said. 'My older brother calls me 'big winter melon.' I hate it, but I keep silent because if people know I dislike it they will say it more often. 'If I don't respond, the other kids will not find it funny and they will stop.' Ka-man is overweight and has diabetes, but has managed to control the disease and her weight through fortnightly visits and encouragement from paediatricians at the Prince of Wales hospital, Sha Tin. 'Lots of kids at school are very fat; they're teased by their friends,' she said. 'My mother has diabetes and she tested my urine for diabetes. She was worried because I was a little on the chubby side.' Diabetes, the disease in which the body's cells resist insulin, causes fatigue, irritability and can lead to eye disease. 'Obese people have a tendency to get diabetes. It's very tiring. It is also very annoying that I have to give myself injections and prick my finger to check my blood sugar levels every day,' said Ka-man. 'I understand that if I can control my weight a little better, there would be an improvement in my diabetes.' But it's hard to diet when schoolmates are wolfing down their favourite snacks, sweets, bread, instant noodles, soft drinks and potato chips. Like her form three friends, Ka-man buys her breakfast each day. 'I eat macaroni with a fried egg or sausage and drink milk. My friends have breakfast at McDonalds, then we go to school,' she said. 'Because I know I have a bit of a weight problem and I have diabetes, I try to omit snacks, but my friends go downstairs and buy snacks. 'Some kids will go home for lunch if they live nearby, but otherwise we will buy lunch boxes with fried pork chops, beef or sometimes with ham.' After school, students gather at McDonalds, where fries are a favourite. 'In my family now, my mother is very busy working in China so my grandmother usually cooks the evening meal,' Ka-man added. 'She likes to do a lot of frying; she uses a lot of oil. Actually, if I had a choice, I would like a bit of both steaming and deep-frying. 'My grandmother loves to cook very sweet things. She makes Chinese desserts and puts even more sugar on top - and then she asks me: 'Would you like some?' Ka-man's exercise is limited to a game of badminton or volleyball once every week or two. She knows she will be more healthy if she loses weight, but says the student lifestyle makes it difficult.