DH promotes healthy lifestyles

Hong Kong (HKSAR) -      The Department of Health (DH) presented commendations to over 260 community members and 90 participating organisations today (May 19) at the "I'm So Smart" Community Health Promotion Programme (ISS Programme) Recognition Ceremony for their active participation in promoting and encouraging the community to adopt healthy eating habits with less salt and sugar and to take regular physical activity, following the Programme's focus on "Diabetes" last year.
     Speaking at the recognition ceremony, the Controller of the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the DH, Dr Wong Ka-hing, said that the focus of the Programme this year is an alcohol-free healthy diet. In addition, this year's programme will also call for attention from different sectors of the community to depression, echoing the theme of "Depression: Let's talk" of World Health Day 2017.
     "Drinking habits are increasingly common and beginning at younger ages locally. In fact, alcohol has already been classified by the World Health Organization as a Group I carcinogen.

The more you drink, the higher the risk of cancer. However, the harmful effects of alcohol are often underestimated by society. In particular, alcohol consumption by young people is of our concern.

Alcohol's toxic effects on the developing brain among adolescents predispose them to mental health and neurocognitive problems," Dr Wong said.
     The DH launched a publicity campaign entitled "Young and Alcohol Free" late last year to step up efforts to combat underage drinking. The DH also aims to raise awareness about alcohol-related harms through the ISS Programme this year, urge the public to gradually cut down and eventually stop drinking, and protect young people from harms that alcohol may bring.
     Speaking on depression, Dr Wong said, "The lack of understanding of depression and the stigma surrounding mental illness pose barriers to people seeking help. We aim at enhancing the public's understanding on depression through the ISS Programme to reduce social prejudice, encourage people with depression to seek help early and encourage members of the community to provide support and assistance." 
     He added, "Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, with healthy eating and regular exercise, not only strengthens bodily functions but also has positive impacts on mental health."
     The ISS Programme was launched in 2012 and aims at enhancing community collaboration to promote healthy lifestyles with healthy eating and regular physical activity. Over 90 organisations have participated in the Programme, including the Hong Kong Housing Authority (HKHA), Estate Management Advisory Committees of public housing estates under the HKHA, Healthy Cities Projects and non-governmental organisations.

The participating organisations held related activities with a total attendance of more than 65 000 last year.
     Other officiating guests at today's ceremony included the Chief Manager (Management) of the Housing Department, Mr Ng Shu-chung; the Consultant of the Centre for Food Safety of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department, Dr Ho Yuk-yin; the Vice Chairman of the Physical Fitness Association of Hong Kong, China, Mr Ricky Cheung; and the Chairman of the Hong Kong Dietitians Association, Ms Sylvia Lam.

Published on: 2017-05-19

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