Hong Kong World Milk Day 2018 “Hong Kong Family Health Survey” reveals insufficient dairy intake and lack of exercise in Hong Kong people across different ages

More than ninety percent of parents and their children do not meet the dairy intake recommendation. Average number of hours that parents spend on electronic devices for leisure is 44 times of the number of hours they spend on exercise. Parents should reform their lifestyle habits and set a good example for their children

 

HONG KONG, CHINA – Media OutReach – 1 June 2018 – Since 2001, 1 June has been “World Milk Day,” a day on which the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (“FAO”) promotes the goodness of milk. In this connection, FrieslandCampina (Hong Kong) Limited (“FCHK”) commissioned the Hong Kong Baptist University Centre for the Advancement of Social Sciences Research to conduct “Hong Kong Family Health Survey” (“the survey”) for Hong Kong World Milk Day 2018. A total of 429 respondents[1] between the ages of 21 and 70 were surveyed to study the diet and exercise habits of their children, themselves and elders at home, including their daily dietary and dairy intake, exercise habits and number of hours they used electronic devices for leisure[2]. Objective of the survey is to help establishing healthy lifestyles by raising awareness among Hong Kong families on balanced nutrition and moderate exercise for family members of different age groups.

 


 (From left to right) Ms. Channey Chan, Project Coordinator of Centre for the Advancement of Social Sciences Research at Hong Kong Baptist University, Dr. Lobo H.T. Louie, Associate Professor of the Department of Physical Education at Hong Kong Baptist University and President of the Hong Kong Association of Sports Medicine and Sports Science, Mr. Samson Chim, Chief Dietitian at VNS Nutrition and Health Centre and Ms. Natalie Yuen, Associate Director, Corporate Affairs of FrieslandCampina (Hong Kong) Limited hope to raise awareness among Hong Kong families on balanced nutrition and moderate exercise for family members of different age groups to establish healthy lifestyles, by sharing results of the survey and related suggestions at Hong Kong World Milk Day 2018 “Hong Kong Family Health Survey” Announcement.

 

About forty percent of respondents admit to being picky eaters

Over ninety percent of parents and their children have a dairy intake that is lower than the recommendation made by the Hong Kong Department of Health. Misunderstandings about milk are commonly found

The survey investigated the daily dietary habits of respondents, including their dairy intake and level of picky eating. The survey result unveils that picky eating was a cause of concern across respondents of different age groups, with about half of parent respondents (46%) believing that their children were picky eaters and more than one-third of the those (36.5%) admitting that they are also picky eater, which was a higher percentage than elderly respondents (31.0%).

 

The Hong Kong Department of Health recommends that children and teenagers aged 2 to 17 should have two servings of milk and alternatives (“milk”) daily, while adults and elderly should have one to two servings of milk daily[3]. Given the milk intake of the respondents, more than ninety percent of parent respondents (91%) and almost all of their children (99.5%) did not meet the recommended milk intake on weekly basis. Although more than seventy percent of the elderly respondents (77.2%) expressed their preference for milk, and more than half of them (50.2%) agreed that they needed to increase their milk intake. However, according to the survey, nearly ninety percent of elderly respondents (85.6%) drank less than six cups of milk per week, which was below the Hong Kong Department of Health’s recommendation of one to two servings per day.

 

The survey also found that misconceptions about milk are common across all respondents. About sixty percent of parent respondents (59.0%) thought that milk is unsuitable for people who were lactose intolerant. Among respondents who believed they do not need to increase milk intake, about sixty percent of elderly respondents (57.9%) believed nutrient from milk is replaceable by other foods and more than thirty percent of parent respondents (32.1%) believed milk can cause fat. Also, more than thirty percent of parent respondents (32.5%) thought that milk is for supplement of calcium only, and about twenty percent of parent respondents (19%) believed milk is only suitable for children and the elderly.

 

Expert reminds: Milk can help slowing down bone loss while lactose intolerance can be fixed

Mr. Samson Chim, Chief Dietitian at VNS Nutrition and Health Centre, expressed concern about the results of the survey, “In the food pyramid, milk is placed as a separate food category to emphasise their irreplaceable importance. Many nutrients contained in milk, including proteins, calcium, phosphorus, and Vitamin A, etc., cannot be produced inside the human body, must be ingested from food, and are very important for cell growth, muscle development, vision, and healthy bones and teeth at all stages of life.” Taking bone development as an example, according to the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF), childhood is a person’s peak bone producing years[4], in addition to adequate ingestion of calcium and Vitamin D, adequate dietary protein is essential for optimal bone mass gain during childhood and adolescence. It also helps to preserve bone mass with aging. Milk is one of the excellent sources of protein[5]. As for adults and the elderly, bone mass can keep growing until around age 30, when bones are reaching its maximum strength and density[6]. After this point, the amount of bone in the skeleton typically begins to decline slowly as removal of old bone exceeds formation of new bone[7]. To maintain bone health, adequate Vitamin D intake is essential[8] and can help preventing osteoporosis.

