Thu, Nov 09, 2006 - Page 2 News List

DOH survey shows teens have poor eating habits

STAFF WRITER , WITH CNA

A majority of Taiwanese teenagers have unhealthy dietary habits, with most not consuming sufficient amounts of dairy products and vegetables, according to the results of a survey released yesterday by the Department of Health (DOH).

The survey, which was based on data collected from a series of healthy diet workshops held by the DOH for teenagers, showed that 98 percent of teenagers drink less than two glasses of milk a day, and 84.6 percent take meals outside their homes after school.

Eat your veggies

While 63 percent of teenagers hope to become thinner, 83 percent do not eat enough fruit, and 82 percent do not eat a sufficient amount of vegetables.

Meanwhile, 65 percent of teenagers drink sugar-containing beverages when they are thirsty and 53 percent substitute meals with snacks.

Got milk?

Lai Hsiu-yi (賴秀怡), a nutrition consultant at Cathay General Hospital, noted that approximately 50 percent of teenagers have the wrong notion that they can get sufficient amounts of milk by drinking milk tea beverages sold on the market.

In fact, these milk tea beverages use cream as their main ingredient, which contains a high amount of fat and can lead to obesity if consumed too frequently, Lai said.

According to Lai, teenagers should get 1,200mg of calcium per day; however, two glasses of milk only provide 500mg.

She suggested that teenagers consume more calcium-containing food such as dried fish, as well as soy beans, green leaf vegetables and fruit to balance their nutrient intake.

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