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'Fruit Day' Promotes Healthy Eating Habits Among Students

Armen Hareyan's picture

Healthy Eating Habits

More than 220 000 students from 350 primary schools enjoyed nutritious and delicious treats of fruits at school in support of 'Fruit Day'.

Speaking at the ceremony to mark the event at SKH St James Primary School in Wan Chai, the Director of Health, Dr P Y Lam, said today's activity was aimed at encouraging schools and parents to foster a school environment conducive to healthy eating and fruit consumption so as to protect children from diet related diseases.

He noted that the event had set a record of engaging half of all the local primary school students to eat fruit on the same day at school. It was a memorable and fun-filled occasion for all participating students who had delicious and healthy fruits at school. In addition, the schools have pledged to hold more than 270 related activities to encourage students to take more fruits.

A study conducted by the DH in March 2006 revealed that the consumption of fruits had been inadequate among school children in Hong Kong. Only around half (56.7%) of the 9,000 primary school students from 44 schools interviewed ate fruit twice or more each day.

However, scientific evidence revealed that adequate consumption of fruit and vegetables can lower the risk of developing many diseases including heart disease, stroke and certain types of cancers.

Therefore, children aged 6 to 12 should eat one to two servings of fruits a day to keep their health at its best.

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Also speaking at the ceremony, Deputy Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mrs Betty Ip conveyed the Education and Manpower Bureau's full support of the event and highlighted the need for schools to promote healthy eating among students.

Schools were encouraged to set up a policy on healthy eating and to enhance co-operation with parents in creating a healthy eating culture among school children, she said.

During the ceremony, Legislative Councillors Mr Tsang Yok-sing and Dr Kwok Ka-ki presented fruit baskets to student, school and parent representatives as tokens of appreciation to those who invested in children's health and wellbeing.

A tool kit has been produced and distributed to schools and teachers to reinforce students' habit of eating fruit daily.

Within the kit is a 'Fruit Diary' for students to keep log of fruit consumption in the weeks following the Fruit Day event and a 'Resource Kit' to help teachers in planning and implementing related activities.

'Fruit Day' is a territory wide event under the "[email protected]" campaign co-organized by the Department of Health, Education and Manpower Bureau, Radio-Television Hong Kong, Hong Kong Education City, Committee on Home-School Co-operation, Hong Kong College of Cardiology and World Cancer Research Fund Hong Kong. It is supported by Food and Environmental Hygiene Department and all Federations of Parent-Teacher Associations.

All members and sectors of society have a part to play to make people's healthy choices easier choices. The Department of Health noted the active support given by schools and parents in making the 'Fruit Day' a successful event.