 

The results of the survey also revealed respondents’ misconceptions about lactose intolerance. Mr. Samson Chim corrected this, “Very few toddlers and children (0.5%3.5%) in Asian countries are allergic to milk[9]. The common reason for discomfort in drinking milk is lactose intolerance. Lactose intolerance refers to situation where lactose is not digested in the body, resulting in lactose being unable to be absorbed by the intestine and appearing in the large intestine, thus causing gastrointestinal discomfort. Stop taking milk for long time may increase the risk of the possibility of lactose intolerance and it takes time for human body to adapt it when that person resumes milk intake. People with lactose intolerance may try to start taking milk with one-third of a cup and gradually increase the portion, or add milk into cooking recipe, to allow the body to slowly adapt.”

 

Parents and children were failed to meet recommendation of weekly exercise while they have different sports needs

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has pointed out that overweight and obese children are more likely to stay obese into adulthood and to develop non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like diabetes and cardiovascular diseases at a younger age. At least 2.6 million people die each year as a result of being overweight or obese[10]. However, according to the statistics of Centre for Health Protection, the Department of Health, HKSAR, as of school year 2016/17, overall overweight and obesity detection rate of primary school students of Hong Kong accounted for 17.6%[11]. The WHO recommends that children and adolescents aged 5-17 should do at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous-intensity physical activity daily[12] to maintain their health.

 

However, the results of the survey indicate that, according to the parent respondents, other than the 80-minute physical education class at school each week, their children only did 66 minutes of exercise per week on average, which meant that the actual amount of exercise was nearly seventy percent (65.2%)[13] lower than the WHO’s recommendation. More than half of parent respondents (55%) believed that their children did not exercise enough, and eighty percent (80.6%) believed that this was due to their children having too much homework. Among the variety of exercise, children spent time on “running” type sports the most, accounting for about eighty percent (78.4%), which was far higher than “jumping” type sports. “Throwing” type sports accounted for the lowest percentage.

 

In addition, the WHO also recommends that adults aged 18-64 should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity throughout the week, or do at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity throughout the week. The survey results indicate that parent respondents did 65 minutes of exercise per week on average, which was nearly sixty percent (56.7%) lower than the amount of exercise recommended by the WHO. At the same time, more than seventy percent of parent respondents (73.5%) responded a busy lifestyle as the reason for the insufficient exercise time, and nearly seventy-five percent of the respondents (74.7%) claimed that they had more time to exercise after their retirement.

 

Dr. Lobo H.T. Louie, Associate Professor of the Department of Physical Education at Hong Kong Baptist University and President of the Hong Kong Association of Sports Medicine and Sports Science, pointed out that, “Sufficient exercise is the foundation for a strong body at all stage of life. According to a study conducted by the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, exercise promotes bone development and makes stronger bones[14]. Children should participate in diversified exercise, engaging in running, jumping and throwing types of exercises, to allow them to achieve comprehensive and healthy development of their cardiovascular function, bones and muscles.”

 

Imbalanced time arrangement: Parent respondents’ average time spent using electronic devices for leisure at 44 times of the amount of time they spent on exercise. Ninety percent of parent and elderly respondents agreed on benefits of exercise

The survey result also showed extreme differences in the amounts of time that parent respondents and their children spent on static activities and exercise. Nearly fifty percent (49.5%) of parent respondents (69%) indicated that their children spent more than three hours a day using electronic devices for leisure, reaching an average of 26 hours per week, which was 23 times[15] more than the amount of time they spent on exercise. Nearly sixty percent (58.6%) of parent respondents even said that their children showed feeling down after using electronic devices for leisure and nearly 70% (69.8%) of them observed that their children were tired. Among parent respondents, the average time spent on exercise was 64.8 minutes per week, but the time spent on using electronic devices for leisure was nearly 48 hours per week, which was 44 times[16] the amount of time spent on exercise.

 

Among the elderly respondents, those with exercise more than 60 minutes per week on average reported a fall rate in the past five years at about twenty four percent (24.2%), whiles the fall rate of elderly who did not have the same exercise habits at about thirty six percent (36.6%). The health issues that the elderly respondents were most concerned about were “bones/ joints/ muscles” (36.3%), “Heart/ blood pressure” (35.1%) and “cognitive/ memory” (28.5%). More than ninety percent (90.1%) of respondents agreed that exercise can help improving balance and strengthen muscles.

