Piling on a few extra pounds comes easily to many people living in Guangzhou. The city's reputation as the eating capital of China makes weight gain all too common. In the past, businessmen were the main culprits of overindulgence, but now a growing number of women in the workplace are also falling prey to weight gain. The fitness and beauty industry is all too ready to make the most of this trend, as local adverts send out the clarion call that slim is in. From spas to acupuncture, women across Guangzhou are trying to shed their weight, and the beauty business is starting to boom. 'People here like to go out and eat, but if you're not careful it's easy to gain weight,' said Florence Zeng, co-owner of Meizi, one of the city's largest spas for women. 'The problem is that a lot of women with desk jobs don't get enough chance to exercise.' According to Ms Zeng, for the past two years more women have been joining female-only spas. The increase in numbers has also drawn more health and nutrition experts from Hong Kong. 'Before, a lot of women in Guangzhou went to Hong Kong to lose weight and use the equipment there because nobody here had that experience,' said Ms Zeng. 'Now, there are more health counsellors here and customers are even demanding to sign contracts with spas as a guarantee that they will lose so much weight in a certain amount of time.' In Guangzhou, most top-end spas cost 1,000-2,000 yuan per visit. While many women exercise and undergo nutrition counselling to help them lose weight, others are turning to more traditional methods such as acupuncture. 'I lost about 4kg in one month after using acupuncture,' said Vanessa Huang, an accountant from Guangzhou. According to Ms Huang, the treatment, which consisted of 20 visits and cost 1,900 yuan, has helped curb her appetite. 'After eating, I used to still want more, but after receiving the acupuncture treatment, I didn't,' she said. Ms Huang, who learned of the treatment from a friend, said that one of the main advantages for her was that it did not involve taking medication. Most men and women in southern China have a long way to go before reaching the bloated proportions of many Americans, who are considered obese. As the divorce rate continues to increase in China, many women hope that by keeping their shape they will also keep their man. For others, weight loss is a way to retain their femininity. 'Women like to look beautiful,' said Ms Zeng. 'When we look at ourselves, we think about how to keep our shape.'