Obesity in Hong Kong

Essay by bleach18 May 2004

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In the eighteenth century, foods that were taken by different classes varied from one another. The lower class's diet was mainly composed of grain, vegetables, and little meat. The diet of the wealthy was made up of meat, sweets, cheese, and alcohol. Because of the markets, merchants and minor bureaucrats had variety of meats, vegetables, bread, beans and fruits at their meals, giving them a more balanced diet. Nowadays even though we have a broader knowledge in healthy diets, due to the convenience of fast foods and lack of regular exercise, there's still an increase in obesity among the youngsters compared to the past.

In Hong Kong, data from the Student Health Service showed that between 1998-99 and 2000-01, 13,973 new children became obese and a majority of them, 10,592, were primary students. With the constant advertisement of convenient fast foods, Hong Kong children have moved from healthy traditional diets, like the several shared dishes in a family meal, to fast foods and high in cholesterol snacks.

For example, during meeting time and lunch, HKIS students would crowd around food stalls, buying fried chicken wings, nuggets and other fatty snacks. Although a full lunch was offered next to the fried foods counter, they didn't appear less greasy than the fried snacks. Even though our health classes did teach us to have a balanced diet and refrain ourselves from eating fried foods constantly, how could we do so when the cafeteria only offered greasy foods, sweets, and soda drinks?

In a more general sense, one of the reasons that children turned to fast foods was because chances that they were given to eat alone. Numerous families have both parents working full-time, and without anybody cook the traditional Chinese diets, children would turn to fatty snacks and fast foods. Then some of...