I am replying to the article “Stroke warning as bad habits of young revealed” (October 30, SCMP), in which the writer spoke of people not exercising and eating few fruits and vegetables.
I absolutely agree as I see this happening with my peers. They buy junk food like crisps, chocolate, ice cream and fried chicken every break, even after they have finished their lunch. My friends often tell me they aren’t really hungry, they “just want to eat”.
I think school tuck shops need to sell less junk foods and more foods like salads, fruits, and yogurt. Schools need to do a better job of promoting healthy eating. All schools should have a health club that organises activities that revolve around healthy eating and living.
Parents should encourage their children to exercise more and do fun activities like hiking – which is not only healthy, but is great for family bonding. Let’s make Hong Kong healthy again!
Cora Man Pui-ying, Leung Shek Chee College
From the Editor
Thank you for your letter, Cora. Hongkongers, especially students, have such busy schedules every day, that they feel they don’t have time to look after their health. But if we don’t treat our bodies properly, they’ll stop working properly.
If our bodies don’t work properly, our brains will stop being as efficient, too, and we simply will not be able to cope with our long to-do lists.
It can be difficult to change your habits, but this is worth the effort. The easiest way to make health a priority is by making small changes.
To get more exercise without joining a gym or sports club, get off the bus one stop early, or leave the MTR from the exit furthest from your destination. Get into and out of the lift three floors below your flat. You can also install a step counter app on your phone, and try to walk a certain number of steps every day.
As for food, plan ahead. Think about what you’re going to eat in the coming week. If you eat fast food every day, work out how much you spend, then buy fruit and vegetables instead. You will need some protein and carbs, too, but start by replacing your guilty pleasures with something that will benefit your body.
You should be aiming for at least five portions (about the size of your fist) of fruits and vegetables every day, which is easy to get if you make it a game; can you beat your family and friends? The person to eat the most each week gets a small treat, such as deciding what’s for dinner, or being allowed extra fries when you do treat yourself to fast food.
It’s true that these changes require a bit of effort, but they are worth it. When you’re healthier, you’re happier, and, bonus, more efficient!
Karly, Deputy Editor