 

Dr. Louie added, “Exercise is effective in increasing bone density in people of all ages. The survey reveals that Hong Kong people spend a lot of time on electronic devices for leisure every day. Nowadays, with the popularisation of electronic devices, and to address the trend towards mobile phone addiction, we should increase the level of moderate exercise, and exercise our neck and shoulder muscles. If electronic devices are properly used in conjunction with exercise, it might help making exercise more fun. Moderate exercise could help preventing the elderly from falling. According to WHO, older people have the highest risk of death or serious injury arising from a fall and the risk increases with age. For example, in the United States of America, 20–30% of older people who fall suffer moderate to severe injuries[17]. It is recommended that the elderly do more exercise to improve their balance for fall prevention[18].”

 

Parents should reform their lifestyle habits with balanced dietary intake and time spent on static activities and physical exercise in order to setting a good example for their children and building healthy families

Exercise can help strengthening parent-child interaction and family relationships. When parents are having exercise together with their children, the happiness index of both parties are increased and therefore it is mutual beneficial to both parties. The survey found that seventy percent (70.0%) of parent respondents agreed that exercise helps children to develop social skills, communication skills and discipline. Among thirty percent of parent respondents who had exercise with their children, more than sixty percent (62.5%) of those exercised with their children at least once per week and scored an average happiness index of 7.3 points (out of a maximum of 10 points).

 

To conclude, parent’s participation and their attitude play a key role in building strong family. As the decision-makers at home, parents should revise their own dietary habits, reference recommendation by the Hong Kong Department of Health taking one serving of milk per day so as to set a good example for their children. At the same time, they should encourage their children and make arrangements to help them achieving the recommended daily intake of two servings of milk for balanced nutrition and the establishment of a good foundation for health. Same for balancing out the time spend on electronic device for leisure and exercise. Parents should arrange outdoor activities for their kids and elder family members, which supports not only family bonding, but also physical and mental health of the entire family.

 

Ms. Helena He, Managing Director of FrieslandCampina Hong Kong commented, “As one of the world’s leading dairy companies with more than 140 years of dairy expertise, FrieslandCampina fully supports ‘World Milk Day’. Over the past 80 years, FrieslandCampina Hong Kong has been committed to nourishing the lives of Hong Kong people across all ages with our quality and nutritious dairy products. This year, we have once again commissioned the Hong Kong Baptist University Centre for the Advancement of Social Sciences Research to conduct the ‘Hong Kong Family Health Survey’ for Hong Kong World Milk Day 2018 to raise the awareness of ‘Drink’ and ‘Move’ among Hong Kong community for them to lay the foundation of building strong families.”

 


Hong Kong World Milk Day 2018 “Hong Kong Family Health Survey” revealed more than ninety percent of parents and their children do not meet the dairy intake recommended by Hong Kong Department of Health. Parent should revise their own dietary habits and take one serving of milk per day so as to set a good example for their children. At the same time, they should encourage their children and make arrangements to help them achieving the recommended daily intake of two servings of milk for balanced nutrition and the establishment of a good foundation for health.

 

FrieslandCampina (Hong Kong) Limited

FrieslandCampina (Hong Kong) Limited (FCHK), a subsidiary of Royal FrieslandCampina, has maintained a presence in Hong Kong for 80 years, providing high quality and nutritious dairy products including FRISO® infant and toddler milk formula, DUTCH LADY® dairy-based beverages, OPTIMEL® adult nutrition formula and dairy products including BLACK&WHITE® and LONGEVITY®, for consumers, customers and food service business partners in Hong Kong and Macau. FCHK is committed to nourishing the lives of HK people across all ages with its full range of high quality and nutritious dairy products, and to fulfilling its corporate social responsibilities through a network of interdisciplinary partnerships established with local NGOs, academia and industry experts.


Royal FrieslandCampina N.V.

Every day FrieslandCampina provides millions of consumers all over the world with food that is rich in valuable nutrients. FrieslandCampina is one of the world’s largest dairy companies, manufacturing and providing a variety of dairy products which serve as raw materials and semi-manufactured goods for the global infant and toddler products, food and beverage and medical industries. FrieslandCampina has offices in 34 countries and employs a total of about 22,000 people. FrieslandCampina’s products find their way to more than 100 countries. The Company is fully owned by Zuivelcoöperatie FrieslandCampina U.A, one of the world’s largest dairy cooperatives with about 19,000 member dairy farmers in the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium. For more information please visit: www.frieslandcampina.com

 

About Hong Kong Association of Sports Medicine & Sports Science

Founded in 1988, the Hong Kong Association of Sports Medicine & Sports Science (HKASMSS) has been a member of the International Federation of Sports Medicine, aiming to promote and advance the practice, education and research of medicine and science in relation to sports and exercise, and to promote and establish friendly relationships with other medical and scientific associations and organisations both in Hong Kong and abroad.

