Unhealthy habits take fatal toll

MORE than half of Hongkongers die from an unhealthy lifestyle and poor eating habits, Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung Kin-chung (張建宗) said in an alarming blog post.
The shocking revelation follows the government allocating HK$100 million a year to encourage healthier living.
Cheung said the lifestyle-diet double-whammy was the major cause of non-communicable diseases like cancer, heart disease and diabetes, which were linked to 55 percent of deaths in 2016.
Almost half of all Hongkongers require treatment for high blood pressure, diabetes or high cholesterol before they reach 40, he said, which burdened the medical sector and hurt productivity.
Cheung said many parents want their kids to be plump as they believe it will help them grow taller during puberty. But most overweight or obese children remain fat after they grow up and are more susceptible to non-communicable diseases at a younger age.
While the proportion of primary students considered overweight or obese has dropped, the obesity rate for secondary students has increased from 17 percent to 19.9 during the past 10 years, he wrote.
Cheung said at least a third of non-communicable diseases can be prevented with healthier lifestyles. The government promoted the consumption of less sugar, oil and salt in meals over the years, he noted, but people should also refrain from smoking and drinking.

(This article is published on Junior Standard on 21 May 2018)

Matthew Cheung’s blog

Healthy lifestyles