Children from Hong Kong and China are not immune to the global epidemic of obesity. About one in five Hong Kong schoolchildren are now classed as overweight or worse, according to the Hong Kong Department of Health’s latest survey, released last year. They were not eating enough fruit and vegetables, but eating too much salt and not getting enough exercise.
Experts everywhere have thought long and hard about how to keep kids slimmer, fitter and healthier. Former US first lady Michelle Obama was committed to trying to get kids to eat more healthily and move more, play outside more and exercise more. In China, a handful of teachers and principals have won internet acclaim by instituting compulsory before or after school line dance sessions to get the students on the move.
Hong Kong kids are at a disadvantage because there are fewer neighbourhood parks and playgrounds for them to romp in. Encouraging exercise and sport is considered increasingly important in the global weight wars. Making kids diet, however, is probably not the answer.
The global weight loss company WW International (formerly known as Weight Watchers) last month released a dieting app for youngsters aged eight to 17.