 

About VNS Nutrition and Health Centre

VNS, a team of registered dietitians aiming to bring forward Various Nutrition knowledge to the public, as a result to encourage a salubrious life for everyone. VNS represents “Various (In various modes)”, “Nutrition (Nutrition consultation)” and “Salubriousness (Salubrious life)”. VNS Nutrition and Health Centre has been established since 2005 with two visions: To promote the sense of healthiness amongst the public; to joint force with various organization/corporation in running various health related activities for different public sectors. Since introduction of Exercise Therapy in 2006, alongside with tailored nutrition consultation, we have attained notable achievement in disease management for individual clients. VNS has been cooperating with over 100 enterprises in building positive healthy images as well as enhancing their products and services. As time goes by VNS has developed into a professional nutrition consultation service provider entrusted by clients.


Media contact

Kat Mak

Madbox Communications

Tel: (852) 9061 1291

Email: kmak@madbox.com.hk

 

Rhonda Leung

FrieslandCampina (Hong Kong) Limited

Tel: (852) 2859 3780 / 6409 3170

Email: rhonda.leung@frieslandcampina.com

 

Vivian Chiang

Madbox Communications

Tel: (852) 9813 6791

Email: vchiang@madbox.com.hk




[1] Hong Kong people of different ages were surveyed at the Hong Kong Milk Day 2018 “Hong Kong Family Health Survey.” The respondents were parents aged between 21 and 60 with at least one child aged between 6 and 12, and elderly persons aged between 50 and 70

[2] Electronic devices are defined as computers, smart phones and tablets. Using electronic devices for leisure refers to activities such as web browsing, online game, (browsing at) social media, live chat online, viewing online videos.

[3] The Food Pyramid — A Guide to a Balanced Diet, Centre for Health Protection, Department of Health HKSAR, Web. <http://www.cheu.gov.hk/b5/info/2plus3_12.htm>. One serving of milk and alternatives is equivalent to one cup (240 ml) of milk, one pot (150 g) of low-fat plain yogurt, or two slices of low-fat cheese.

[4] Bone Development in Young People” International Osteoporosis Foundation, Web. <https://www.iofbonehealth.org/bone-development-young-people-0>

[5] Nutrition” International Osteoporosis Foundation, Web.  <https://www.iofbonehealth.org/nutrition>

[6] “Osteoporosis: Peak Bone Mass in Women” NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases National Resource Center, Web.  <https://www.bones.nih.gov/health-info/bone/osteoporosis/bone-mass>.

[7] “Osteoporosis in Men”. NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases National Resource Center, Web.<https://www.bones.nih.gov/health-info/bone/osteoporosis/men>

[8] “Two keys to strong bones: Calcium and Vitamin D” Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School, Web.  <https://www.health.harvard.edu/womens-health/two-keys-to-strong-bones-calcium-and-vitamin-d>.

[9] Statistics on milk allergies among toddlers and children in different regions of Asia: Thailand (1.3%), Singapore (0.5%), Chongqing, Zhuhai and Hangzhou of China (0.83%-3.5%), Taiwan (1.1%) and Korea (1.69%)

[10] “Why does childhood overweight and obesity matter?” World Health Organization, Web. <http://www.who.int/dietphysicalactivity/childhood_consequences/en/>

[11] “Overweight and Obesity”, Centre for Health Protection, Department of Health, HKSAR. Web <https://www.chp.gov.hk/tc/statistics/data/10/757/5513.html>

[12] “Physical Activity” World Health Organization, Web <http://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/physical-activity>

[13] Calculation of 66 minutes of exercise per week on average and 80-minute physical education class each week, and compare to WHO’s recommendation

[14] Gunter, K. B., Almstedt, H. C., & Janz, K. F. (2012). Physical activity in childhood may be the key to optimizing lifespan skeletal health. Exercise and sport sciences reviews, 40(1), 13-21. Web.  <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3245809/>

[15] According to the results of the survey, parent respondents observed that apart from of physical education class at school, their children spent an average of 66.4 minutes per week on exercise and an average of 220.9 minutes per day on electronic devices for leisure, which is equivalent to an average of 1546.3 minutes on this per week, which was 23.2 times more than the time they spent physical exercise.

[16] According to the results of the survey, parent respondents spent an average of 64.8 minutes per week on exercise, but spent an average of 409.5 minutes per day on electronic devices for leisure, which is equivalent to an average of 2866.5 minutes on this per week, which was 44.2 times more than the time they spent doing exercise.

[17] “Falls” World Health Organization, Web <http://www.who.int/zh/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/falls>

[18] “Older Adult Fall Prevention” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Web.  <https://www.cdc.gov/media/dpk/healthy-living/injury-falls-older-adults/older-adult-falls.html>