One of the best ways Brazilians can stave off chronic illness is to engage regularly in physical exercise, especially sex, Health Minister Jose Gomes Temporao said Monday.
"People need to be active. A weekend football game must not be the only physical activity for a Brazilian. Adults need to do exercise: walk, dance and have safe sex," he said.
The minister gave the advice as he launched a campaign to prevent high blood pressure, which afflicts a quarter of Brazil's 190-million strong population.
After making his comments, Temporao reinforced the sex message with journalists, according to the G1 news website.
"It's not a joke. It's serious. Having regular physical exercises also means sex, always with protection of course," he said.
"Dancing, having sex, keeping weight under control, changing dietary habits, doing physical exercise" all help keep blood pressure down, he said.
He added that he believed there was a health "time bomb" ticking in Brazil, which within 20 years could see a "gigantic percentage" of the population suffering chronic illnesses, high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol.