Letter to the editor on child obesity

A letter to the editor on child obesity

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Dear Editor,

  The prevalence of child obesity is getting alarmingly serious in Hong Kong, not only found in other countries. Instead of watching the situation with folded arms, we had better find the way out. Therefore, I am writing to account for and provide suggestions to the phenomenon.

  One main factor leading to children’s obesity problem is their unhealthy lifestyle. Hong Kong students in general, even the primary school kids, have heavy workload. Apart from finishing the countless school assignments, they often have to attend tutorial classes of different subjects, dragging them to an extremely hectic life. It is not uncommon to see students, even young kids go home at about 8pm, when we are already having dinner. With such an occupied schedule, children simply cannot spare any time for rest, let alone sport activities. Even if they have such time, most of them spend it by gluing their heads to electronic devices instead of doing healthy exercises. The lack of exercise in daily lives deprives the chance of children to burn calories or fat, paving the way for their obesity problem.

  Besides, the eating habits of children are also closely related to overweight or obesity. During the 21st century, fast-food culture has gone viral through the world and Hong Kong is of course no exception. MNCs selling fast and cheap meals, such as McDonald’s and KFC have been widely welcomed by customers including kids since they can enjoy appealing food at a relatively low price. However, fast food often has high calories and fat contents. To be specific, one hamburger from McDonald’s already contains 245 thousand calories, which is equal to 2 bowls of white rice. However, children, or even their parents are usually not adequately aware of food nutrition. When they consume large amount of oily food, they would easily gain weight, falling victim to obesity and even other health risks.

  To tackle the deeply concerned issue, both schools and parents have a role to play. To allow students to exercise more, schools should consider adding more physical education lessons. If the schedule is too tight to do so, they should at least introduce work-out time in morning assemblies or recesses, in which teachers can lead students to do simple stretching. As for parents, they should inculcate children with the knowledge to choose healthy food, such that their kids will not consume fast food excessively. Also, they should avoid cooking oily and fried dishes at home, so as to let children be well protected from health problems.

    Of course, the most important part lies on the children themselves. What they have to do is only to spend less time sitting in front of their computers, then try to do some easy work outs like sit-ups and planks at home. Replacing fatty snacks with the healthier ones such as nuts and almonds will be another way to go.

  In conclusion, the unhealthy living and eating habits of Hong Kong children are the attributes to obesity. It’s high time for the schools, parents and kids themselves to fight the uphill battle in easing the worrisome problem.

                                                                                                                                       Yours faithfully,

                                                                                                                     Chris Wong

                                                                                                                                        Chris Wong